1. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Legacy of Trump and racism into cli-fi plot - believable?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Hubardo, Jan 1, 2016.

    Update/note/afterthought/precaution:

    The premise with Donald Trump getting elected within our lifetimes was not at all the starting point of this story, and I'm not trying to write some anti-Trump thing. I don't care enough about him to, at all. The main point here is supposed to be that shit is hitting the fan with climate change and there are absolutely clear racial divisions in how that shit is hitting the fan. Trump, in my mind, was just an easy way to amplify the historical explanation of how racial tensions ended up so much worse in the future. Hope that clarifies that this story is not about Trump.

    ---

    Premises:

    -Trump was elected two terms in a row and had a long lasting, widespread impact on US policy and American culture
    -Racial tensions between whites and everybody else has gotten way worse
    -Superstorms are insane on the east coast now; certain eastern US cities are uninhabitable
    -There are now semi-permanent climate refugee camps inland which are highly racially segregated
    -Left/moderates use a sarcastic term -- Neo-Trumpites -- to refer to an intense resurgence of Trump-like rhetoric and policies; term has become fairly commonplace (like term neoconservative)
    -Somewhere around 2050 or so, Neo-Trumpites have politically taken over the US again after the left had a decade or two of power

    Here's the tricky plot setup I'm trying to pull off:

    -Neo-Trumpites appointed a handful of idiots into top admin positions in the NOAA
    -There has been a superstorm that displaced tens of thousands of predominantly African American and Latino people--> thousands of them were led into a somewhat more inland stadium for temporary shelter
    -A second storm was detected coming and NOAA officials decided not to notify local emergency service personnel because (most controversial, possibly unbelievable element) they viewed it as an ethnic cleansing opportunity, letting them all die from a massive hurricane

    --

    The MC somehow found out about this and her primary motive is to prove and expose it. There's other stuff but this is what's relevant for readers in this thread to know for now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Does the news media no longer employ any meteorologists?
     
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  3. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm. Perhaps not. Or, somebody is able to tinker with live satellite data?
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's believable enough (in a worst-case-scenario kind of way), but I wonder if it's going to make your story either too political, or, hopefully, too dated (after Trump isn't elected and becomes a footnote).

    Could you have a similar setup with a more generic racist, sexist, neo-con asshole?
     
  5. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    A satellite that they own perhaps. But every commercial satellite? Unlikely bordering on impossible.
     
  6. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dated-ness seems like an issue maybe... thanks. Normally I wouldn't make it this blatantly political but for the short story contest I think it's relevant. I'm not sure if it's possible to write climate fiction without integrating politics. Today's politics will determine the degree of severity of climate impacts tomorrow.

    Does every commercial satellite report weather data? I'm realizing I have no idea at all how this works.

    It's a dystopian climate fiction story, written for a contest. I'm not advocating for ethnic cleansing or insane political policies; I'm trying to paint a terrifying picture of what actual current events today could lead to tomorrow. That's sort of the point of climate fiction. But let's maybe not debate here? Just trying to see how believable the plot elements are here.
     
  7. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well--I can see how this is a pretty extreme version of anti-Trump sentiment, but... Trump is the candidate saying the racist things, and he is the one who's a climate-change-denyer. So these issues link more closely to him than to Obama, surely?
     
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  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    No, but while there are a bunch of government weather satellites, there's also a huge number of commercial weather satellites in orbit as well. That's not including the weather satellites that are operated by other countries. Hacking every satellite then becomes a herculean effort, pretty much achievable.
     
  9. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    But the entire point of the story, as I'm reading it, is to extend a political idea.

    I understand it might not be an idea you accept, but it would be pretty hard to present the story idea while leaving the politics out of it completely, wouldn't it?
     
  10. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I second this, Hubardo. It's believable and kind of intriguing (in the absolute ‘holy shit!’ way), but what if Trump doesn't get elected and he's just known as ‘that whacky dude that made all the controversial presses in 2015’? Or what if he does get elected president, and people start paying attention to your book? It might be better to just create a fictional president instead.

    Not trying to convince you to write one way or another, I'm just echoing BayView's sentiments. =]

    I do wonder though, how would this dude have any control over superstorms? Wouldn't borrowing from Hitler's actions be more sensible than relying on Nature to do his bidding for him?
     
  11. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I thought the whole point behind Trump's candidacy was that he wasn't politically correct.

    Either way, thank you for pointing out that I shouldn't pay attention to anything you say again.
     
  12. danbloom
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    danbloom New Member

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  13. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe the way weather satellites operate is different in the future. Seeing how Republicans recently demanded all kinds of info from the NOAA, as well as other organizations (to create more ClimateGate hysteria), I could see them possibly saying that they're taking over weather satellites to funnel all data into one source they could control. I mean, maybe not in real life, but... well, yeah, maybe in real life. Murdoch just bought National Geographic, so...
     
  14. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Well then that just leaves the weather satellites belonging to other countries. I don't imagine Al Jezeera is going to let American politics get in the way of their reporting, and they aren't using any satellites we could get in to. All it takes is one Chines immigrant calling home and going, "Hey guys, my family says the whole east coast is about to be obliterated, maybe the government should do something about that?" and then the whole plot falls apart.
     
  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    :stop:

    Please let us keep this thread to feasibility of premiss, not agreement or disagreement with said premiss.
     
  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I would add to this as an amplification, not a correction, that there is also the phenomenon of immediate and widespread social media upload to the net. If that storm is happening anywhere where there are cellphones and upload access, you don't even need to worry about the satellites. Youtube will do the reporting for you.
     
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  17. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Really good point. Only counter to this I could think is how somehow, social media and the internet work much differently in the future compared to how they do now. I had the idea of there being some class divisions along these lines where the haves still have access and the have-nots don't, but haven't put enough thought into that being believable at all.

    A more believable scenario then may be that somebody ordered certain evacuation crews to stand down for some made up reason, like "there's nowhere else to put them" even if there is. The real motivation could then be straight up racial prejudice, as would be revealed through some leaked communication or something. There's mild precedent from Katrina, in how many claimed the slow response had to do with race. I think there was an element of this with Sandy as well. Point isn't whether it was an actual factor in these cases, but if it was believable in these scenarios by people then in 50 years it will probably still be believable. In modern cases I think the issue is more structural but in my story I want it to be secretly deliberate.
     
  18. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Well I think a part of the difference between Sandy and Katrina is that social media didn't exist in 2005 (the different administrations also make a big difference).
    It's one thing to tell the head of FEMA "I just took a dump in a stairwell, while my boss was too busy at lunch to deal with the crisis."

    It's a very different thing to tweet, "Just got blown off by @FEMA, too busy at lunch to help anyone at thunderdome #justshitinthestairwell"

    The difference is that millions of people read the tweet and get pissed and elect somebody else.
     
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  19. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sandy was in 2012, and there was social media. And here's a snippet from Wikipedia:

    "On December 6, 2013, an analysis of data provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency showed that fewer than half of those affected who requested disaster recovery assistance had received any. As of that date, 30,000 residents of New York and New Jersey remained displaced.[293]"

    Edit to add: Bush did a bunch of stuff the left considered abysmal beyond comprehension during first term and was still re-elected. And, there are people in top admin positions currently who do shady shit who don't get canned even after big controversies. So I don't think it's far fetched. There could have been a ton of redistricting so that poorer people can't vote, which is another trend taking place in certain regions right now. Amplify that into the future and...
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  20. Medazza
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    Medazza New Member

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    Some interesting ideas- can you actually make it clear that it's Trump inspired or is it better to move the timeline forward and make it more anonymous if that makes sense?

    You don't want Trump's lawyers all over you?
     
  21. danbloom
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  22. CGB
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    CGB Active Member

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    So you asked for an opinion, so here goes - no I don't think this plot is believable nor do I think anyone would find it convincing other than very hard left-wing types.

    If you are talking about commercial fiction plot, I think you will alienate far more people than not.

    But you said something about a contest, so maybe that is the ideological bent of the organization running it.
     
  23. Toomanypens
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    Toomanypens Member

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    Change the name and make it timeless while winking and nudging at current politics.

    The fact is, millions die every decade to bad political leaders EVERY SINGLE DECADE, and most of them relatively innocent. Whether its africa, the middle east, south america, europe, asia, it IS HAPPENING, every decade...

    Call it something like "devide and conquer - the facts of a lie" or something,
    And play the story in a way most can relate to, not strictly, left vs right.
    Describe the structures of deception underlying all politics and how it devides peaceful factions into periods where disaster is innevitable.

    Show in the book that the devision conquers the truth, and we still continue to allow the innocent to die because we allow a lie



    If you are doing climate change read the recent science though and don't use hyperbole
    Korea has tons of fishermen washing up on the shore of Japan dead right now,
    They are starving and taking risks and get lost at sea, and their boats wash up
    Thats real, and ominous

    Hurricane Katrina was big, yes, but ther are other threats.
    Having LA as a ghost town for example from drought
    Or having the oceans' acidification increasing the cost of fish, and impacting communities that rely upon them in devestating ways, and that impacting migration...

    It won't all be happening by 2050, but 2150? Oh yeah... the science shows bad stuff about that

    But you don't want to exaggerate
    It damages the credibility of the idea
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
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  24. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    Great points @Toomanypens . I am getting the sense that using Trump's name might be a weakness to the story overall. The effects can be achieved without the name.

    The timeline is tricky though (RE: 2050 vs 2150) due to my own limited imagination. With only 2 weeks until the deadline I am constrained. I think I can imagine a 2050 world, whereas I don't honestly think I can imagine a 2150 world. In my heart of hearts I believe humans may be more or less extinct by then -- in our pure, organic form. Some theorists (see the link in my signature) believe virtual telepathy (like text messaging someone from your mind) will be achievable by the 2050s. I don't personally think this is far fetched. That in mind, I cannot really fathom how to write a story that takes place when all the coastal regions of the world are completely submerged. I don't think anything my imagination latches onto will be accurate, at all. Therefore, I'm trying to stick to a timeline I feel comfortable with, and may need to exaggerate the impacts of climate change just a tad.

    I consulted with a friend in public health who does has some involvement writing climate change impact reports and she doesn't find the superstorms-happening-all-the-time by the 2050s unbelievable. Her view is that since reports have a lag period of 2-3 years for peer-review, and since we keep finding that there are climate feedback loops not previously accounted within modeling programs, most of what we think will happen, is likely to happen sooner than predicted. If you add into the mix the prospect of climate deniers taking power, you are likely to see cuts in carbon emission reduction programs. So I do think my 2050 scenario is feasible. I'm definitely not saying LA will be a ghost town. It will be shittier in some ways linked to climate, but desal will be so commonplace by then that water will not be the driving factor some think. That's my prediction at least.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
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  25. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    The more specific you are about what you find unbelievable, the more helpful that will be as I write my story. When we critique each other we like to say more than "I dis/liked it!" so the writer can learn something. Same applies here, no?

    Feel free to take the idea that climate change is a left wing ideology not supported by real science etc sort of thing to the debate room if you like. Plenty of folks will engage you there. I will not, and ask you don't bring that kind of debate into this thread. I ask that others also not engage that here.
     

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