The Amazon fires: Why do we feel helpless to fight climate change?


A labourer stares at a fire that spread to the farm he work on next to a highway in Nova Santa Helena municipality in northern Mato Grosso State, south in the Amazon basin in Brazil, on August 23, 2019. – Official figures show 78,383 forest fires have been recorded in Brazil this year, the highest number of any year since 2013. Experts say the clearing of land during the months-long dry season to make way for crops or grazing has aggravated the problem. More than half of the fires are in the Amazon. (Photo by Joao LAET / AFP)

Wildfires in the Amazon are out of control. But that’s not the only hotspot. Blazes in Sub-Saharan Africa are also hitting record levels; The season for burning in the Western United States grows every year – and last Spring and Summer we saw wildfires in places we never imagined – regions in Northern Europe, and even the Arctic.

The evidence and effects of climate change are increasing daily, but public momentum lags behind what needs to be done to address it. Many say denial is the problem – but others say its a feeling of helplessness.

To help us get the big picture on why this is – and how we might change that – we’re joined by Dr. Sweta Chakraborty. She’s a risk and behavioral scientist who is also an expert on climate science.

Links from the podcast:

Dr. Sweta Chakraborty on Twitter: @SWETAC

The Climate & Security Podcast:

We Don’t Have Time: