Terraforms – Or, How to Talk About The Weather

Burrington, Ingrid

"No one really makes small talk about the weather anymore. Although it remains a frequently maligned trope of desperate silence-filling conversation, in the era of commonplace climate change the weather can quickly become large and sometimes contentious talk. A warm sunny day in February might be a pleasant respite from a frigid Berlin winter, but it’s also a reminder of the massive planetary shifts humans have initiated. It invites uneasy laughter and uneasier social footing. Should we enjoy this weather? Am I complicit in destruction for enjoying it? Does this person I’m talking to believe in climate change or think I’m the victim of an elaborate Chinese hoax? Talking about the weather is no longer an articulation of an obviously shared reality but a signifier of how we understand the world in which we live and how we imagine that world will look in the future. Climate change has made small talk into speculative fiction."