Emergent Norm Theory and Post-Climate Change Impact: Appendix A
Note: the following short story was originally published in Enizagam Literary Journal out of Oakland and was chosen by Diane Cook as the winner of the Enizagam Short Fiction Prize It is currently print-only and I’ve received several requests to put it online, so here it is.
The following appendix provides four examples of Post-Climate Change Impact community communications via various forms of media. The authors include them in this paper because they reflect a rich blend of evolving and adaptive community and national norms while offering interested researchers further material for microsociological analysis of how climate change impacts are affecting four distinct areas: a.) Social Disclosure (“Post-Climate Change Impact Craig’s List ads”) b.) Status-Directed Consumption (“Impact Cruises’ ‘Endangered Cities 7-Day Free-Sail Cruise” website text) c.) Perceived Incentives (“Unicorn Investment Newsletter: Subscription Confirmation”); and d.) Functional Sociology/Adaptive Culture (“Three Rivers Park District (MN) Activities Catalog Text: “New Friends at the Feeder”).
Fig. 1: “Post-Climate Change Impact Craig’s List Ads”
Hot Van Time — m4w (Far Rockaways, NY)
Body: Fit Height: 6’3” Carbon Status: in compliance
I lost my Civic in the most recent massive flooding event so I opted for a van this time. No back seats, tinted windows. If you have a fantasy I can help with let me know. Can travel.
Damsel in Distress? — m4w (Greenwich, CT)
Body: Lots to Love Height: 5’7” Carbon Status: in compliance
Did Superstorm Zuzia send you packing? Looking for some help? Do you have a talent you can share? I live in a Non-Impact Zone and have a spare Environmental Migrant Travel Permit to share with the right lady. Must be from an Impacted Community. Prefer BBWs just a few pounds shy of the Federal Overconsumption Tax threshold.
Babe Looking for Jesus at Tinderbox Lounge on Halloween — m4w (St. Augustine, FL)
Body: Athletic Height: 6’6” Carbon Status: Under Review
I was dressed as a studly “FEMA Director Jesus” at Tinderbox last night and I kept seeing tweets from some girl looking for “Jesus” to meet her in the third stall of the bathroom. I was on my way to the johns to find you when the evacuation order came in. Your Twit Pics showed a girl dressed up as a Displaced Person of Middle Eastern Descent. Despite the problematic nature of your costume, I would love to bestow some heavenly graces onto thou. Hit me up if you’re the girl I’m talking about. Hopefully you’re hot. Willing to throw in a few Federal Fuel Stamps if you are.
Flood Relief Hottie — m4m (Charleston, SC)
Body: Dad-Bod Height: 5’10 Carbon Status: Suspended
You: National Guardsman working flood relief during most recent storm surge event. Me: stranded homeowner who should’ve known better than to buy near the floodplain. You were in the rescue bucket when the helicopter arrived, told me to leave my “man-purse” behind (it’s an attaché, actually). Although it was too loud for conversation, I thought I sensed a spark. If you see this, tell me the name of the street my house used to be on.
Ride Wanted: Headed North (Santa Monica, CA)
This is a long shot, but putting this out there just in case. Like everyone else, I’m looking for a ride out of California, basically ASAP, until the fires die down. I’m not particular about where I’m dropped off, just ask that it be within the Federal Designated Safe Zone, preferably the Upper Mississippi River Basin. I am very good at gas jugging. Only luggage is my surfboard. Can help load or unload on both ends. Currently located at the Evacuation Gathering Point on the Pier. I’m the one with the Spongebob Squarepants shortboard.
Room for Rent: Impact-Free Home (Appleton, WI)
If you’re looking for a handout, you can just stop reading right now. This ad is for EMPLOYED people only with NO Excessive Carbon Usage violations that will end up with a midnight visit from the feds. If you pass that test, read on: we’re seeking a roommate for a laid-back house. Not many rules here, but there are two and they are VERY IMPORTANT. Number 1. No black market fuel in the house of any kind. We’ve been busted before, and it wasn’t pretty. Save us all some grief and get your gas legally. Sure, it’s hard, but people do it every day. Number 2. No violence of any kind, not even a raised voice. There have been a couple minor issues but we have worked them out MATURELY. If you’re still holding on to some existential anger about runaway climate change, move on. We’re okay with Environmental Migrants AS LONG AS YOU ARE EMPLOYED. Another important thing is paying your rent on time. Late payments will NOT be tolerated, and I don’t want to hear any sob stories about long lines at the Bartered Goods Cash Conversion office. This is a cash-only thing — no produce or bulk foodstuffs will be accepted. C-A-S-H. My house is the only one with Christmas lights up (I hoard my carbon credits all year for this in case you’re wondering). Also, liking the movie Heaven is for Real is a good sign.
JOB AVAILABLE: Sick of Being Evacuated? (Anywhere)
Has your local Evacuation Gathering Point become like a second home? Are you tired of waiting floods out on your roof? Why not experience emergency evacuations from the other side: apply to become a member of the National Disaster Resilience Corps (NDRC). We are currently seeking highly motivated people who want to make a difference in the community for opportunities in the following project areas:
Ironic Hedonist Dispersal Project
Prepper Engagement Initiative (exceptional people skills a must)
Perpetual Evacuation Management
Vertical Farm Inspections Team, Soil-Free Division
NDRC corpsmen and women receive generous increases in Federal Fuel Rations for each six months of uninterrupted employment, as well as housing in Safe Zones for themselves and their family members. Monthly allotments of High Demand Foodstuffs and Endangered Grains are based on performance reviews.
NOTE: This is a branch of the United States military and enlistment is required.
Support Group for Recently Displaced Millionaires (Newport Beach, CA)
Are you one of the hundreds of wealthy Newport Beach homeowners whose beachfront properties were recently deemed uninhabitable under the Federal Post-Climate Impact Human Resettlement Act? Are you having a hard time adjusting to living full-time in your second home? These changes can be difficult to handle. We invite you to share your stories of displacement in a safe environment with people facing the same struggles as you. In this group we will talk about how we face our changes in circumstance, examine our anger and helplessness in the midst of unexpected domestic downsizing, speak openly about forced interaction in mixed-income society, and share strategies for coping with the loss of square footage and ocean views. This is not a drop-in group. Pre-registration is necessary, along with a copy of your most recent tax return. Craft cocktails will be served.
Rants and Raves: Immigrant tide (Des Moines)
What exactly is wrong with Midwesterners? You want to destroy yourselves all because you think this country is a “melting pot”? Stand up like men to the environmental migrant invasion. We don’t need Texans in Iowa.
Fig. 2: “Impact Cruises’ ‘Endangered Cities 7-Day Free-Sail Cruise” website text
Impact Cruises “Endangered Cities 7-Day Free-Sail Cruise”
Jacksonville (expires next year due to Complete Municipal Submersion [CMS])
The unexpected rapidity with which our country has been affected by Climate Change Impact has left many seasoned travelers reeling, soaked with regret over missed opportunities to explore our domestic jewels now threatened by rising sea levels. Others find themselves uncertain about the global regulations on the cruise industry and the mandated shift to carbon neutral, small-ship, free-sail cruising.
Impact Cruises offers the thoughtful traveler an unparalleled experience through its “Endangered Cities 7-Day Free-Sail Cruise, fashioning a cruise experience for our treasured guests that taps into their passion for the history, culture, and wonders of the pre-Impact world. From vanished Boston and the floating artificial islands of Miami to the last remaining building in Savannah and the proud spire of St. Louis Cathedral in Post-Impact New Orleans, Impact Cruises aims to give its guests a taste of the past, the present, and the future.
Immersion is a core principle of the Impact Cruises philosophy, and where possible, we invite our guests to come “ashore” to experience the charms of cities like New Orleans, Miami, and Savannah*. Our experienced dinghy captains will lead small groups around cherished landmarks, such as the spire of St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square and Boston’s last remaining island neighborhood, Beacon Hill. In Miami, unparalleled SCUBA experiences await the avid diver, including excursions into the submerged charms of South Beach+.
These cities will officially become Restricted Impact Territorial Zones (RITZ) in 2060. Don’t rob yourself, or your family, of the opportunity to take one last look at our vanished coastal cities, while enjoying the luxurious appointments you’ve come to expect from Impact Cruises.
Terms and Conditions
Fares are quoted in U.S. carbon credits and are based on double-occupancy. Fares do not include pre-paid charges, optional facilities and service fees, or global carbon tax apportionment. Also not included are shore “excursions,” gratuities, federal geoengineering surcharge, state and federal Engineered Iceberg Deployment fees, and Sulfate Particle Dispersal duty.
All itineraries, including points of “embarkation” and “debarkation,” are at the discretion of Impact Cruises and may be modified up to and during the voyage. Sea level fluctuations may impact the order in which cities are visited, or whether they are visited at all. Impact Cruises reserves the right to amend, cancel, or make substitutions for any aspect of the voyage without prior notice to the guest. Sulfate Particulate Showers cannot be forecast in advance, and will affect the timing of arrivals and departures. The timing of International Cloud Brightening Drone Missions are not disclosed to the public in advance, and will affect levels of sunlight, in some cases for weeks. Impact Cruises regrets that it cannot offer refunds for any reason whatsoever.
*Not all ports of call are available for traditional disembarkation due to sea level rise and individual cities’ State of Submersion (SOS)
+ Requires additional Release of Liability form
Fig. 3: “Unicorn Investment Newsletter: Subscription Confirmation”
From: Jack Marcelo, Chief Imagination Officer, Unicorn Investments, Inc.
To: Jeffrey Meredith [email@example.com]
Date: November 2, 2036
Subject: Unicorn Investment Newsletter: PLEASE CONFIRM SUBSCRIPTION
Thank you for subscribing to Unicorn Investment’s E-Newsletter: You have taken the first step toward making savvy investment decisions during this time of upheaval. As you know, times are “hot” for getting rich in a climate-challenged world. The question is: can you adapt, and if so, how quickly? RAs (Rapid Adapters) are in an enviable position when it comes to investments. Subscribing to this newsletter proves you are an RA.
Per federal law, you must confirm your subscription. Please click on this link to do so now.
If you’re still reading, you likely have not clicked the link. Are you unconvinced? Fearful of adding more spam to an inbox already riddled with suspicious pleas from family members stranded in Impact Zones he or she should definitely not be visiting? Unicorn Investments’ E-Newsletter is no carnival barker’s cry trying to sell consignment carbon credits for pennies on the dollar.
Perhaps a few tidbits will tempt you.
What’s next for the home insurance industry?
In short: collapse. Check your portfolio — are you tied up in these stocks? If so, have you asked yourself why you — or your investment adviser — are stubbornly protecting this aspect of your investment?
Renewables Sub-Sector Faltering
The only reliably strong industry post-climate change impact has, of course, been Renewables. But since last week’s release of IPCC’s latest report confirming a 3.5-degree rise in global temperature, Renewables stocks have plummeted, leaving the industry in disarray and mutual fund managers scratching their heads. With the feared doomsday scenario confirmed, investors are stuck in a what’s-the-point mentality. This massive sell-off provides RAs a rare opportunity to snatch up valuable stocks that are sure to roar back once investors have been to absorb and accept the IPCC report. By subscribing to Unicorn Insight’s newsletter, you will receive hot stock tips based on a subtle understanding of today’s complex investment landscape, including abandoned Renewables stocks that will make you a fortune once investor confidence returns.
Shirk the Long-Term Asset Allocation Mix: Yes, we’re serious.
Unicorn Investments is known for its contrarian sensibilities, but this one may shock even our long-time devotees: it’s time to dump your long-term asset allocations. The writing is on the wall: investors no longer have the luxury of assuming a long-term horizon for their investments. In these unpredictable times, with time and manner of death basically a crapshoot at this point, short-term is the name of the game. Want to know more? Click the link.
If you’ve read this far, it’s clear you still haven’t clicked the link to confirm your subscription. Please be advised that this confirmation e-mail was sent at your direction. It’s only because of our commitment to adhering to jauntily named CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, signed into law by President George W. Bush, repealed by President Donald Trump in 2017, and reinstated by President Trump in 2018, that we’re going through the motions of confirmation of your freely chosen subscription.
Still, you’re a skeptic, and we respect healthy skepticism. So chew on this:
Special Situation: Wearables
Check your portfolio: do you see any investments in Wearables? If so, congratulations — and welcome to the RA world. Wearable Startups are huge. Take Portable Physician’s insane $304M round in Q3. Some early investors were concerned about resistance among consumers — the “Blush Factor” — to the company’s iPhone colostomy bag widget, its ninth-generation Bluetooth technology has proven a hit with aging Millenials whose nostalgia for iPhones informs their buying decisions.
Are you a savvy investor who prefers investment advice in all caps, followed by a flock of exclamation marks?
PLEASE CONFIRM YOUR SUBSCRIPTION!!!!
NOTE: Certain statements contained in this communication may be identified by terms such as “expect” and “believe” and “may” and intend” and “possibly” and “will.” Be advised that investments in companies mentioned here are considered to be extremely high-risk and that the material herein was designed for reading pleasure and water cooler conversation, not action.
Fig. 4: Three Rivers Park District (MN) Activities Catalog Text: “New Friends at the Feeder”
Having a hard time identifying the new feathered friends at your birdfeeder? Can’t tell a keen-billed toucan from a Nicaraguan seed finch — and wouldn’t know what to feed it if you did? Intense biodiversity at Minnesota’s birdfeeders is one of the few upsides to massive global climate change, but the arrival of mixed species flocks from the Southern Hemisphere poses unique challenges to the dedicated birdwatcher. For example, traditional tube birdfeeders may not be up to the task of feeding larger-bodied species, such as macaws, while bloody squabbles between squirrels and swallow-tailed kites over the Trader Joe’s figs you tossed onto the ground feeder may strain your tolerance for intraspecies violence.
Join other dedicated birdwatchers in this day-long class at Richardson Nature Center, where we will learn all about these new critters, why sunflower seeds and suet just won’t cut it anymore, how to accommodate large birds with destructive habits while keeping your sanity, adjusting to the chaos of mixed-species flocks, protecting your outdoor cat from visiting macaws, and why planting a fig tree might be a good investment for a robust backyard bird population.
We’ll also deal delicately with psychological feelings of loss and despair common among Midwest birders who have lost the species they’ve grown up with, such as cardinals, blue jays, and, yes, even sparrows. This will be a safe space to discuss feelings of grief and anger.
Plus, you’ll walk out of class with your own homemade coconut “Tiki Bar” parrot toy.
From the broad-billed motmot to the fiery-throated hummingbird, this class will help you adapt to and enjoy our new native birds.
**Please note that the info session for the three-day “Birding at Superfund Sites, Abandoned Nuclear Plants, and Evacuated Coastal Cities” guided tour has changed to January 9th.