Bergen Bullying Research Group

New book: Climate, Affluence, and Culture

As a warm-blooded species, humans thrive in temperate climates and must take more adaptive measures if they are living in colder or hotter regions of the world. But how do human societies create links between climate and culture? And what cultures do they create?

Main content

For centuries, this remained one of the greatest unsolved problems of science.  Only now, in “Climate, Affluence, and Culture” by Evert Van de Vliert (Cambridge University Press, December 2008), is that classic problem beginning to be tackled successfully.

Everyone, everyday, everywhere has to cope with climatic cold or heat to satisfy survival needs, using money. This point of departure led to a decade of innovative research on the basis of the tenet that climate and affluence influence each other's impact on culture. Evert Van de Vliert discovered survival cultures in poor countries with demanding cold or hot climates, self-expression cultures in rich countries with demanding cold or hot climates, and easygoing cultures in poor and rich countries with temperate climates. These findings have implications for the cultural consequences of global warming and local poverty. Climate protection and poverty reduction are used in combination to sketch four scenarios for shaping cultures, from which the world community has to make a principal and principled choice soon.


Part I. Introduction: 1. Creators of culture; Part II. Climate, Cash, and Work: 2. Climate colors life satisfaction; 3. Cash compensates for climate; 4. Work copes with context; Part III. Survival, Cooperation, and Organization: 5. Survival, self-expression, and easygoingness; 6. Cooperation; 7. Organization; Part IV. Conclusion: 8. Bird’s-eye views of culture; Appendix A. Climate indices.


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