Climates Create Cultures



The circumstances in which societies adapt their cultural values and practices to cold, temperate, and hot climates include the availability of money to cope with climate. Country-level studies have shown that feeling good, doing good, altruistic volunteering, intrinsic work motivation, cooperative enculturation, and democratic leadership are least prevalent in poorer countries with more demanding climates, moderately prevalent in poor and rich countries with temperate climates, and most prevalent in richer countries with more demanding climates. The common denominator is that inhabitants of lower-income countries in more demanding climates emphasize survival values at the expense of self-expression values, whereas the inhabitants of higher-income countries in more demanding climates emphasize self-expression values at the expense of survival values. These findings have practical implications for the cultural consequences of global warming and economic growth, and for the effectiveness of financing for human development.