Mojib Latif says that the volcano eruptions will have no consequences for the climate. But he adds that their effects show how vulnerable we have become in respect to 'completely natural phenomena'. A British economist who is stuck in Tokyo told the New York Times that “We don’t understand how interconnected we are until you can’t do it anymore.” I do agree with both statements and want to extend the meaning of interconnectedness; we are not only interconnected in terms of economy etc, but we are also interconnected with the workings of nature inside the earth and its effects on the upper atmosphere.
The NYT article lists some of the consequences that the breakdown of air traffic has:
'While the closing of the airways has already laid waste to the immediate plans and business of industry, the arts and world leaders, the possibility that it could drag on for days, if not weeks, is raising concerns about the longer term consequences for public health, military operations and the world economy.'
Read in detail what they mean by that, and you get an idea of how many aspects of our earthly businesses are interconnected with events in the upper atmosphere. This adds well, as far as I understand it, to the insight in the recent article by von Storch et al that climate science is more than a sub-field of physics; everything climate is interconnected with culture.
The philosopher Peter Sloterdijk says that meteorologists and climate scientists present a weather- and climate theater, while all of us turn into weather experts and comment upon the show. Sturken, an American anthropologist, called this passive or consumerist way of weather experience ' watching weather porn'. Until we realize that we are indeed part of the show that we watch, and that we are uncomfortably close to those forces that enable and restrict our culture. Culture? Culture is just like climate: our culture both enables us to react to these natural events, and it puts constraints on us - just as climate does. We always perceive natural events in the framework of our cultural heritage, of our beliefs and our current knowledge; we react culturally. The Kulturwissenschaftler Thomas Macho consequently comes to the conclusion that climate = culture. This is confusing, indeed. However, physics alone won't help to get a plane back home.