- 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.
Chapter 12: Reading Future Climates
Reading Future Climates
Historians are not known for telling stories about the future. They are usually more interested in constructing tales about the past. Historical ‘facts’ are woven together to provide convincing accounts of ‘how one thing led to another’, seeking insights into why people acted the way they did and with what consequence. But there are no facts about the future for historians to discover or construct. The future is usually left to the imagination of novelists or inventors, to the visions of seers or to the predictive models of scientists.
In a mini-book published in 2013, The Collapse of Western Civilisation: A View from the Future (Oreskes and Conway, 2014), historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway did turn their attention to ...