The Chatter Podcast: Climate Change and Insurance with Eugene Linden

By David Priess
Thursday, April 7, 2022, 9:24 AM

For decades, humanity has failed to address climate change and prepare for its devastating impact. Without significant changes to our consumption of fossil fuels, the coming reckoning will be severe. But there is hope; the same forces that have confused the public's mind and slowed the policy response are poised to pivot with astonishing speed. And the insurance industry is likely to lead the way.

To understand how we got to the cliff's edge--and how to avoid going over it--David Priess speaks with Eugene Linden, a longtime writer on issues at the intersections of science, culture, and business. They discussed Linden's previous books on animal intelligence and how civilizational rises and falls are linked to climate change. They talked about a new way of looking at the climate story, as four clocks that move at different speeds: the reality of climate change itself; the scientific consensus about it, which always lags reality; public opinion and political will, which lag further still; and, perhaps most important, business and finance. And they spoke about the changes in these clocks decade by decade, from 1979 forward, with a focus on the insurance industry as one loud canary in the coal mine.

Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad. 

Works mentioned in this episode:

Fire and Flood: A People's History of Climate Change, from 1979 to the Present

Eugene's previous writings can be found here.