Weather-Worlds in the Anthropocene and the End of Climate

This new essay has been written as a contribution to a collaborative double issue of the journal Weber with the Rachel Carson Center, on the theme ‘Transformations of the Anthropocene’.  It is scheduled to appear in autumn 2018 (Issue 34.1).  The essay asks, and develops a possible answer to, the question: ‘What is the future of climate when the possibility of “a climate” is no longer?’ I argue that the idea of climate only makes sense when there is a degree of stability in some set of conditions, whether these be atmospheric, economic, political or moral. When everything is changing and no stable condition is possible — the situation to which the idea of the Anthropocene seeks to give expression — then the cultural value of climate as a stabilising idea is diminished. People in the future will therefore have to learn to live without the idea of climate. At least learn to live without climate as an idea that brings order and stability to relationships between weather and human culture. Given that all cultures are weathered and that weather is increasingly being cultivated by people, new categories and practices of orientation and guidance than the old re-assuring idea of ‘climate’ will be needed in the Anthropocene.