Floating Home: an Imagined Community

Carrie Collier
Climate experts agree that anthropogenic climate change threatens the long-term survival of the human species. Industrial production processes fueled by coal and oil have already wiped out thousands of other unique life-forms world-wide. Graphs demonstrating an exponential rise in global extinction-rates within the last three centuries are nearly identical to graphs representing global industrial development. Continuing escalation of the extinction rate, in comparison with average rates over
more » ... course of several million years, leads scientists to posit an in-progress mass extinction event (fig. 1 ). We urgently need to develop resilient, adaptable, climate-neutral systems for feeding and housing a growing global population. That necessity conflicts with global aspirations to an idealized version of the American lifestyle, as represented in American entertainment media. Globally distributed films, television programs, and popular music showcase an idealized vision of lives defined by material wealth and unconstrained consumption. The single-family home figures prominently in past and present configurations of the "American dream," broadcast world-wide. In reality, prevailing U.S. housing models are over-due for radical revision. Our homes are sites of concentrated resource consumption, waste production, and greenhouse gas emission. They are also environments where gender-based
doi:10.25772/hkpc-1558 fatcat:ovnbjbzdancyfat36ghzk7uv3u