The ominous weather warning signs all over Washington D.C. look very real at first glance. They’re fastened securely to government signposts
Upon closer look—they’re a warning of the impending effects of global warming, and a literary jab at Donald Trump’s environmentally damning policies. This comes just after Trump has signed an executive order scrapping Obama’s clean energy plan, embracing coal.
Earlier this month, leading climatologist Dr. Peter Gleick urged for a mass protest against the Trump administration amidst global warming denial. Well, it looks like we have a small start.
The signs warn politicians and passers-by of incoming severe weather, but…due to a guy named Adam’s emotions? One reads “WARNING: ADAM IS ANGRY—TAKE SHELTER.” Another says, “ADAM IS DEPRESSED—PREPARE FOR SEVERE RAIN AND SINKHOLES.” And lastly, the signs warn that, “ADAM IS ANXIOUS—BEWARE OF TORNADOS.” The signs can be found near The White House, Capitol Hill, and other political monuments around D.C. Not to mention, around Los Angeles and Chicago.
So who is Adam? And why are these signs popping up in our nation’s capitol? Adam is the main character of the (currently #1 best-selling) newly-released novel the signs point to: The Weather Man, by Sam Hayes. In the book, Adam’s emotions control the weather, creating natural disasters when he feels negative emotions.
The novel is the first to satire Trump as president, in the character of “President Douglas Powers,” who is metaphorically introduced as “an exploding trophy,” wearing a gold-plated suit that “must have been terrifically, tremendously heavy.” (Full passage below). It’s the Douglas and his administration who are left with only one way to keep Americans safe: keeping Adam happy. They send him on The Pursuit of Happiness Project, with license to have anything he wants, at any expense.
The book attacks Trump’s ruthless America-first philosophies by painting a picture of an idyllic Trumpian America in 2076, then bashing it to pieces. It’s America’s 300th anniversary–a year where all the consequences of global warming come crashing down at once. It’s a world in which Trump’s reckless win-at-all costs narrative has seemingly succeeded in bringing America immense wealth and power…until those horrific hidden costs come out to play.
In the story, a post-WWIII weather conspiracy has thus far protected America from the effects of climate change ravaging the earth, but it’s through the curse of Adam Anderson that Mother Nature retaliates. The author envisions a tech-heavy future where a supremely wealthy America has mastered global warming, but unbeknownst to Americans, leaves the planet’s less fortunate majority to take the heavy toll. It’s this same reasoning that lead Pope Francis to plead the world to come together to stop climate change at the Paris Summit–after learning that 50-60% of climate-warming pollution comes from the wealthiest people on the planet, while the bottom 3 billion contribute only 5%, yet will experience by far the worst effects of climate change. With a 175 country agreement toward less pollution, the Paris summit was the greatest victory for the environment EVER. Now, President Trump plans to withdraw from that agreement. And why? For the immediate prosperity of the American people, of course. At the expense of everyone making sacrifices for the good of the planet, and our children.
It’s an internationally inconsiderate take on the “Pursuit of Happiness” pillar of American thought, and a good dose of ignorance in regards to the consequences our actions may have on the future of our own country. Ironically, in Hayes’ 2076 imagining of those consequences, the only way out of this mess is the same way we got into it—an immediate and all-American “pursuit of happiness” for satire’s central character. Adam’s constant happiness becomes the only way to keep the environment at bay, and it isn’t so simple as President Powers made it seem. The book puts happiness to the test in an existential journey full of natural disasters and an effort to dodge them, trying to find out if happiness was really worth it, or if it can even be captured at all.
The author put up the signs as a clever way to call out Trump on the environment and draw attention to his book, which is meant to expose what the he calls in one social media post, “the dark side of the American Dream.” The signs are not limited to D.C. Earlier this year, the author put up signs in Chicago and Los Angeles, and wound up in the Chicago Tribune and LA Magazine. The signs have also been spotted in Miami, which is half underwater in the book, with canals for streets, and is “considered the world’s new Venice,” since Venice, Italy is by then completely underwater.
Hayes may have predicted the election, however inadvertently, but let’s hope he can’t predict the future. Either way, Trump is hilariously parodied in the book. When introducing the character of President Powers, Hayes writes, “President Powers burst through the door like an exploding trophy. He wore a black suit laced with gold all over–gold in places it had no business being. Gold thread between the seams, gold buttons, gold pocket panels, gold linings, a stripe of pure gold paving down each pant leg, and a gold goddamn collar. All actual gold. It must have been a heavy suit, a terrifically, tremendously heavy suit.”
This April Fool’s warns of April showers instead of golden showers for our President, and throws enough shade to make sure there are no May flowers.
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