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Episode 01: Heat

In the first episode of Grounding: Conversations on Mental Health and Mother Earth, host Sarah Aronson and guests Dr. Joe Taliercio and Amy Cilimburg work towards understanding how heat interacts with our bodies, minds, and society.

As a note, this episode contains references to mental health issues, including suicide. So please take care of yourself when listening.

Climate Smart Missoula

Cognitive Behavioral Center of New York

Climate Psychology Alliance North America


(00:00) This episode contains references to mental health issues including suicide

(00:58) Today, we'll work towards understanding how heat interacts with our bodies, minds and society.

(03:44) Heat affects our mental health beyond its physical effects

(12:09) Social solidarity is what makes a resilient community, given climate change

(17:35) During extreme weather events, there's importance of being a good neighbor

(19:34) Stay hydrated during extreme heat events. And that sounds really obvious

(24:45) How we talk to each other about climate change is important

(26:22) Heat increases aggression across society, leading to more violent crime and police violence

(28:00) If you're feeling some eco anxiety, don't live in that alone

Joe Taliercio, PhD, is the coordinator of research and a licensed staff psychologist at Cognitive and Behavioral Consultants, a large group practice located in the cities of New York and White Plains. He is a member of the Joint Advocacy and Outreach Committee of the Climate Psychiatry and Climate Psychology Alliances of North America and is credentialed as a health service psychologist. Prior to completing his graduate training in psychology, Joe was a certified emergency medical technician.

Amy Cilimburg, Executive Director of Climate Smart Missoula, loves putting her passions to work leading Climate Smart, strengthening connections, initiating new programs, and building a resilient community. She was part of the team that launched this organization and has been at the helm since its inception. Amy has worked on climate and energy policy for the past decade, encouraging solutions at the local, state and federal levels. She did much of this through her work at Montana Audubon and by volunteering locally to help develop Missoula's Climate Action Plans. She lives in Missoula with her husband, daughter (who is away at college!), and dog. You might see her out running our trails with said dog, who keeps up just fine. Her daughter, meanwhile, runs way too fast.

In this series, we work to better understand the feelings so many of us have, but may not be able to name—the internal emotional experiences we have as we react to the changing climate around us. We call some of the psychological impacts of climate change eco anxiety or climate anxiety.

Grounding is produced by Jake Birch, Lauren Korn, and Sarah Aronson. Theme song by Brian Ramirez. Artwork by April Werle. Engineering by Chris Moyles. Mixed by Jake Birch. Special thanks to Michael Marsolek, Noah Epps, Emma Bucher, and Alice Sauter. Grounding is a production of Montana Public Radio.

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  • In the second episode of ‘Grounding: Conversations on Mental Health and Mother Earth,’ host Sarah Aronson and guests work to understand how air pollution and wildfire smoke impact how we feel, connect with each other and our surroundings, and, in one guest’s case, how we translate that understanding into art.