Author:Renzo Taddei (Federal University of Sao Paulo)
Paper short abstract:
Using materials from ethnographic work among meteorologists and the "rain prophets" in Northeast Brazil, this paper explores the activity of forecasting as a social performance, and its role in the attempt to manipulate the salience of climate uncertainties to local populations.
Paper long abstract:
This paper analyses the activity of forecasting as a social performance, in which talking about the future affects living and acting in the present. Focusing on the main metaphors and tropes used in climate forecasting - using materials from ethnographic work among meteorologists and the "rain prophets" in Northeast Brazil -, the research explores the pragmatic interplay between science genres, religious narratives and political processes, in the collective but uncoordinated attempt to manipulate the degrees to which uncertainties about the climate and about the potential effects of climate events are salient to local populations.
How to tame, play or skirt environmental uncertainties?