This week on the Hidden Brain podcast, host Shankar Vedantam visits the rapidly melting Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska and talks with George Marshall, author of Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change, about why it’s so difficult for humans to think about climate change. Turns out, we humans care more about the present than the future, fear loss more than we desire gain, and prefer to attend to certainties more than uncertainties — these tendencies make it tricky to deal with a future problem that will have uncertain impacts and will likely require disruptive and costly solutions. But Shankar and George do talk about some of the hopeful signs that suggest we do have the capacity to change our climate-warming ways.
Shankar also chats with John Neary, director of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, about how quickly the Mendenhall Glacier has retreated in recent years.
Give Shankar, George, and John a listen here: