As a contributing writer for The Inertia, I've enjoyed the challenge of tackling topics on the periphery of surf culture. It's a site that produces thoughtful content, elevating the discussions of an already world-conscious audience.
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See below for a sample piece.
Breaking: Landlocked Americans Stoked about Rising Sea Levels
Fredericksburg, Virginia – Standing in a Dunkin' Donuts parking lot, peering over a string of chain restaurants, Billy “Mudskipper” Kelly feels hopeful. “That’s where it would peak, right there,” says Kelly, pointing at a near-vacant Popeyes. Kelly is one of many residents of the historic Civil War town in Northern Virginia who are absolutely stoked about the inevitable, disastrous sea level rise caused by global climate change. “Yeah, the boys are pretty psyched,” Kelly continues, “it’s not often that it breaks out here [160 miles from the Atlantic Ocean coastline], so we’re due.”
Though current sea level rise projections sit at about 2m by 2100—well below the 40m needed to reach Fredericksburg—Kelly finds promise with the inflammatory actions and general attitude of the new president’s administration toward the environment. “Sure, it doesn’t look too good right now, but I think we’re trending in the right direction with the White House’s unapologetic climate change denial and their suppression of the EPA.”
According to the latest opinion polls, other landlocked towns such as King of Prussia, PA, and Statesboro, GA, are equally excited by the prospect of a crippling sea level rise, recording reactions to terms like “melting ice caps” that range from moderate pleasure to extreme stoke, with some even claiming to be “frothing out of their skulls.”
Kelly, who owns a small office supply store in Fredericksburg, has spent the few months since the 2016 election converting his small business into a surf shop. “I’ve been playing around with a few names, maybe something like ‘The Mudskipper Hut,’” laughs Kelly as he unboxes his latest shipment of wax and builds his new front display. “But I don’t know, I’ll probably just go with something local, like ‘Freddy’s Cove.’”
And while Kelly is concerned about the worldwide devastation that accompanies climate change, he also understands that it is a give-and-take situation. “Of course there are going to be some side effects, like the extinction of narwhals [and mass relocations leading to deadly overpopulation, the rampant spread of disease, a decimated world economy, major disruptions of almost every single natural ecosystem, extreme weather events, etc.], but dude, overhead and offshore? In Fredericksburg? Sign me up.”
“I know it’s not ideal, but I’m an optimist. And the reality is this toxic political climate is going to push global warming to an irreversible tipping point. And yes, the world is probably going to end a lot sooner than we expected. But at least I’ll get some mackin’ surf in my backyard on the way out.”