Kenneth “Hurricane” Whackman was confirmed as Secretary of Weather only three weeks after Charlene Floore was sworn in as the fifty-eighth president of the United States. Two days later, Tyson “Popeye” Monsanto was confirmed as Secretary of Agribusiness, the position formerly called Secretary of Agriculture. One month after Monsanto’s confirmation, President Floore’s address to the nation included the following statement:
“I have directed the Secretaries of Weather and Agribusiness to coordinate their agencies’ efforts with the objective of doubling, within one year, the crop yields for America’s farmers. To that end, Vice President Stewart is authorized to provide any and all necessary resources to those agencies in the furtherance of this goal.”
Brenda Stewart, who lost the Republicrat primary to Floore, was rumored to have hoped Floore’s poor health would catch up with the president early in her term, elevating Stewart to the position she felt she deserved but out of which she had been cheated by manipulation of the Electoral College, the archaic institution that somehow survived in spite of its long and checkered history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Hurricane Whackman approached the president’s directive with an intensity of purpose seldom seen in government. He immediately instructed his top scientists to engage in an undertaking on the level of the Manhattan Project, seeking to control precipitation, temperatures, wind, and atmospheric moisture. Popeye Monsanto, on the other hand, was more practical. He devoted his attention to the annexation of Mexico, reasoning that access to and control of the country’s agricultural bonanza would be the quicker way to enhance the output of “America’s Breadbasket.”
Stewart’s role quickly turned into referee between Whackman and Monsanto. Whereas Whackman believed his role was to manage weather in support of agribusiness, Monsanto believed Whackman’s role was to create devastating floods in Mexico, making the country’s politicians more receptive to the idea of annexation.
Monsanto’s focus on improving crop yields by absorbing Mexico’s agricultural infrastructure was not looked upon favorably by U.S. agribusiness interests. As far as those interests were concerned, Monsanto’s strategy was a direct threat to U.S. agribusiness. Mexican fruits and vegetables, in particular, would be even more competitive with U.S. produce, causing economic dislocations, they feared. Monsanto’s refusal to bend in the face of agribusiness lobbying led directly to what would be called the “Farmers’ Rebellion.”
Farming had become even more advanced, in terms of technology and required levels of investment, by the time Monsanto was confirmed than it had been only a dozen years prior. Farmers, virtually all of them employed by one of the Big Three agribusiness conglomerates, operated equipment that dwarfed even the largest tractors, cultivators, buckrakes, backhoes, loaders, and the likes in use at the turn of the 22nd Century. And, thanks to a cozy relationship between agribusiness and the Defense Department, virtually all of the big equipment was equipped with heavy artillery, missiles, highly developed GPS-navigation, and other such high-tech toys.
I think this is getting out of hand. I’ll have to stop here and decide whether I want to make this into a story, a novel, a political thriller, a piece of science-fiction, a manifesto, or something altogether different. A clue: Hurricane Whackman may (or may not) be forced to choose between supporting Popeye Monsanto or the insurgent farmers. Either way, what role will weather control have in how this ugly scenario plays out? Who knows? I sure don’t.