With the early 2020s fostering an array of intensified climate-driven catastrophes, a key question is how humanity will respond to its impending transgressions of climatic and ecosystemic tipping points. In this light, this article explores how some of the world’s richest entrepreneurs and companies resort to desperate science fiction, that is, to increasingly drastic techno-optimistic ventures. More precisely, the article zooms in on plans put forward and financially supported by Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Google in order to show how these ventures manifest as (1) fanciful plans of leaving Earth and settling on other planets, (2) major geoengineering schemes in which the Earth System becomes the object of terraforming and (3) attempts to manipulate human behaviour via big data. Furthermore, the article argues that these three forms of desperate science fiction are deeply problematic, because they siphon attention away from important democratic conversations about which degrowth-models societies across the planet should pursue and seek to develop. To change this, the article argues, we need to see the three forms of desperate science fiction advanced by Musk, Bezos, Gates and Google for what they are: deceptive attempts to preserve a deeply unjust and destructive economic system.
|Tidsskrift||Culture, Theory and Critique|
|Status||Udgivet - 2023|