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Climate Change: The Forgotten Issue Of This Year's Election

Many glaciers are melting in Alaska. Scientists believe climate change is at work.
Shankar Vedantam
/
NPR
Many glaciers are melting in Alaska. Scientists believe climate change is at work.

Of all the things that have come up during this election cycle — from immigration to the size of one candidate's hands — one issue that didn't get much air time was climate change.

"We tend to be very focused on the short term," explains George Marshall, Director of Projects at Climate Outreach and author of Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change. "We tend to discount [...] things happening in the future the further away they are."

In this week's encore episode, Shankar Vedantam takes us to the Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska to explore why it's so difficult for us to wrap our heads around climate change.

The Hidden Brain podcast is hosted by Shankar Vedantam and produced by Maggie Penman, Jennifer Schmidt and Renee Klahr. Our supervising producer is Tara Boyle. You can also follow us on Twitter @hiddenbrain, and listen for Hidden Brain stories each week on your local public radio station.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jennifer Schmidt is a senior producer for Hidden Brain. She is responsible for crafting the complex stories that are told on the show. She researches, writes, gathers field tape, and develops story structures. Some highlights of her work on Hidden Brain include episodes about the causes of the #MeToo movement, how diversity drives creativity, and the complex psychology of addiction.
Tara Boyle is the supervising producer of NPR's Hidden Brain. In this role, Boyle oversees the production of both the Hidden Brain radio show and podcast, providing editorial guidance and support to host Shankar Vedantam and the shows' producers. Boyle also coordinates Shankar's Hidden Brain segments on Morning Edition and other NPR shows, and oversees collaborations with partners both internal and external to NPR. Previously, Boyle spent a decade at WAMU, the NPR station in Washington, D.C. She has reported for The Boston Globe, and began her career in public radio at WBUR in Boston.
Shankar Vedantam is the host and creator of Hidden Brain. The Hidden Brain podcast receives more than three million downloads per week. The Hidden Brain radio show is distributed by NPR and featured on nearly 400 public radio stations around the United States.