• 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.

Fearing Climate
Fearing Climate

On Saturday 3 February 2007, the day after the United Nations’ IPCC published its Fourth Assessment Report, one of the UK’s five quality national daily newspapers ran a full front page story warning of the consequences of a changing climate. The Independent offered five different climatic scenarios for the year 2100, five worlds warming in one degree increments by between 2.4 and 6.4°C. Printed against a backdrop of an orange-coloured fireball Earth, they pronounced what the high-end of this range would mean for life on Earth:

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