The Science of Happiness Podcast Illuminates Hope For Progress on Climate Change

April 22, 2023

Dr. Dacher Keltner helps people to be happy. He is a Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Faculty Affiliate of the Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity. The podcast “The Science of Happiness” sends out his messages and insightful interviews with thoughtful people on science-based practices to improve emotional well-being. The UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center and the Public Radio Exchange co-produce “The Science of Happiness.” 

On Earth Day, April 22, 2023, Dacher discussed climate change and hope with author Rebecca Solnit. The podcast also included a brief interview with Patrick Gonzalez, climate change scientist and Executive Director of the University of California, Berkeley, Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity.

Dr. Gonzalez often communicates his science-based optimism on climate change to motivate public action. He says “Recent actions show progress on carbon solutions. From 2000 to 2021, the world quadrupled renewable energy capacity globally, adding solar, wind, and other renewable energy equivalent to 6500 coal plants. Life cycle costs for solar and wind energy are now lower than coal, gas, and nuclear. With all this renewable energy, the European Union cut carbon pollution 24% from 1990 to 2019.”

“In the United States, renewable energy exceeded coal in 2019 for the first time since 1880 and the U.S. cut carbon pollution 13% from 2005 to 2019. California cut carbon pollution 11% from 2000 to 2019 even as state population increased 17% and economic production increased 63%. We did this by becoming more efficient – cutting carbon pollution per person 24%. We are powering the future with solar, wind, energy efficiency and conservation, public transit, and other sustainable solutions. These data provide me with optimism, a science-based optimism. This progress offers hope for the future.”