When things get scary, we like hero(+ine)s. We kind of automatically create them - like there was always a hero-shaped hole in our stories that was just waiting for someone to pop into. Why? Are we really hardwired to look for heroes? Do they all wear capes?
And for something as complex and fiddly and *wibbles hands expansively in the air* as climate change, is it a good or a bad thing that we cast Greta, David Attenborough and whoever comes next as a climate hero? Do we need new types of heroes? Or maybe none at all?
Joining Dave this week is Al Kennedy, expert in superheroes as a thing, and a deep thinker on how and why hero stories work. You can follow him on twitter @housetoastonish.
Extra reading as highlighted by the owl noises:
-- 13:57: Scott Allison and George Goethals define 'hero', actually at a bit more length than I suggest in the show, oh well.
-- 21.51: Massive at the time, but you may be too young to remember what an Inconvenient Truth was.
-- 23:03: Severn Cullis-Suzuki addresses the world at the Rio Summit in 1992.
-- 33:33: I appear as a guest on Al's splendid Desert Island Discworld podcast.
Your Brain on Climate is a podcast about human psychology vs the climate crisis: what we think, why we think it, and how it all adds up to a planet-sized emergency. Contact the show: @brainclimate on Twitter, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The show is hosted by Dave Powell, who you can find @powellds on Twitter. All music throughout the show and audio production is by Dave, because he's far too much of a control freak to let anyone else loose on it.
Show logo by Arthur Stovell at www.designbymondial.com.