by Kim Stanley Robinson
From a wired.com interview with the author by Brandon Keim on 7/03/07:
WN: One of the main characters in the new trilogy is Frank Vanderwal, a scientist who leads a radical National Science Foundation initiative to respond, immediately and on a planetary scale, to climate change. Vanderwal becomes heavily influenced by Buddhist thought, and his own lifestyle becomes a form of Freganism — living without a single permanent home, communing in a deeply spiritual way with nature, accepting change and valorizing adaptability, living off the excess of our own over-producing society. Do you feel this to be the ideal mentality and lifestyle for a time of radical climate change?
Robinson: He’s a character in a comedy who takes things too far. A lot of scientists act on their beliefs and so do things that look crazy to the rest of us. He’s basically following the right line — but without going homeless or moving into a treehouse, all of us can look at the way we live and adjust accordingly. That’s what novels are for in the utopian sense: to suggest modes of thought so you can examine your own life and see what you can do.