• 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.

Predicting Climate
Predicting Climate

The art of weather forecasting has many convoluted and colourful histories, many of them inspired by the desire to foretell general human fate as much as the future of the skies. There is also a long cultural history of claims-making about the climatic future. Prophecies and predictions of future climates have been issued in all cultures, based on different understandings of the causes of climatic change (see Chapter 4). I have already drawn attention to some of these claims in earlier chapters, for example the myth of Noah’s Flood, the Hollywood movie The Day After Tomorrow and narratives of an impending climatic apocalypse. Strictly scientific predictions of future climate, however, are more recent in origin, yet they should be seen as ...

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