11 Climate Change and Future Pasts: Preliminary Considerations on a Historiography of the Future

in Climate Change and Cultural Transition in Europe
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After decades of a rather bright and optimistic futurology “future” in our days is mostly evaluated in much more sceptical and pessimistic terms. This is true for science-based scenarios (e.g. on the consequences of climate change or the degradation of biodiversity or the carrying capacity of the planet Earth in general) as well as for fiction (and science fiction). The reaction of political decision-makers was what is called in this article “futurisation”; the concept of boundaries (to economic growth or greenhouse gas emissions or the amount of public and private debt) almost naturally introduces a political approach focusing on the chances of future generations. Climate change has brought a cultural reorientation regarding the dominant time consciousness of postmodern societies, as is shown mainly in reference to the German case.

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