Mar 31, 2022 • 1HR 1M

Urgency, Action and Ethics | Joseph Merz

We're running out of time—how far will we go to do the right thing?

Open in playerListen on);
It's a critical time for our planet. We face severe ecological, economic and energy crises. Journalist Rachel Donald interviews experts confronting those crises head on, revealing the big picture of what's really going on.
Episode details

There are no easy solutions to the climate crisis—most governments admit their hope lies in technology which doesn’t even exist yet. Science and “visionaries” propose increasingly mad ideas, like refreezing the Arctic, or sending humans to live in Space. But given the urgency of the situation, would we be mad not to consider these mad ideas?

Joseph Merz thinks we’ve run out of time to ask questions. He founded the Merz Institute to combat the climate crisis, gathering some of the world’s best scientists to establish what is going wrong and how to fix it. He says the answer is behavioural change—and they’re developing a programme that would manipulate mass behaviour on a subconscious level.

How? Well, using the same techniques as the advertising industry.


Joseph explains how his team came to this conclusion and how they plan to effect these change, giving examples of which kinds of changes would be most beneficial. We dive deep into the ethics of such a program, the dangers of these technologies, and whether or not we even have time to be discussing ethics.

Listen to the full interview here, catch it on on Apple or Spotify, or watch on Youtube. You’ll find the bonus episode on Youtube over the weekend, and paid subscribers have access to the interview transcript.

© Rachel Donald