7 episodes

Psychology vs climate change: what we think, why we think it, and how it all adds up to a planet-sized emergency. Each episode host Dave Powell interviews experts in how our brains work - from PhDs in psychology to writers, activists and beyond. They'll talk about how their brains and our brains do (and don't) work, and how all of that might help make sense of the climate crisis - and possibly what to do about it.

Your Brain On Climate Dave Powell

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Psychology vs climate change: what we think, why we think it, and how it all adds up to a planet-sized emergency. Each episode host Dave Powell interviews experts in how our brains work - from PhDs in psychology to writers, activists and beyond. They'll talk about how their brains and our brains do (and don't) work, and how all of that might help make sense of the climate crisis - and possibly what to do about it.

    Pluralistic Ignorance, with Deborah Prentice

    Pluralistic Ignorance, with Deborah Prentice

    In the last episode of Season 1 we learn all about one of the weirdest but most important of all human brain-oddnesses: pluralistic ignorance. When you think something and lots of other people also think that thing but none of you think anyone else agrees with you, so nothing changes. Got that?

    Dave is joined by Professor Deborah Prentice from Princeton University to get his noggin around this deeply human trait. On the menu: just how common is it that we think we’re alone in an idea when we’re not? Is pluralistic ignorance to blame for imposter syndrome? And should climate campaigners  fear or embrace it?

    Extra reading as highlighted by the owl noises:
    -- 05.07: Deborah's 1993 study into drinking and pluralistic ignorance
    -- 18.37: Racial attitudes and pluralistic ignorance (1976 study)
    -- 22.01: Nudge theory explainer

    Your Brain on Climate is a podcast about human psychology vs the climate crisis: what we think, why we think it, and how it all adds up to a planet-sized emergency.  Contact the show:  @brainclimate on Twitter, or hello@yourbrainonclimate.com.

    The show is hosted by Dave Powell, who you can find @powellds on Twitter.  All music throughout the show and audio production is by Dave, because he's far too much of a control freak to let anyone else loose on it.

    Show logo by Arthur Stovell at www.designbymondial.com.   

    YBOC will return in early 2022. 

    • 40 min
    Connection, with Alison Crowther

    Connection, with Alison Crowther

    Being alive can be a lonely business, as can trying to do something about climate change. But how important to our brains is connecting with others?  And in our individualised world, might we be hugely undervaluing the importance of interpersonal connection in helping society take meaningful and effective action on climate change?

    Joining Dave this week is coach, facilitator, and expert in the growing field of positive psychology, Alison Crowther.  Alison works to encourage deeper connection and collaboration with others, learning from science and nature to form more resilient systems – be they at work or in the community.

    Extra reading as highlighted by the owl noises:
    -- 04:16: TED talk with Martin Selignan on positive psychology
    -- 12:17:  CLANG of wellbeing (connect, learn, be active, notice and give), courtesy of MIND
    -- 18:16:  The story of Rachel Carson and Silent Spring, from NRDC
    -- 31:51:  What is Eudaimonia?

    Your Brain on Climate is a podcast about human psychology vs the climate crisis: what we think, why we think it, and how it all adds up to a planet-sized emergency.  Contact the show:  @brainclimate on Twitter, or hello@yourbrainonclimate.com.

    The show is hosted by Dave Powell, who you can find @powellds on Twitter.  All music throughout the show and audio production is by Dave, because he's far too much of a control freak to let anyone else loose on it.

    Show logo by Arthur Stovell at www.designbymondial.com.   

    • 38 min
    Conflict, with Ian Leslie

    Conflict, with Ian Leslie

    Ever found yourself yelling at someone you love and thinking: hang on, what are we even fighting about? Or embroiled in a blood-pressure-raising ding-dong with a climate denier, which only succeeds in making you both hate each other even more than you did to start with? 

    Conflict: some of us find it easy, and some of us (like Dave) very difficult.  It has its own momentum and its own rules. What is for sure is there's good and bad ways of doing it. So what is the best way to ensure human brains meet each other for an amicable cuppa, not a plate-smashing flare-up?   And is it even worth arguing with someone who thinks climate change is a made up plot? (spoiler: yes)

    Joining Dave this week is author, podcast host and writer Ian Leslie. Ian's the author of the brilliant book Conflicted (amongst others) which digs into the psychology of conflict, and how to learn to do it wisely and productively.  You can follow him on Twitter @mrianleslie.

    No bonus owl noises in this one!

    Your Brain on Climate is a podcast about human psychology vs the climate crisis: what we think, why we think it, and how it all adds up to a planet-sized emergency.  Contact the show:  @brainclimate on Twitter, or hello@yourbrainonclimate.com.

    The show is hosted by Dave Powell, who you can find @powellds on Twitter.  All music throughout the show and audio production is by Dave, because he's far too much of a control freak to let anyone else loose on it.

    Show logo by Arthur Stovell at www.designbymondial.com.   

    • 49 min
    Change, with Andrew Simms

    Change, with Andrew Simms

    Everything changes and everything stays the same. Imagine being a squishy human brain trying to navigate that. Add on a barrage of advertising and social norms about what 'novelty' looks like, and no wonder it's so hard to make sense of what we might really want to change in our lives.

    And then there's climate change. There's a clue in the name: it means Different. Are we kitted out for that kind of change? Has our thirst for newness got us into this mess in the first place?  And what hope is there of changing how we live in time to do something about it?

    Discussing all this and more with Dave is megabrain author, analyst and campaigner Andrew Simms. He's the director of the Rapid Transition Alliance, founder of the New Weather Institute, and formerly Policy Director at the New Economics Foundation. He's also written a bucket-load of books about the climate crisis and what needs to change - and how to change it. Follow him on Twitter @andrewsimms_uk.

    A link, as highlighted by the owl noise:
    - 06:30 - The hedonic treadmill, a faintly depressing thing to read about.

    Your Brain on Climate is a podcast about human psychology vs the climate crisis: what we think, why we think it, and how it all adds up to a planet-sized emergency.  Contact the show:  @brainclimate on Twitter, or hello@yourbrainonclimate.com.

    The show is hosted by Dave Powell, who you can find @powellds on Twitter.  All music throughout the show and audio production is by Dave, because he's far too much of a control freak to let anyone else loose on it.

    Show logo by Arthur Stovell at www.designbymondial.com.   

    • 41 min
    Grief, with Ro Randall

    Grief, with Ro Randall

    When we lose someone or something we love, our brains want to grieve. Why?  What's going on when grieve - when we do it well, or don't do it properly? 

    Is it grief we feel when we see huge forest fires or melting ice caps caused by climate change? And if it is - where do we put that grief, in a society that doesn't recognise it?

    This week Dave speaks to the wonderfully kind and clever Ro Randall about the psychology of grief and loss - and what it tells us about living through the climate crisis. Ro is a psychoanalytically trained psychotherapist who has written and worked extensively about how to help people process the emotional impact of climate change. You can find out all about Ro's work at www.rorandall.org. 

    A link, as highlighted by the owl noise:
    - 18:13 - Greek island on fire video

    Your Brain on Climate is a podcast about human psychology vs the climate crisis: what we think, why we think it, and how it all adds up to a planet-sized emergency.  Contact the show:  @brainclimate on Twitter, or hello@yourbrainonclimate.com.

    The show is hosted by Dave Powell, who you can find @powellds on Twitter.  All music throughout the show and audio production is by Dave, because he's far too much of a control freak to let anyone else loose on it.

    Show logo by Arthur Stovell at www.designbymondial.com.   

    • 43 min
    Food, with Kimberley Wilson

    Food, with Kimberley Wilson

    Food: yum! It keeps us alive and keeps our brains healthy (or unhealthy, all-too-often). And the food that we eat - what it is and where it comes from - is one of the most important things we're going to have to get right when it comes to climate change.   

    Kind of a problem then that there are very few things about which we're quite so uppity and strange.  Food is drenched in cultural meaning, status, and individuals' neuroses, associations and family history. 

    So what is our psychological relationship with food? And what do those trying to get people to eat more climate-friendly diets need to take on board?

    Joining Dave on this first episode of Your Brain On Climate is Kimberley Wilson - a  chartered psychologist, nutritionist and author on all things to do with food, health, lifestyle and society.  She was also once a finalist on the Great British Bake-Off, but Dave has the grace not to ask her about that. You can read much more about Kimberley and her work at http://www.kimberleywilson.co

    Extra reading as highlighted by the owl noises:
    - 07:30 - Effects of nutritional supplements on aggression, rule-breaking, and psychopathology among young adult prisoners, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20014286/
    - 10:12 - Antecedents, Behaviour, Consequences: A nice intro document here: https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/media/11951/behaviour-observation-sheets.pdf

    Your Brain on Climate is a podcast about human psychology vs the climate crisis: what we think, why we think it, and how it all adds up to a planet-sized emergency.  Contact the show:  @brainclimate on Twitter, or hello@yourbrainonclimate.com.

    The show is hosted by Dave Powell, who you can find @powellds on Twitter.  All music throughout the show and audio production is by Dave, because he's far too much of a control freak to let anyone else loose on it. 

    Show logo by Arthur Stovell at https://www.designbymondial.com.   

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

Howard (a.k.a. Garden Aum) ,

Brains and nutrition

This was an excellent interview with a nutritionist who explained how food impacts cognitive ability. I strongly recommend listening to it.

Nate Tyson ,

Looking forward to listening

I haven’t even listened to this one yet yet, but have every confidence it will be very good! Dave is great on Sustainababble, so yeah, really can’t go wrong 👍🏼

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