Don't give up now -- that's Dr. Lucy Jones's advice to dealing with the latest COVID19 surge. Our feelings aren't what the risk actually is because as humans, we have evolved with two systems for analyzing risks we face. Dr. Jones shares the pros and cons of "going with your gut" as it relates to managing risks and explains why we don't want to believe experts telling us not to have Thanksgiving. We look at how greater benefits appear to lower the risk and discuss ways to manage the emotional conflict with the analytical response in order to get through the extremes, like the current surge in COVID19 cases in California and across the US.
In this episode, we look at where earthquakes can happen… and the answer might surprise you. Certain places, like California, are known for having earthquakes but almost anywhere can have one, especially when human activity causes them (yes, you read that correctly!). And when they happen in places less common for them, they can often be surprising. The US East Coast used to be a plate boundary at the Appalachian Mountains, which were once almost as high as the Himalayas! How will you react when the next earthquake happens -- Dr. Jones gives you a big clue on what to expect whether the rate of earthquakes is high or low where you are.
Whether talking about disasters, college acceptance, or election results, humans aren’t wired to manage the stress of not knowing what’s happening next. In this episode, we look at uncertainty and why seeking answers -- even if they’re bad -- is more comforting than not knowing. Dr. Jones offers her approach to dealing with uncertainty, and shares one of the letters she’s received over the last 30 years that demonstrates the way humans seek some sort of explanation in the face of no certain answer.
Science is a process, and it’s OK to change your understanding based on fact. And figuring out what is actually true is worth the discomfort of the process to get there. In this episode, we delve into the idea of thinking vs. knowing and how that plays into our understanding of scientific information. With an impending disaster of misinformation, Dr. Jones shares her six steps to determining if a scientific “study” is credible when found online or being shared through social media. This includes the role of traditional media and how not to be misled by the “trappings of science.” She also shares what to do when you encounter someone with a different set of facts than you.
Looking at the way intense rainfall can cause massive flows of mud, rocks, boulders, and anything in its path, this episode helps you understand how to manage the risk o debris flows that often follows fires on steep hillsides and mountains. Dr. Jones talks about the hydrophobic chemicals that make this type of terrain so susceptible to this deadly hazard. Consider how society manages this risk: building more interventions to stop mud, water, and debris from inundating neighborhoods leading to death and destruction. How would you manage this risk, as you manage risks every day? Dr Jones says, "don't underestimate the risk."
Dr. Jones is often telling people that "when you have a lot of earthquakes, you have a lot of earthquakes." This rings truest when an area is experiencing an earthquake swarm -- many earthquakes around the same size without their being one largest earthquake as the main shock. In this episode, we explore the concepts of earthquake swarms, what they mean, and what you can do if you're feeling one or hear about one happening.
Go back in time with Dr. Jones and John to hear the history of the Great ShakeOut: how it was formed back in 2007 and the social science research that was the basis for its initial success. This episode explores how this one day event has now reached tens of millions of people each year, and why it's important for everyone to participate -- including Dr. Jones!
Just in time for Clean Air Day, we spend this episode talking about the air you can see, which is not good air. In fact, air pollution affects millions of people around the globe and is a disaster in its own right. Compounding this is the fact that air you can't see can be polluted and also contributes to climate change. Take a journey with Dr. Jones back to her childhood in Southern California where smog days kept her home from school, and find out what you can do now to help clean up the air as an individual and a member of your community.
Have you ever felt an earthquake and tried to guess how big it is? You're not alone! In this episode, Dr. Jones explains how magnitude is assigned to a quake, why Charles Richter developed his scale, and why we should really be more concerned with intensity. As we wait for the big one, join us as we help you understand how you can put meaning to what you feel and get through the next earthquake.
Time is constant, and we often make decisions on a scale that fails to recognize our own limits in understanding time. With a planet that's about 5 Billion years old, and a written history no more than 5000 years old, we have to really work to realize that the natural processes operate on a different scale. This episode delves into the ideas of geologic time, the likelihood of disasters, and how we can manage our moment in time.