How We Change
Nov 24, 2021
Season 1 | Episode 8

How We Change

Technology will help us avoid the worst of the climate crisis, and it’ll help us adapt to a warming planet. But tech alone can’t save us.

This season we traveled from rural Nevada to the scorching California desert to dig into the race for “white gold,” or lithium, a metal that’s crucial for getting the United States off fossil fuels. In our final episode of the season, we’re going past the tech to ask the bigger questions about what it’s really going to take to survive the climate crisis. 

The truth is technology alone can’t save us. Humans need to make profound changes along with the technology, from our politics, to the way we do business and how and what we consume. But change is hard and sometimes even impossible when people and their experiences aren’t validated.

“So much can happen in even, like, three minutes when someone feels truly heard and recognized for their experience,” said climate psychologist Renée Lertzman. Lertzman helps businesses and institutions implement environmental and sustainability policies. 

She says when people are asked to make a lot of change in a short amount of time, things can go haywire, even with the best intentions. So hearing people out, naming their fears and bringing them into the decision-making process is crucial if we expect change to happen (whether it’s getting people to take more public transportation, eat less meat or inspiring them to head to the polls). “If we feel that our own perception or point of view is actually validated, it’s kind of a magical thing,” Lertzman says. 

This week, we unpack change with Lertzman, travel to the House floor for a hilarious political stunt, and visit an encampment in the desert where people live off-grid and rely on their own ingenuity to generate electricity and survive extreme temperatures.

Thanks for listening to the first season of “How We Survive.” If you don’t already, be sure to follow us on your favorite podcast app, and tell a friend if you’re enjoying the show.

The team

Molly Wood Host
Caitlin Esch Senior Producer
Hayley Hershman Producer
Marque Greene Associate Producer