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The Planet is Burning!

 

The Earth really is on fire, causing the poles to melt and water levels to rise. However, is the rise in temperature man-made or just a natural fluctuation in climate conditions? Is it just hot air or are we in for a cold shower?

You have been appointed as a climate change investigator. Your first assignment is to investigate what climate change is, uncover the causes and to discover what the consequences will be for the Earth. The most important part of your mission will be to find ways that we can stop this threat to our environment.


The issue of global warming has become one of the hottest issues facing mankind. Most scientists, politicians, news media, energy corporations, and environmental groups agree that global warming is a fact. Even if they may disagree on what is causing it. The media; newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs and TV documentaries can tell us much about developments in the climate debate.


Many groups and individuals say that much of global warming is caused by the activities humans engage in every day and that small, perhaps insignificant changes in personal behavior and choices can have a large effect if many people do the same.

Deforestation landscape 400

  

Now, it is time to start your journey. To prepare for the task and process, you will need to do some initial background research. Go to www.google.com to investigate the key terms found below.

 

Global warming  Climate Change Global Climate Coalition
Greenhouse Effect Kyoto Protocol Kyoto Protocol
Climate debate Atmospheric causes Consumption
Carbon footprint Natural resources  

 

Once your initial research is complete, you will be divided into groups of 2-3 students. You will explore various websites and other sources in order to gain some background knowledge of the issues, concerns, and science surrounding the global warming debate.
Your task, together with a fellow investigators will be to create a well-researched and detailed plan on how to combat climate change. The plan can either be for the individual, the school, your home or for the local community.

 

This plan will be presented via text, images and videos to a pre-defined target group. Your action plan will be the result of research into:

 

  • What is climate change?
  • What are the reasons why our climate is changing?
  • What will be the consequences of climate change for the Earth
  • What are the steps we as individuals can take locally to stop it and save our planet.

 

Good luck and remember- the future of the Earth may depend upon you!

Windmill in Avila, Spain

 


 

Information research & different points of view

 

After you have gathered your initial research and understood the key words and concepts, use this knowledge to explore some websites (resources) published by organizations that present varying views on the global warming issue. Most will agree that Global warming is a fact but they will disagree on the causes. What do the environmentalists say and what do the oil companies say?

 

This will allow you to gather evidence from a variety of sources and make decisions about who you think presents the most realistic argument and who gives the most realistic answers.

 

Start by watching these two videos and compare the views being presented. What is their stance on global warming? Gather some interesting facts they present that you would like to know more about?

 

{youtube}xcVwLrAavyA{/youtube}  

 

You should now research some of the websites below. As with any information you find on the internet, it is important to be aware of the source. You will find different views represented; from oil companies to government organisations to environmental groups. Download this template containing a table of questions to answers about each website.  Choose at least 5 websites and complete a table for each.

 

http://ec.europa.eu/clima/index_en.htm
http://www.rmets.org/weather/climate/index.php
http://www.ewea.org/policy-issues/climate-change/
http://www.oism.org/pproject/
http://www.ipcc.ch/
http://www.c2es.org/science-impacts
http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/sustainability.html
http://www.worldwildlife.org/climate/
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/
http://www.shell.com/global/environment-society/environment/climate-change.html
http://www.ukcoal.com/
http://www.worldclimatereport.com/

 

Keeping these questions in mind will allow you to evaluate their data more honestly and more openly as you make your way to your final destination. You are also allowed to research other websites not listed here. It is very important that you evaluate both sides of the argument during your research. This information will be used to complete your final Glocal Quest activity.

 

When your research is complete it's time to take a stand!

 

1) What is your position? After your extensive research, it is now time for you to take a stand. What do you believe are the causes of Global warming?
Make a presentation in the method of your choice; video commercial, pamphlet, song or debate and describe how you intend to format your research in a plan for change.

 

2) What can we do to stop climate change?

What are the steps that we as individuals or as a community can take to save our planet? As a group you will make a plan designed for your target audience, either for your home/family, for your school or for the local community to implement. In your groups you will work as a team, sharing your individually researched information and brainstorming to create a plan of action to battle climate change relevant for your target audience.

Once your group is satisfied with an action plan, you need to decide on how you will present it. Some suggestions are as:

  • a report
  • a newspaper article
  • a poster
  • a presentation/oral with PowerPoint slides
  • a dramatic performance/play
  • a news broadcast
  • a web page or blog

 

Thanks for your research and your efforts!

 

Resources

Links

Greenpeace International
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/climate-change/
Climate Action - European Commission
http://ec.europa.eu/clima/index_en.htm
Climate Change - WWF
http://www.worldwildlife.org/climate/
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
http://www.ipcc.ch/

 

Videos

{youtube}D-m09lKtYT4{/youtube} {youtube}xcVwLrAavyA{/youtube}  

 

Learning outcomes

  • To be able to make informed decisions on climate change problems based upon information given by different actors in the debate.
  • To develop an individual relationship to the problems of climate change and to be able to take local actions to combat such problems
  • To be able to compare

 

Skills acquired

Competences acquired

Knowledge acquired

  • Use readily available information to become informed about issues that affect the planet
  • To be able to make comparisons of differing point of view on important subjects
  • To be able to form an own informed opinion about Climate Change problems

 

  • Implement a plan of action on responsible use of energy as a citizen and as part of a community

 

  • Facts and figures of changes in climate conditions
  • The consequences of climate change to the environment
  • Cause-Effect circle from energy consumption up to consequences, potential solutions.
  • Causes and consequences of climate change

 

 

 

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