• 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.

Representing Climate
Representing Climate

I described the paradox of climate in Chapter 1, namely that while you and I both live in climates I cannot show you this climate in which we live. I can feel the force of the wind or the grip of the cold on my body – these are the direct, unmediated sensations of weather acting upon me. But I cannot ‘see’ or directly experience my climate, neither the climate of the place in which I live nor, even less, the climate of the planet. This then constitutes the representational problem of climate. Climate is an intuitive idea, familiar to all human cultures, which helps make sense of the world. And yet, while intuitive, it is an idea which can only ...

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