Climate change has in recent years become much more than its scientific description. Matters of climate change and related environmental concerns are too important and too urgent to be left to climate science alone (Steiner & Nauser, Hornborg, Linnér, Lövbrand). While natural science offers us a key source of knowledge into these matters, there is growing understanding that ecological precarity is more than a set of objective facts and scientific predictions; social and cultural imaginaries (people’s perceptions) also actively shape the matters of climate change and the environment (Yusoff and Gabrys, 2011).
As outlined by Mike Hulme climate change is today a resourceful idea and imagination which can be moulded and mobilized to fulfil a bewildering array of political, social and psychological functions. As an idea climate change thus works as a powerful cultural and political space where competing understandings and embodied experiences of environmental problems, relations, places and responsibilities take form, stabilize, are contested and made anew.
In this research theme we trace social and cultural articulations of our changing climate across the worlds of science, policy, activism, artistic practice and every-day life. While engagements with climate change and its related weather events differ in terms of the knowledge they seek to create, the agents involved and the methods and practices through which they are undertaken, they all rely on forms of narrative: of telling compelling stories about the nature of contemporary environmental struggles and the means by which they can be mitigated, adapted to, or lived with.