The most recent issue of The New Inquiry featured content on the topic of weather. Weather was once a topic for mundane conversation. Climate change, however, has made even the weather a topic prime for political disagreement. One of the essays by Stephanie Bernhard contemplates how climate change will be represented in fiction. I’ve not yet finished the piece, but it occurs to me that one of the changes will be increased sense of place in fiction.
Here in the Midwest we always talk about the weather. Wisconsin author David Rhodes once wrote, “Not mentioning such revolutionary experiences [i.e. Midwestern weather events] would be inhuman.” As extreme weather events increase, people will be forced to consider their surroundings, just as the farmer has always had to do.