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Climate change and the imagination

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Abstract

This review article surveys the complex terrain of the imagination as a way of understanding and exploring the manifestations of anthropogenic climate change in culture and society. Imagination here is understood as a way of seeing, sensing, thinking, and dreaming that creates the conditions for material interventions in, and political sensibilities of the world. It draws upon literary, filmic, and creative arts practices to argue that imaginative practices from the arts and humanities play a critical role in thinking through our representations of environmental change and offer strategies for developing diverse forms of environmental understanding from scenario building to metaphorical, ethical, and material investigations. The interplay between scientific practices and imaginative forms is also addressed. Thematically, this review addresses the modalities of climate futures, adaptive strategies, and practices of climate science in its study of key imaginative framings of climate change. WIREs Clim Change 2011 2 516–534 DOI: 10.1002/wcc.117

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