Chronic Catastrophe Chronic Catastrophe is a four-episode podcast about the impacts of cumulative climate change-induced disasters on our minds, bodies and spirits. Ultimately, we ask the question: Is it worth the risk to our mental and physical health, and to our psyches, to continue to live in a place where disaster is unrelenting?Over the past four years, Sonoma County has seen a 100-year flood, a historic drought and six major wildfires that have killed 114 people, destroyed more than 18,000 buildings, caused more than half the county to evacuate their homes, and subjected us to months of bad air days and routine power shut-offs.But disasters don't only happen here. What do chronic catastrophes mean for people everywhere?
Chronic Catastrophe

Chronic Catastrophe

From KRCB-FM

Chronic Catastrophe is a four-episode podcast about the impacts of cumulative climate change-induced disasters on our minds, bodies and spirits. Ultimately, we ask the question: Is it worth the risk to our mental and physical health, and to our psyches, to continue to live in a place where disaster is unrelenting?Over the past four years, Sonoma County has seen a 100-year flood, a historic drought and six major wildfires that have killed 114 people, destroyed more than 18,000 buildings, caused more than half the county to evacuate their homes, and subjected us to months of bad air days and routine power shut-offs.But disasters don't only happen here. What do chronic catastrophes mean for people everywhere?

Most Recent Episodes

Is it worth it?

In our final episode, host Rebecca Bell asks some important questions: Given the fact that climate change is affecting our minds, bodies and spirits, is it worth it to live here? If not, where else is safe? Is it better to stay and adapt in our communities with shared experience or leave for places with other unknowns? Is it better to adapt to wildfire, or risk the threat of tornadoes and hurricanes if we were to move?

The Spirit

Episode 3 examines how losing everything — or packing and preparing to lose it all — affects the spirit and identities of individuals, families and the community. In this episode, host Nick Vides looks at what it means in the long term for people whose identities are shaken, and we ask what it means for Sonoma County when we're not only known for our wine and our coastline, but for our wildfires.

The Body

Hosted by Lauren Spates, episode 2 looks at the impact of more-fierce fire and flood on our immune system, our lungs and our brain. We talk to scientists, doctors and other experts who say it's misleading to think that you're safe from the effects of wildfire smoke if you live far away, because smoke knows no boundaries. It's also misleading to think that once the smoke is gone, you're safe, because invisible toxic particles are left behind. We ask what exactly happens when we — and our children — inhale wildfire smoke and carbon dioxide, and what can we do to protect ourselves?

The Mind

Our first episode looks at the impact of repeat catastrophes on our mental health. Hosted by Maritza Camacho, our first episode asks whether PTSD is the most accurate diagnosis for the anxiety, depression, worry and fear that we feel before, during and after wildfire season. PTSD indicates we're "post" disaster — past it — but in Sonoma County, the disasters keep coming. We ask how communities and governments support residents' mental and behavioral health and how can individuals cope — and thrive — in this situation.

Trailer

Chronic Catastrophe is a four-episode podcast about the impacts of cumulative climate change-induced disasters on our minds, bodies and spirits. Ultimately, we ask the question: Is it worth the risk to our mental and physical health, and to our psyches, to continue to live in a place where disaster is unrelenting? Over the past four years, Sonoma County has seen a 100-year flood, a historic drought and six major wildfires that have killed 114 people, destroyed more than 18,000 buildings, caused more than half the county to evacuate their homes, and subjected us to months of bad air days and routine power shut-offs.