De Wit, Sara, Pascht, Arno and Haug, Michaela (2018). Translating Climate Change Anthropology and the Travelling Idea of Climate Change - Introduction. Sociologus, 68 (1). S. 1 - 21. BERLIN: DUNCKER & HUMBLOT GMBH. ISSN 1865-5106

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In the prairies of Alberta, Canada, winters are cold, wood is scarce. This place is home to Native Americans - many of them are highly educated nowadays. One summer, a young Native American Chief, college-educated and incapable of reading the signs of Mother Nature, was asked by his people how cold the next winter will be. Embarrassed of not mastering the traditional skills for predicting the weather, and to be on the safe side, he said to his people: 'Well, I think this will be a pretty cold winter this year.' He then sought help from his college friend, a meteorologist at the local Weather Channel station. 'Tell me, Joshua, don't you think we are facing a cold winter this year?' Equally unable to predict the weather so far ahead, and also to be on the safe side, Joshua the meteorologist confirmed the Chief's opinion: 'Oh, I think this will be a really cold winter', was his answer. So the Chief went back to his people and announced: 'Folks, this year, I know, the winter will be particularly cold - let's all join forces to collect as much wood as we can'. A few weeks later the Chief asked Joshua for a more accurate prediction of the winter. The meteorologist answered: 'I am certain this will be an extremely cold winter!' Back with his people, the Chief announced: 'People - I have signs that this winter will be so cold that none of our ancestors, as long as our memory reaches, have encountered. Let's collect all the wood we can find!' Just before the winter, the Chief consulted his meteorologist friend again, and we the meteorologist told him: 'This is going to be a record-breaking winter!' Curious about his certainty, the Chief asked: 'Joshua, tell me, how can you be so certain about this?' To which the meteorologist replied: 'You know, my friend, I have never seen this before in my entire life: all the Native Americans have been collecting wood like crazy this year' (adopted from Huang 2013, 415-416, in de Wit 2017, 151).

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-184005
Journal or Publication Title: Sociologus
Volume: 68
Number: 1
Page Range: S. 1 - 21
Date: 2018
Place of Publication: BERLIN
ISSN: 1865-5106
Language: English
Faculty: Unspecified
Divisions: Unspecified
Subjects: no entry
Uncontrolled Keywords:
KNOWLEDGE; POLITICSMultiple languages
Anthropology; SociologyMultiple languages
Refereed: Yes


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