Reading about folks who live in hurricane zones fighting with their insurance companies over higher premiums sure got me thinking. It used to be one could say, hey, folks who live in precarious areas, why don’t you give up coastal living and or California*? But as simplistic (and heartless!) as that solution may be, it’s just not gonna work. If Americans have to move out of every state that experiences a natural disaster or plain ol’ dreadful weather in the next ten years, there’ll be very few S’s left in the U.S. of A!
By that drastic metric, you see, we’d really only be left with a handful of low-risk mainland properties that boast livable climate outlooks. (The Dakotas, for example, might warm up enough to make winter less Little House on the Prairie, more Fantasy Island.) But even if we could pull off a massive resettlement scheme, would there be enough room for the rest of us in, say, Maine? Seattle got grumpy when a bunch of ex-So-Cal types moved up there in the 90’s, can you imagine the social unrest if all of New Jersey split for New Hampshire or Utah?
It’s clear, then, there’s really only one solution for weather-weary Americans. That’s right: off-planet migration. I know, I know, ‘you break it, you own it’ but ever since mankind came to the edge of Pacific Coast Highway, we’ve been simply itching for more places to trash, I mean, improve. And while it’s true that scientists have yet to conquer the FTL conundrum, now that we’ve devised a way to store humanity’s complete musical history on a stylish and colorful wafer, surely a prototype dark matter drive sits in some West Coast garage by now!**
Of course, if we’re going to trek off into parts less known, it probably makes sense to bring along another hardy Terran species. Why (not) a (space) duck? Waterfowl could provide food, warmth, fertilizer and even companionship to pioneering peoples. Now I’m not sure whether NASA has done much bird testing; ducks (like many Earth creatures) are sunlight-sensitive so it might, er, scramble their systems. But if my girls can keep laying in high winds and subzero temps, maybe some future astro-duck can, too. Mmmm, just imagine the taste of soft-boiled duck eggs with a nice bit of space jerky charcuterie….
Outta this world!
*As someone who survived almost 25 years of L.A. disasters, I’ve heard it all!
**Hopefully, they have earthquake insurance.
For more on severe weather and other planetary impacts:
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website is chockful of data. For the period 1998-2012 with month by month, by event-type breakdowns, see their National Climatic Data Center’s charts and summaries:
You may also notice under “all hazard monitor” they have a special section on space weather. Sooooo, maybe intergalactic travel wouldn’t be that different after all? Oops!
Copyright 2013, Lori Fontanes