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Forecasts and Controversies in the Ontogenesis of Climatic Realities

Wed, August 20, 11:00am to 1:00pm, Intercontinental Hotel, Moliere

Abstract

Climate scientists often complain that forecasts are constantly subject to a variety of forms of political interference. Focusing on the performative dimensions of science communication, and using an analytical approach centered on the ontological dimensions of social action, this talk attempts to address the questions of what talking about the future in times of climate change is (and creates). In other words, political controversies and new communication technologies recreate the climate(s), while the multiple forms of representing and enacting the risks associated with climate recreate governance(s). In this perspective, climate forecasts /are/ forms of political interference, not (only) in the critical sense, but ontologically. What implications do these things have for the lives of collectivities, given that these processes of recreation occur inside of the cleavages of what Descola called "ontological regimes", or what Latour termed "modes of existence"? This talk is grounded in ethnographic research carried out among climate scientists and the so-called “rain prophets” and “rainmakers” of Brazil.

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