Climates of Opinion: La Niña and Permanent Change
This chapter looks at the retention of climate optimism in the face of growing certainty about climate change. It examines how the memory of rain and lived experience of climate cycles can operate to challenge more abstract ideas about climate presented by climate scientists and in the media. It also relates how hope can be a powerful influence during prolonged dry periods. Further it demonstrates that climate optimism is part of the cultural construction of climate that now includes climate change. It shows that still in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the experience of weather events, such as drought-breaking La Niñas, can dampen fears about an adverse climate, reinforce a belief in natural cycles as responsible for climate change and impact the implementation of climate change mitigation policy.