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Politics, geological past, and the future of earth

Politik, geologische Vergangenheit und die Zukunft der Erde

Dörries, Matthias


Bitte beziehen Sie sich beim Zitieren dieses Dokumentes immer auf folgenden Persistent Identifier (PID):http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-426082

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Abstract From the 1940s, new technologies, like carbon dating, ice- and sea-core drilling, and pollen analysis not only vastly expanded time horizons in geophysical and climatological research, but also pinpointed past events on a newly historical timescale. Using natural proxy indicators, these studies brought to light a series of globally disruptive events in geological time, for example, volcanic eruptions of previously unknown scale and types that had also an impact on the Earth’s climate. The past became discrete. Knowing more about the past also meant knowing more about possible futures, given that some catastrophic events have occurred repeatedly or have become increasingly predictable with the help of computer modeling. This meant that scientists' claims about the future of the earth increasingly came to interfere with politics and with traditional economic planning. The paper argues that the “new” past has come to weigh in two ways on the present and the future. First, it dwarfed the human time scale, thus in-creasing the challenge of dealing with heterogeneous time scales. Second, prehis-toric past events came to take on political significance. The deep past became part of political history, and thus of politics.
Thesaurusschlagwörter politics; natural sciences; climate; future; political history
Klassifikation Naturwissenschaften, Technik(wissenschaften), angewandte Wissenschaften; allgemeine Geschichte
Freie Schlagwörter deep time; history of paleoclimatology; volcanology; geoengineering
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2015
Seitenangabe S. 22-36
Zeitschriftentitel Historical Social Research, 40 (2015) 2
Heftthema Climate and beyond: knowledge production about the earth as a signpost of social change
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.12759/hsr.40.2015.2.22-36
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Veröffentlichungsversion; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz Creative Commons - Namensnennung, Nicht-kommerz.