New York, 2140

New York, 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson. One writer’s vision of the world in 2140 when the oceans have risen 50 feet. New York City is a new Venice while Venice, Italy, presumably is totally underwater. The Greenland icecap lasted longer than expected because the underlying geography is a bowl surrounded by mountains. On the other hand, Antarctica slopes down to the seas around it. Once the ice there started to move, it moved relatively rapidly. Rising seas forced millions to relocate inland if they could. Globalization was disrupted as the world’s harbors were rebuilt and then rebuilt again to service container ships and oil tankers.

Robinson extrapolates today’s financial cycles into the future and the rich are richer and the poor and displaced struggle to survive. Finally after a severe hurricane devastates lower New York, the poor declare a rent strike to topple the status quo. This time the Federal Reserve does not bail out the banks; it nationalizes them, putting the people in charge for a change.

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