Climate change is the defining issue of our times, but this wasn’t always the case. Establishing a scientific consensus has taken decades. Behind the scenes, thousands of experts have worked countless hours amassing the evidence and sounding the alarm.
But who are these experts? How do they know what they know? And what does it feel like to work at the coalface of humanity’s greatest challenge?
The Conversation’s podcast Fear & Wonder was created to answer these questions. Our hosts, journalist Michael Green and scientist Joëlle Gergis, spoke to dozens of experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) about their lives and work. We hear from a paleoclimatologist who watched the bleaching of a coral reef she worked on her whole career, a glaciologist measuring sea level rise from Icelandic glaciers, a Finnish fisherman witnessing changes to his village’s centuries-old lake ice patterns, and more.
The idea for the podcast was born when Michael visited Joëlle after his in-laws’ house burned down in the Black Summer bushfires, during which time she was hard at work on an IPCC report. He realised he’d never asked about her work as a climate scientist and what it feels like to carry the knowledge of a looming catastrophe.
This week we published the final episode in this terrific eight-part series, exploring how developing nations will be hardest hit by climate impacts. Listen to the full series via the player above, or search for Fear and Wonder on your podcast app of choice.