New Climatic Regime

[nu klɑɪˈmæt̬·ɪk reɪˈʒim]

Related terms: Nature/Culture, Terrestrial, Terrestrial Time, Umwelt (German)

There used to be an older climatic regime, the rather stable situation since the end of the last glaciation that geologists have defined as the Holocene. By relying so heavily on fossil fuels, humans have shifted, without realizing it, to a New Climatic Regime. Climate has ceased to be a given to which people had to adjust as best as they could, and that was varying inside certain limits, and has become the most urgent and most disputed subject of their politics. At this point, how humans position themselves toward the climate situation defines their core values much better than whether they are on the left or the right. Paradoxically, the most obviously natural phenomenon – the climate – has become the most clearly political object – the State of the climate. In the same way that France went from the Ancien Régime to the Nouveau Régime after its Revolution, the older expression of »regime change« has become the slogan of the age.

[This entry is a contribution by Bruno Latour to the Glossolalia.]