Climate Stress Puts Me Down, So I Made Clicker Game
By notice, a the flood came. We prepared with tall plastic gutter extenders that flowed away from the house, but the water still seeped into the basement. I have a little piece of Wi-Fi-connected wall art featuring colored LEDs where all the trains are in New York City. We watched as line after line darkened. We then spent a long night saving the storage boxes and bailing out the ponds with a takeout container. When the water didn’t boil, we checked Twitter, where you can see storms in parallel — subway fountains, sink geysers, creeks in the hallway. There is a picture of a man trying to deliver food on a water waist bike. It all felt great cyberpunk: plastic tendrils coming out of the house, social media threading in real -time crisis, gig worker targeted at the danger of apps controlling their lives, the street becoming liquid. But of course the sun rose.
We wandered, trembling. Our next door neighbor said he’s been here 20 years and has never seen it before, making it a once in two decades kind of event. No one has a sump pump. My shrink, who once owned a house a block away, said he can remember a big flood in the neighborhood maybe 30 or 35 years ago. It could be even taller. So: a three times a century event. (Of course the tendency doesn’t work that way; I’m just trying to figure out how weird things can get.)
My depression brings me back, several times a day: I will stay calm no matter what. and Whatever happens, I can. and I will extend my expectations. That’s all his stuff. Things happen, stay calm, manage it. I started watching him because I was yelling at my kids about stupid things (I stopped, usually), but it wasn’t a bad way to flood either. we done remain calm under (hydrostatic) pressure. Another flood is sure to come, however, which means it’s time to extend our expectations.
My wife and I did this through shared spreadsheets. There was a lot to do — for example, I threw away the basement couch when it grew mushrooms — but most of the work was reduced to the universal home care unit: the Guy. Gutter guy, floor guy, roof guy, and plumber (there the “man” is silent). They assumed I was a man too, but my wife was working in construction, so I hid until they arrived. He later approached and drew diagrams on an epaper tablet to explain what would happen. I nod and say simple words like questions, like “Pipes?” or “Sewer?” That is our love language.
Spreadsheets are great for dealing with our basement, but I don’t think they will grow in every basement on Earth. And because, like a lot of people, I’m excited climate change, I am looking for software tools that can help us all plan. A friend recommended Temperate, which sounds great — let’s call it a “climate mitigation wizard” for communities, to make sure you think about floods, storms, heat waves, and fires. I bothered with the free trial, but I’m not a community. Then I read through toolkit.climate.gov. The problem there is that the government offers about 500 “tools” – some websites, some PDFs – from shareable sunscreen memes to calculators that tell you the pathogen risk in your local baybayon. It’s like browsing pamphlets at a health clinic. I’ve found some helpful checklists, but I’m not a beach fan yet (though), so it’s not as useful as it could be.