Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mike Hulme: Reducing the Future to Climate: A Story of Climate Determinism and Reductionism

Mike Hulme has published a remarkable analysis in  Osiris, Vol. 26, No. 1, (2011), pp. 245-266: Reducing the Future to Climate: A Story of Climate Determinism and Reductionism

The abstract reads:  This article traces how climate has moved from playing a deterministic to a reductionist role in discourses about environment, society, and the future. Climate determinism previously offered an explanation, and hence a justification, for the superiority of certain imperial races and cultures. The argument put forward here is that the new climate reductionism is driven by the hegemony exercised by the predictive natural sciences over contingent, imaginative, and humanistic accounts of social life and visions of the future. It is a hegemony that lends disproportionate power in political and social discourse to model-based descriptions of putative future climates. Some possible reasons for this climate reductionism, as well as some of the limitations and dangers of this position for human relationships with the future, are suggested.

5 comments:

Tregonsee said...

Huh? Alan Sokal, please call your office.

Roger Pielke, Jr. said...

Another link to article:

http://mikehulme.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Hulme-Osiris-revised.pdf

Jerome Ravetz said...

Thanks Roger! I have just begun to read this very important contribution from Mike. It invites an analysis of the hegemony of mathematical-science as real knowledge in so many areas. This is only now beginning to be affected by the abundant evidence of fallacy, futility, error and corruption in important applications of that ideology. The struggle over different cosmologies and epistemologies underlying natural science has been continuous through the centuries. There was an illusion that it was terminated by the conquest of Cartesian-Galilean science; but that is now being challenged. 'Post-Normal Science' may take on a really important role in all this, along with the blogosphere. See the Economist on the new criticism based on the blogosphere, of economics, the leading elite folk-science of techno-capitalist society. http://www.economist.com/node/21542174/print

Reiner Grundmann said...

Jerry

interesting article about the state of economics in the Economist. Compare this to the debate in DER SPIEGEL about the role of lay participation and student dissatisfaction of how the subject is taught in Germany:

http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/unispiegel/d-82971119.html

Here a reply from a prof representing the traditional view (AKA keep the public out):
http://www.spiegel.de/unispiegel/studium/0,1518,807029,00.html

But we are in danger of going off-topic. Maybe worth pursuing in a separate thread.

Rob Dekker said...

The argument put forward here is that the new climate reductionism is driven by the hegemony exercised by the predictive natural sciences over contingent, imaginative, and humanistic accounts of social life and visions of the future.

Hans, call me ignorant, but what does this mean ?

And what is it that you find "remarkable" about this publication ?