April 17, 2017
Why are humans so bad at thinking about climate change?

That’s the provocative question that opens a new video series, Climate Lab, that the University of California and Vox launched today. The six-episode series explores global climate change and UC’s groundbreaking work to mitigate its effects. Hosted by conservation scientist and UCLA visiting researcher M. Sanjayan, the series features eye-opening conversations with experts, scientists, thought leaders and activists from UC campuses and elsewhere about how everything from clean energy to food, religion to smartphones, affects the future of our planet.

The videos can be viewed on the UC Climate Solutions website (climate.universityofcalifornia.edu) and Vox’s YouTube channel (youtube.com/vox), along with related information, quizzes and articles.

UC faculty have been deeply engaged in research and scholarship around climate change for decades. In 2013, President Janet Napolitano launched the Carbon Neutrality Initiative to expand and strengthen that legacy, establishing a systemwide goal of UC becoming carbon neutral by 2025. To date, energy efficiency measures and clean energy projects implemented across the UC system have generated cost savings of $28 million a year, and energy savings as well.

The first episode looks to psychology and social relations to unpack the reasons why humankind has been slow to respond to what Sanjayan calls the biggest challenge of our lifetimes — as compared to other serious, but not as overwhelming, challenges like the hole in the ozone layer, which is now well on its way to full repair.

Future episodes will premiere on Vox  — the general interest news brand from Vox Media — every Wednesday for the next five weeks and will be available on UC’s Climate Lab website. The series features the nation’s top experts in the fields of climate research, renewable energy, and sustainability, and showcases those at UC and other institutions and organizations discussing the surprising ways people can harness known and emerging technologies to address the complex problem of climate change.

“Climate change is the biggest issue of our time,” says Sanjayan. “It can seem overwhelming, but in Climate Lab, we meet some amazing people from all walks of life who are breaking the problem down and actually making a difference. We hope to inspire viewers to transform the planet by taking some of the ideas in this series and spreading it across the world.”

More information about UC’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative and other UC sustainability initiatives and programs can be viewed at http://ucop.edu/sustainability/.