Deep adaptation is the process by which humans will change the way we live in order to survive the drastic climate changes imminent due to the ravages of industrial society. It is a white flag thrown up against the ever darkening, smog choked sky. It is admitting defeat, but also a plan for survival despite our best efforts to kill ourselves as a species. We at the Land Office think this is grounds for a party… a really rockin’ party.
This is an imagining of The Land Office a project of the Imaginal Services Bureaux which is in turn a project of Cooperation Humboldt. We are imagining the most just use of property for sale in Humboldt County. This is a work of art. You can read our Principles or just read on…
In the Cooperation Humboldt study group we discuss deep adaptation because we’d be stupid not to. How we approach the future must have a basis in addressing the reality facing us and our progeny. We can’t just assume everything will be okay because we just want it to be easy. We take responsibility. While we look for ways to survive the coming climate catastrophe, we turn to art… we turn to joy.
There is a house out in Petrolia dubbed “The Ark” by locals. The house is so named because it is supposedly built in such a way that when the next 500 year flood actually does happen and the water rises the entire house will float up off the foundation and down the river with the occupants embracing their fate. You can choose to believe this or not, but we always choose the fantastic here at the Land Office. Similar to this landmark house, anything we build at this former timber mill along Highway 101 just before you get into Eureka from the north will need to be ready for sea level rise. We expect to be along for the ride.
As we laugh into the face of oblivion we will build floating docks, towers with first and second floors ready to be abandoned, and a burgeoning gondola construction business serving all the local coastal areas now underwater. There is something romantic about Venice and soon south Arcata and Old Town will get a little taste of the City of Canals. How will Manila and Samoa fare? Will the shape of Humboldt Bay be drastically reformed? As long as we have a carnival we’ll be fine.
This building is going to be difficult to lift above sea level rise…
Sticking with the invocation of Venice, let’s make some creative ways to protect ourselves from the superbugs created by overuse of antibiotics and long dormant bacteria released from the (former) permafrost on the poles. Masks can serve the purpose of keeping germs out and allow some expression of the inner hopes, fears, and joys of our current condition. Venice has some pretty amazing mask makers. Our local theater school is well established at exploring the mask and conveniently has an Italian connection.
Families in kayaks, canoes, and row boats will gather before the stage on stilts to hear the story of how we realized our own complicity just in the nick of time to survive, but not without paying the cost of an adaptation that left so many behind. We will watch the dance and listen to the songs of a people making the best of what we have with the remains of what our forebears left for us. The performers on stage will reflect where we’ve been, but also point the way to our collective future, beneath the stars.
Lean in. Do the work. Look catastrophe in the face and say, “We survive. We adapt. We can learn and change. Despite Nature batting last, we are part of Nature and we will learn how to persevere.”
Just to be clear, there is room here for more amusements than just the theatre. What would you add? A floating midway? Aquaculture? Lovely towers yielding to the rising seas? Humboldt has quite a few artists. Just make sure your art can float.
Here are some links to the background material:
Assessor’s Map for 501-241-033
Some locals are thinking about sea level rise…
This art floats:
Previously was Butler Valley Road in Korbel, California.
Next is 732 B Street in Eureka, California. Link active on 2/26/2019.