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Open Access Publications from the University of California

It's Getting Hot in Here so Take Off All Your COS's: Climate Change and its Effect on Well-Being and Happiness


Climate change is a clear and pressing environmental, social, and psychological issue. Although it is commonly viewed as only an environmental issue, climate change has its place as a positive psychology issue as it distributes intergroup relations, well-being, happiness, and social justice. Past research has shown that practicing sustainable behaviors increases well-being by creating a sense of connectedness. Nature walks have also been shown to increase happiness and have been used to treat depression. Based on previous research, this article explores how spending one hour in nature can increase happiness. This increase in happiness may lead to more helping behavior and offset the effects of climate change. Additional research and promotion of environmental education may help combat the effects of climate change and make the world a happier and more sustainable place.

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