• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Climate is an enduring idea of the human mind and also a powerful one. Today, the idea of climate is most commonly associated with the discourse of climate-change and its scientific, political, economic, social, religious and ethical dimensions. However, to understand adequately the cultural politics of climate-change it is important to establish the different origins of the idea of climate itself and the range of historical, political and cultural work that the idea of climate accomplishes. In Weathered: Cultures of Climate, distinguished professor Mike Hulme opens up the many ways in which the idea of climate is given shape and meaning in different human cultures – how climates are historicized, known, changed, lived with, blamed, feared, represented, predicted, governed and, at least putatively, re-designed.

Living with Climate
Living with Climate
Introduction

It is easy to demonstrate that there is no universal ‘ideal’ climate. Ask any random group of people in your neighbourhood and you will find diverse and often contradictory descriptions of their favoured climate. This diversity will express itself in different preferences for year-to-year reliability, seasonal contrasts, levels of sun and cloud, gentle rain versus dramatic storms, and so on. But it will perhaps be most noticeably expressed in terms of thermal ideals: at what temperature does someone feel most comfortable? Research from around the world has shown that reported outdoor thermal ideals range widely, from 6 to 30°C (Shove, 2003). Differences in preferred thermal climates arise for many reasons of course: human physiology and age, clothing conventions, amount ...

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