New Year, New Satire | Opinion

Artwork generated using AI software.

It’s the first week of January 2040, in the land of Idiocracy. President Ron DeSantis is in his fourth term, having purchased the presidency from Don Jr. after Sr. died in office, crushed by a marble statue of himself. Security footage showed some intimacy between the president and the stone just before it toppled, pulverizing all but his hair.

The seawall treaty

Following the success of Project 2025, through which Republicans outlawed renewable energy, EVs and the color green, DeSantis began negotiating with Mexico and Canada to set sea wall levels. They have held this annual meeting since 2030, after successive monster hurricanes wiped out a quarter of the population along the eastern seaboard, from Newfoundland through the Carolinas south to the Yucatan.

The United States initiated the seawall treaty, promoted domestically as the “Americas Ban Science Under Republican Decree” (acronym withheld), after the last employed physicist warned that erecting a partial wall along parts of the ocean would be like having no wall at all. Water is liquid, she explained slowly, repeatedly, and with visual aids, it will just go around.

Finally conceding that a massive seawall along the US coast alone would be futile, given the migratory determination of South American water, treaty signatories agreed to erect a 3900-mile eastern seaboard levee running from the northern tip of Canada south to Panama, with a companion vertical flood wall, featuring adjustable heights between 20 and 50 feet above sea level. Community amenities along the sea wall include boardwalks with Madame Tussauds and Ferris wheels, zoos with lifelike stuffed replicas of extinct animals, and a Bubba Gumps on every corner.

The global pivot

It became clear around 2025 that the Paris Treaty goals for reducing carbon emissions would not be met, causing developed nations to pivot away from preventing climate change toward regional mitigation pacts instead. The US led the seawall treaty talks after the Army Corps of Engineers successfully erected the first prototype, a 25-foot sea wall to protect Miami, quickly followed by sea walls along the coasts of Norfolk, VA and Charleston, SC.

The political tension between developers (views of tall metal walls hurt sales, even when painted navy blue), and obnoxious, virtue signaling NGOs demanding habitable land for the climate displaced, continued for decades. DeSantis finally enforced a compromise, setting aside 30,000 square miles of interior Florida land for climate refugees from Central America, provided they agreed to clean houses and pick fruit in the northern half of the state for free, after the southern half of Florida got too hot to grow anything besides iguana.

When he was still governor, DeSantis started bussing migrant mosquitos from Venezuela to feed the iguanas until an old, non-banned textbook surfaced, showing that iguanas did not actually eat them. The cover of the book depicted an iguana with two mommies, sending the governor on a rampage to confiscate and destroy all copies of the book. Few people today know about the incident as history books, science books, and all books discussing reptilian reproduction habits were outlawed shortly thereafter.

In 2035, the developed world reneged on the U.N. commitment to compensate developing countries for climate damage caused by fossil-fuels. The next year, Koch Industries, armed with heavy federal subsidies the fake news media called kickbacks, purchased the complaining countries by suing them for defamation and confiscating their lands as compensatory damage; climate change was a leftist hoax concocted to redistribute Kochs’ wealth. Developing nations that played no part in their own climate destruction organized sales of baked goods and bananas to finance a pushback against big oil’s disinformation campaign, but the $400 they raised proved insufficient.

China has defeated climate change

China is the only country in the world today that remains untouched by climate change. In the early 21st century, Chinese authorities amassed the world’s largest DNA database, and perfected facial recognition technologies. China then began implanting tracking and recognition devices directly into the right elbow of every infant born. The new surveillance allowed authorities to read patterns of electrical brain activity, revealing emotional responses, which were then electronically altered via remote control. By 2035, no one in China cared about climate destruction. In 2040, no one remembers pandas, Tiananmen Square or that 28,000 Chinese rivers have disappeared.

Tired of all the Greta Thunberg whiners crying about polar bears and bees, last year DeSantis ordered Senators convening in Little D.C.- aka Havana- to acquire China’s cognition technology at any cost.

By New Year’s Eve 2050, the US will have joined China’s ranks in eradicating climate change, and no one will remember manatees, sequoias, or how water tastes without salt. Working women will be happily back home where God and Samuel Alito put them, pregnant and cooking, while their husbands relax, wax their fins and smoke their Montecristos.

Sabrina Haake is a 25-year litigator specializing in 1st and 14th Amendment defense. Her columns appear in OutSFL, Chicago Tribune, Salon, State Affairs, and Howey Politics. She and her wife split their time between South Florida and Chicago. Follow her on substack.


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