Madalina Diaconu, Private lecturer in philosophy, University of Vienna.
Scientific models on climate change are too abstract to have a strong broad impact. But what is behind the diagrams and statistics? A socio-aesthetic perspective concretises the elusive hyper-phenomenon of climate change as weather scenarios and translates measurable weather effects into the intensity of emotional atmospheres. A contemporary aesthetic is called upon to question clichés of "nice weather" with regard to their consequences (such as long-distance travel) and to brand para-aesthetic practices (such as disaster tourism) as irresponsible. A cultivation of perception in everyday life also sharpens our sense for the atmospheric and what is literally "in the air". Against its reduction to egocentricity and hedonism, examples show how an aesthetic consciousness can equally form communities globally, intergenerationally and even across species. Above all, despite popular cli-fi, fear is not the only ethically justifiable response. But how can aesthetics offer hope?