NASA Climate 365 graphic showing rapid warming in the past few decades with the last decade has been the warmest on record.
NASA Climate 365 graphic showing rapid warming in the past few decades with the last decade has been the warmest on record.

Communicating Climate Change, with David Grinspoon

Image Credit: NASA.
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About This Episode

Climate change is a hauntingly large and complex problem, not easily definable on a local scale, but its impact is felt by everyone. How do you communicate the impact of climate change effectively? On this episode of StarTalk All-Stars, astrobiologist and host David Grinspoon sits down with comic co-host Chuck Nice and science communicator and NASA climate scientist Kate Marvel to put climate change in terms everyone can understand, and to tell you how to talk about it to the people you know.

You’ll hear about the role of storytelling in communicating climate change. Learn why it’s difficult to communicate climate change given that no one experiences the average Earth temperature. Kate gives us some background on her story Slaying the Climate Dragon, which is “a fairy tale whose ending, still unwritten, is by no means guaranteed to be happy.” Find out why the “inevitable doom” stories about climate change are dangerous to spread. We explore the idea that climate change is not a pass-fail problem, and the varying degrees to which we may see it unfold. Kate explains why being an alarmist is warranted when things are genuinely alarming. We discuss how the uncertainty of climate change is the scariest element of the issue. You’ll learn the basics of climate change: what’s happening, how it’s happening, how it’s impacting Earth, and how we know it’s impacting Earth. You’ll hear why insurance providers can also tell us the truth about climate change.

We answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries including whether or not climate change would’ve happened without humans on Earth and what one can do individually to help solve the problem. We also explore how individual action can lead to a global shift in the collective consciousness. Discover what makes climate change so controversial in the political realm. You’ll learn about the “global ocean conveyer belt” and how warming up the Arctic might impact the jet stream. All that, plus, Kate tells us what keeps her going in the field of climate science even in the face of our greatest challenge.

In This Episode

  • Host

    David Grinspoon

    David Grinspoon, PhD
    aka Dr. FunkySpoon, Astrobiologist; Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute
  • Co-Host

    Chuck Nice

    Chuck Nice
    Comedian
  • Guest

    Kate Marvel

    Kate Marvel, PhD
    Climate Scientist, Associate Research Scientist at NASA GISS/Columbia University

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