Video/Microlecture: Introduction to Climate Change Economics

A video micro lecture by David Archer, The University of Chicago, titled ‘The Economics of Climate Change’ which is  a part of an e-learning course on science and modelling of climate change. This video discusses the ‘tragedy of commons’ to understand how climate change impacts society. The lecture also introduces concepts like ‘external cost’, ‘internal cost’, ‘carbon tax’ and ‘cap and trade’ when discussing carbon emissions and pollution. Archer discusses the advantages of using economic mechanisms to ensure carbon emissions are controlled. 

Students will be introduced to the basic economics of climate change. They will also learn about the advantages of various economic schemes that can help ensure reduced carbon emissions and control environmental damage. Students will further learn about the ethical concerns that arise in the debate between the cost of climate change and the cost of mitigating climate change. 

 Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is the ‘tragedy of commons’?
  2. Discuss the economics of climate change.
  3. Discuss the ethical concerns that arise due to climate change mitigation policies.

About the tool

Tool NameThe Economics of Climate Change from ‘Week 12: Mitigations’ of ‘Global Warming I: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change’ Coursera Course 
DisciplineEconomics
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Economics, Tragedy of the Commons, External Cost, Carbon Tax, Cap and Trade, Carbon Emissions
Climate Topic Energy, Economics and Climate Change; Climate Mitigation and Adaptation 
Type of tool Video/Microlecture (9 min)
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed byDavid Archer, University of Chicago
Hosted atCoursera
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic 

Video/Microlecture: Culture, Heritage and Climate Change

A panel discussion organised by the Getty Conservation Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council on the impact of climate change on the built environment. The lecture consists of a panel discussion that focuses on the links between climate change, preservation and future sustainability of historical buildings and modern infrastructure. The lecture also discusses how rise in temperatures, increased weather events, pollution, and frequent catastrophes can impact historical and contemporary infrastructure. The panel discusses two major themes: 

  1. What is the impact of climate change on our existing heritage and what can we do to preserve it?
  2. What is the role of cultural heritage in preserving or delaying the impact of climate change?

Through these themes, the lecture discusses the importance of finding a solution to climate change issues to ensure continued preservation of cultural heritage, history and society. 

Students will learn about the impact of climate change and global warming on the historic and modern built environment. Through examples such as termites destroying monumental buildings and homes, they will also learn about the various ways in which climate change directly impacts the natural environment and has indirect consequences on the built environment. Students will further learn the need for development to include sustainability and reuse of materials to preserve existing and future infrastructure.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. How does climate change impact heritage structures? 
  2. How does cultural heritage help preserve or slow the impact of climate change?

About the tool

Tool NameClimate Change & Preserving Cultural Heritage in the 21st Century
DisciplineSocial Sciences, Humanities,  Environmental Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineCultural Studies, History, Heritage, Architecture, Built Environment, Urban Environment, Culture,, Sustainability 
Climate Topic Climate and Society 
Type of tool Video/Lecture (1 hr 36 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate
LocationGlobal 
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byGetty Conservation Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council 
Hosted atYouTube
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic 

Reading: Postcolonial Studies and Climate Change

A reading by Dipesh Chakrabarty, The University of Chicago titled ‘Postcolonial Studies and the Challenge of Climate Change’ that discusses the link between globalization and global warming. Chakrabarty discusses this link through the writings of Homi K. Bhabha, that aims to stretch post colonial thinking to include the reality of climate change and global warming. The reading also discusses the challenges that climate change issues pose in a “neoliberal” capitalist world. Chakrabarty highlights the three images of human that currently exist:

  1. The universalist-Enlightenment view of the human with the ability to exercise rights 
  2. The globalized view of the human
  3. The human as a geological force that changes the climate 

Chakrabarty makes this distinction to understand the current debate between society, globalization and climate change. Through the writings of Homi K. Bhabha, the reading discusses ‘the postcolonial criticism of the human’ and ‘the human in the anthropocene’ that focuses on issues such as anthropogenic global warming, degradation of the natural environment and the development of humanity. 

Students will learn about postcolonial globalization and climate change. They will also learn about the criticism that postcolonial thinkers have about the current age of the anthropocene and the increasing changes in the climate. Students will further learn about the attempts that postcolonial thinkers have made to ensure that climate change and global warming are part of the human reality for future preservation of the environment. Additionally, students will learn about the failed recognition that society gives to the interdependence of humans on nature and its natural beings.   

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is the link between globalization and climate change?
  2. How do postcolonial thinkers criticise the age of the anthropocene?
  3. Discuss the three images that postcolonial thinkers have created for the human 
  4. How can postcolonial studies about the anthropocene inform the future?

About the Tool 

Tool NamePostcolonial Studies and the Challenge of Climate Change 
DisciplineHumanities
Topic(s) in DisciplinePostcolonial Studies, Cultural Studies, Neoliberalism, Anthropocene, Globalization, Capitalism
Climate Topic Climate and the Anthroposphere; Climate and Society
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate 
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byDipesh Chakrabarty New Literary History (Vol 43, 1)
Hosted atThe Johns Hopkins University Press
LinkLink
AccessOnline/Offline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video: India’s Climate Change Policies

A video lecture on India’s climate change policies and governance by Navroz Dubash, Center for Policy Research.  This video lecture is part 2 of a 2-part lecture  series titled ‘Climate Change: Policy and Governance: Global Negotiations and Domestic Policy Making’ of a MOOC. This MOOC has been developed by the National Resource Center on Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India.  The video discusses the history of India’s climate change policy. It also includes discussions on public narrative and policy frameworks through two main themes:

  1. India’s changing climate narrative: This section focuses on the history of India’s climate change policy and the change in public climate change narrative. The section discusses climate equity, 
  2. Emerging climate policy framework: This section discusses the current policy framework and stakeholders in mitigating climate change 

The lecture discusses specific climate change impacts such as decreased agricultural yields, increased rainfall, melting of glaciers and water scarcity that directly affect the economic development of India. Dubash explains India’s growing energy needs and the potential threat that climate change may have on the development of the energy sector. Additionally, the lecture discusses India’s current carbon emitting position with regards to other countries such as the U.S.A and China, creating an upper limit of emissions. The lecture also discusses the potential synergy of development and climate mitigation through the concept of “ urban co-benefits” where sectors like transport can develop to include mitigation techniques. Dubash also discusses the current institutional landscape for climate governance that starts with governing bodies such as the Ministry of Environment and Forest in 2007 and continues with the National Action Plan in 2009. Lastly, the lecture discusses the three pledges that India, as part of the Paris Agreement, has undertaken to carry out: 

  1. Decrease emission intensity by 33-35% by 2030
  2. To convert from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources by 2030
  3. Sequester 2.5-3.0 billion tons of carbon dioxide in the forest sector by 2030

Students will learn about the history of India’s climate change policies. They will also learn about the climate change narratives in India and how it has been influenced by inequity, social  impacts such as poverty and water scarcity and geopolitical drivers such as foreign policy, country alliances and global economic development. Students will further learn about the institutions and local governing bodies that influence climate change policy making. They will further learn about India’s current position within global climate mitigation initiatives and the competition of development within countries.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discuss the history of India’s climate change policies.
  2. Discuss the change of climate change narratives in India over the last 20 years.
  3. How does the debate between development and climate change mitigation influence climate change policy making?

About the tool

Tool NameW10 CO8 LO2 Climate Change: Policy and Governance: Global Negotiations and Domestic Policy Making
DisciplineSocial Sciences, Public Policy
Topic(s) in DisciplinePublic Policy, Climate Change Policy, Governance, India Climate Change Policy
Climate Topic Policies, Politics and Environmental Governance 
Type of tool Video (36 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationAsia, India 
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byIndian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune
Hosted atYouTube
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic 

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Quiz on Carbon Cycle

An interactive online quiz to test student’s understanding of the carbon cycle. This quiz by NASA can help students understand the various components of the carbon cycle and their influence on Earth’s climate. 

Students will learn about the processes involved in regulating carbon and the role of atmospheric carbon in the carbon cycle. They will further understand how changes in these components can contribute to climate change. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What are the various components of the Carbon Cycle? 
  2. Discuss how the cycling of carbon through the atmosphere is affected by anthropogenic activities. 
  3. Discuss the difference between carbon sinks and carbon sources using examples.

About the tool

Tool NameCarbon and the climate
DisciplineEnvironmental Sciences: Chemistry
Topic(s) in DisciplineCarbon Cycle, Biogeochemical Cycles
Climate Topic Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms
Type of tool Classroom/Laboratory Activity
Grade LevelMiddle School, High School
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byNASA
Hosted athttps://climate.nasa.gov/
Linkhttps://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/96/quiz-carbon-and-the-climate/
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: Introduction to the Carbon Cycle

An infographic that describes the Carbon Cycle and how anthropogenic activities affect the Carbon Cycle. This infographic by NASA explains how higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to anthropogenic activities are affecting the natural carbon cycle.

Students will learn about the carbon cycle and the absorption of carbon dioxide by the land and oceans. They will further be introduced to facts and figures regarding the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discuss the ‘Carbon Cycle’ in the classroom. 
  2. How do anthropogenic activities affect carbon dioxide concentrations? 

About the tool

Tool NameEarth’s carbon cycle is off balance
DisciplineEnvironmental Sciences; Chemistry
Topic(s) in DisciplineCarbon Cycle, Biogeochemical Cycles
Climate Topic Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelMiddle School
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byNASA
Hosted atClimate NASA Website
Linkhttps://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resources/136/infographic-earths-carbon-cycle-is-off-balance/
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: Carbon Sequestration and Climate Change

A reading that describes natural carbon sources and sinks. This reading by Noelle Eckley Selin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, describes how anthropogenic activities alter the concentration of carbon in various sources and sinks, thus, contributing to global warming.

Students will learn about the various types of carbon sinks and sources. They will further understand the importance of the removal of this excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using technologies for carbon capture and storage, and carbon sequestration.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What are the natural sources and sinks of carbon on Earth?
  2. Discuss the importance of carbon sequestration for climate mitigation.
  3. Discuss carbon sequestration through carbon capture and storage technologies.

About the tool

Tool NameCarbon Sequestration
DisciplineChemistry, Environmental Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineCarbon Sequestration, Carbon Capture and Storage, Carbon Sources and Sinks
Climate Topic Climate and the Atmosphere; Climate Mitigation and Adaptation; Climate and the Biosphere; Climate and the Lithosphere
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelMiddle School, High School
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byNoelle Eckley Selin
Hosted atBritannica
Linkhttps://www.britannica.com/technology/carbon-sequestration
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Teaching Module: Biogeochemical Cycles and Climate Change

A teaching module that discusses the carbon cycle and the nitrogen cycle. This reading by University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) describes the 2 cycles and details how the components are cycled through different parts of the Earth- atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere. 

Students will be introduced to biogeochemical cycles, the processes involved, and how the carbon and nitrogen cycles work. They will further understand how anthropogenic activities potentially alter the functioning of such cycles and how this contributes to climate change.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is the carbon cycle? Describe its components and processes.
  2. What is the nitrogen cycle? Describe its components and processes.
  3. Discuss how biogeochemical cycles influence Earth’s climate?

About the tool

Tool NameBiogeochemical Cycles
DisciplineChemistry
Topic(s) in DisciplineCarbon Cycle, Nitrogen Cycle, Sequestration, Capture and Storage, Sources and Sinks
Climate Topic Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms; Climate and the Atmosphere, Climate and the Biosphere; Climate and the Hydrosphere, Climate and the Anthroposphere; Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
Type of tool Teaching Module
Grade LevelMiddle School, High School
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byUniversity Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
Hosted atUCAR Website
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: Long-term Cost of Climate Change

A reading by Louise Lerner, The University of Chicago, that summarises the economic cost of carbon as viewed from the perspective of geologists. This research challenges the traditional cost of carbon, which has been priced at $100 per ton of carbon emission, by stating the cost of carbon to be between $10,000 to $750,000 depending on the geophysical and economic scenarios.

Students will learn about the cost of carbon, discount rate, climate models, and socioeconomic costs amongst others. They will learn the difference between short term and long term carbon cost modelling and why a carbon cost of $100 does not give a holistic scenario of the impacts of carbon emissions.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What does ‘cost of carbon’ imply?
  2. What is the difference between the traditional cost of carbon and the new cost of carbon calculated in this reading?

About the tool

Tool NameClimate change will ultimately cost humanity $100,000 per ton of carbon, scientists estimate
DisciplineEconomics
Topic(s) in DisciplineEnvironmental Economics, Economic Cost, Social Cost of Carbon, Cost of Carbon, Discount Rate
Climate Topic Energy, Economics and Climate Change
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed byLouise Lerner,  University of Chicago
Hosted atPhys.org by Science X Network
Linkhttps://phys.org/news/2020-09-climate-ultimately-humanity-ton-carbon.html
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: Post-pandemic Economic Policies

A reading by Carbon Brief explaining how countries around the world design economic policies for a ‘green recovery’ from the recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic, by reducing carbon emissions while boosting their economies.

Students will be introduced to terms such as green recovery, green stimulus, and quantitative easing, among others. Through use of the in-built interactive grid, they will also learn about the measures aimed at reducing carbon emissions – referred to as ‘green’ measures – for several major economies such as the United Kingdom, European Union, China, and India. Additionally, they will understand the application of monetary policy such as stimulus packages, unconditional bailouts, grants, loans, and tax reliefs for a post-pandemic green economic recovery.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What does ‘green recovery’ mean in the context of post-pandemic economic policies?
  2. What are some of the economic stimulus packages designed by governments for a ‘green recovery’ from the COVID-19 pandemic?
  3. What could be the impact of ‘green recovery’ economic policies for climate mitigation?

About the tool

Tool NameCoronavirus: Tracking how the world’s ‘green recovery’ plans aim to cut emissions 
DisciplineEconomics
Topic(s) in DisciplineEnvironmental Economics, Green Recovery, Carbon Emissions, Stimulus Packages, Carbon Taxes, Quantitative Easing
Climate Topic Policies, Politics and Environmental Governance; Energy, Economics and Climate Change; Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelUndergraduate
LocationGlobal, USA, Poland, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Chile, Colombia, Ireland, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, France, Nigeria, Finland, United Kingdom, China, India, Denmark, European Union, South Korea, Germany
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed bySimon Evans and Josh Gabbatiss, Carbon Brief
Hosted atCarbon Brief Website
Linkhttps://www.carbonbrief.org/coronavirus-tracking-how-the-worlds-green-recovery-plans-aim-to-cut-emissions
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: Economic Recovery post COVID-19

A policy brief by The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Policy and the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP), University of Leeds on the  significance of carbon pricing for reducing carbon emissions in the context of post COVID-19 pandemic economic recovery.

Students will learn about carbon pricing, citizen dividend, and green recovery policies. They will be introduced to green economic policies such as zero-carbon investments, removal of fossil-fuel subsidies, and using carbon pricing revenues for economic recovery. Additionally, they will also understand why carbon pricing is an effective strategy to reduce carbon emissions worldwide while simultaneously providing better government revenue than traditional taxation policies.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is carbon pricing?
  2. How does carbon pricing help to reduce carbon emissions? 
  3. What is the significance of carbon pricing in the economic recovery plans from the COVID-19 pandemic?

About the tool

Tool NamePricing carbon during the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
DisciplineEconomics
Topic(s) in DisciplineEnvironmental Economics, Carbon Pricing, Carbon Emissions, Economic Policies, Citizen Dividend, Economic Recovery, COVID-19
Climate Topic Policies, Politics and Environmental Governance; Energy, Economics and Climate Change
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelUndergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byThe Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Policy and the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP), University of Leeds
Hosted atCentre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP) Website
Linkhttps://www.cccep.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Pricing-carbon-during-the-recovery-from-the-COVID-19-pandemic.pdf
AccessOnline/Offline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video/Microlecture: Historical Climatology- The Roman Empire

A video by Michael McCormick, Harvard University that discusses the link between science, history and climate change. The lecture discusses the history of Rome and Medieval Europe through the use of archaeological tools, genetics and computer science. It highlights some drastic climatic events that led to changes within the Roman Empire. Additionally, the lecture discusses the challenges that medieval societies faced in understanding, responding to, adapting to and mitigating environmental events. 

Students will learn the role of Historical Studies in understanding impacts of climate change on the Roman Empire and Medieval Europe. They will also learn about the techniques developed and used by historians and climate scientists to study historical climate from a thousand years ago. Additionally, students will learn about the major historical climate crises.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is historical climatology?
  2. Discuss the 4 phases of the climate during the Roman Empire
  3. How does history inform current climate  action?

About the tool

Tool NameConnecting Roman and Medieval Climate and Historical Change
DisciplineHumanities, Social Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineHistory, Historical Climatology, Archaeology, Anthropology, Roman Empire, Medieval Europe
Climate Topic Climate and Society
Type of tool Video/ Lecture (1 hr)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal 
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byYale University
Hosted atYouTube
Linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0PWjxs-wXI
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic 

Audio: Fall of the Pyramid Age of Egypt

An audio by Michael Dee at ‘Teddy Talks’, University of Oxford that discusses the potential role of climate change in the collapse of the ‘pyramid age’ in Egypt. The audio discusses a timeline of the historic Northeast African region and its societies at the beginning of the ‘pyramid age’. Dee then discusses the use and effectiveness of radiocarbon dating to map out the impacts of climate change and the ‘mega-drought’ that potentially led to the fall of the Egyptian, Mesopotamia and Indus Valley civilizations.   

Students will learn about the history and fall of the Egyptian Civilization. They will also learn about the debate on whether the collapse was caused by climate change or inefficient governance. Students will also learn about the various environmental events in neighbouring regions that potentially affected ancient Egypt. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is the ‘pyramid age’? 
  2. How did the ‘mega-drought’ cause the collapse of the Mesopotamian civilization?
  3. Discuss whether climate change caused the fall of the civilization.

About the tool

Tool NameClimate Change and the fall of the Pyramid Age of Egypt 
DisciplineHumanities, Social Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate and Society 
Climate Topic History, Historical Studies, Archaeology, Anthropology, Radiocarbon Dating, Egyptian Civilization, Pyramid Age
Type of tool Audio (11 mins 30 secs)
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationAfrica, Egypt 
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byThe University of Oxford Podcasts 
Hosted atThe University of Oxford
Linkhttps://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/climate-change-and-fall-pyramid-age-egypt
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic 

Teaching module: The Physics of Climate Change Prediction

A teaching module developed by Climateprediction.net on climate physics and climate models. The module for ‘A level Physics’ students includes introductory resources, exercises and worksheets on climate change models. The module consists of the following sections:

  • Introducing climate prediction
  • Climate modelling using Modellus
  • Simple Climate Model
  • The logistic equation
  • Advanced Climate Model
  • Science Behind the News Headlines

Students will be introduced to iterative modelling with spatial and temporal resolutions that can be used in Gas Laws and Thermal Physics. They will also learn about advanced logistic equations and how to apply them to the issue of climate change. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is a simple energy balance model? 
  2. How can logistic equations be used to predict climate and weather changes?
  3. Discuss, with example, how climate change science is portrayed in the media?

About the tool

Tool NameA level Physics
DisciplinePhysics
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Physics, Thermal Physics, Gas Law, Atmospheric Physics, Chaos Theory, Chaotic Systems, Climate Change Models, Logistic Equation, Greenhouse Gas Effect
Climate Topic Planetary Energy Balance; Planetary Climate; Climate Variability Record
Type of tool Teaching Module
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal 
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byClimate Prediction
Hosted atClimate Prediction Website
Linkhttps://www.climateprediction.net/education/a-level-physics/
AccessOnline/Offline
Computer SkillsBasic 

Video: International Climate Change Policy

A video lecture that discusses international climate change policy and governance by Navroz Dubash, Center for Policy Research. This video lecture is part 1 of a 2-part lecture  series titled ‘Climate Change: Policy and Governance: Global Negotiations and Domestic Policy Making’ of a MOOC. This MOOC has been developed by the National Resource Center on Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India. 

 The lecture includes four main discussion sections:

  1. Understanding climate change science: This section discusses the basics of climate science and focuses on two main questions- “why is climate change a problem?” and “how does climate science shape climate politics and policy?” 
  2. Challenges of tackling climate change: This section largely focuses on why climate change is a difficult issue for countries to tackle.
  3. History of climate change negotiations: This section discusses the various climate change negotiations that have taken place over the last 20 years and a structure for future international negotiations and policies.
  4. The Paris Agreement of 2015: This section discusses the 2015 international climate change agreement.

Through the use of global and regional data, the lecture discusses global warming and international agreements and treaties. The lecture discusses the concept of “zero-sum allocation” which highlights the finite nature of carbon dioxide that can be emitted into the atmosphere. Here, Dubash poses the question of “who gets to emit this carbon?”. Through the use of the example of air pollution, he also highlights the concept of “positive-sum approach” that discusses the possibility of increasing development as well as reducing carbon emissions. The lecture then discusses how countries believe that climate change is a  “zero-sum” problem that would negatively impact economic development and often leads to reduced responsibility for their climate actions. Dubash discusses how this may influence economic and foreign policy. The lecture also discusses the term “polycentric governance” that describes the climate problem as a net problem of actions and choices by individuals, communities,  corporations, cities, states and countries, where mitigation would involve understanding the root of those choices. The video describes the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992), The Kyoto Protocol ( 1997), the Copenhagen Climate Convention (2009) and the Paris Agreement (2015) and their implications on geopolitical alliances, competition between countries, global development and international negotiations. 

Students will be introduced to the history, frameworks and challenges of international climate change policy and governance. They will also learn about the implications and debates about concepts such as “zero-sum allocation” and “positive-sum approach” on a regional and national level. Students will further learn how the various international climate change agreements have shaped geopolitical alliances, global development, foreign policy and the overall global climate context. They will also learn about the negotiations that developed and developing countries have put forth to ensure maximisation of their economies without compromising on development. Additionally, students will learn about the need to understand the fundamentals of climate change science to ensure efficient policy and decision making.  

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discuss the history of international climate change negotiations. 
  2. Discuss and debate the issue of development versus mitigation in the context of climate change

About the tool

Tool NameW10 CO8 LO1 Climate Change: Policy and Governance: Global Negotiations and Domestic Policy Making
DisciplineSocial Sciences, Public Policy, International Relations
Topic(s) in DisciplinePublic Policy, Climate Policy, International Studies, Governance, Paris Agreement, Development, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992), The Kyoto Protocol ( 1997), Copenhagen Climate Convention (2009), Paris Agreement (2015)
Climate Topic Policies, Politics and Environmental Governance, Energy, Economics and Climate Change  
Type of tool Video (48 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal 
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byIndian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune
Hosted atYouTube
Linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeHcsCCXUw0&list=PLZbgNdSTyWDbHe1onWK9SULbPxCuAMi1Z&index=47
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic 

Video: The Maya Civilization and Climate Change

A video lecture titled ‘The Ancient Maya Response to Climate Change: A Cautionary Tale’ by B.L Turner II, Arizona State University, on the archaeology and geography of climate change during the Maya Civilization. The lecture discusses the depopulation and decline of the ancient civilization, during the tenth and eleventh centuries, potentially due to climate change. It includes discussions on the “millennial long wave” of population growth and decline that indicates the flourishing of a civilization and its subsequent decline. Turner further discusses the dependence of the Maya people on the land and how climate change could have led to environmental degradation and agrarian collapse. Through the use of geographic and climate data, the lecture draws a timeline for the rise and collapse of the Maya civilization, changes in societal structures and functioning, and efforts to adapt to environmental and climate change.

Students will learn about how climate changes could have contributed to the decline of the Maya civilization. They will also learn about the relationship of people, land and the environment and the rise and fall of their societal and economic structures. Additionally, they will learn about concepts like “environmental determinism”. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discuss whether climate change contributed to the decline of the Maya civilization.
  2. Discuss the term “environmental determinism”
  3. Discuss the archaeology and geography of climate change during the Maya civilization.

About the tool

Tool NameThe Ancient Maya Response to Climate Change: A Cautionary Tale
DisciplineSocial Sciences, Environmental Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineArchaeology, History, Maya Civilization, Environmental Determinism, Agrarian, Land use Land cover, 
Climate Topic Climate and Society, Climate and the Anthroposphere, Disasters and Hazards
Type of tool Video (50 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal 
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byThe Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard Museums of Science & Culture 
Hosted atYouTube
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic 

Video/ Microlecture: Culture, Politics and Climate Change

A video lecture that discusses the link between politics, culture and climate change by D. Parthasarthy. This video lecture is part 2 of a 2-part lecture  series titled ‘Climate Change and Society: Culture, Politics, And Social Dynamics’ of a MOOC. This MOOC has been developed by the National Resource Center on Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India. The video discusses the politics of climate change, its origin and how it has evolved over time. It further discusses the unequal impacts of climate change on societies, the problem of accountability and responsibility by countries and the ongoing debate between economic development and mitigation of climate change. It discusses the concepts of power of stakeholders, their decision making, societal vulnerability and risk. The video also discusses the current lack of representation in policy making by communities that are directly affected by climate change and hence the need for “knowledge participation”. The lecture further highlights the “social limits to climate action” that includes values, ethics, knowledge and culture which determine climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. The lecture specifically discusses four propositions to understand climate change and culture:

  1. Values and ethics are central to politics where social units are based on ethical principles
  2. Uncertainty leads to failure to adapt and increases vulnerability for certain communities
  3. There is a gap between perception of risk and action 
  4. Cultural aspects are excluded when developing climate adaptation strategies

The lecture then highlights how culture defines the politics of climate change contributing to the “knowledge-ignorance paradox” which discusses the concept of “scientific illiteracy”. D Parthasarathy further discusses the Giddens paradox that highlights the four reasons for decreasing public concern about climate change:

  1. Political campaigns by corporate organizations against policy proposals to reduce carbon emissions
  2. The abstract and vague nature of climate science for a layman to understand
  3. The ‘free-rider’ issue where the impact of climate change affects other countries rather than the country of origin, enabling no action to be taken to control it. 
  4. The debate between economic development and climate change mitigation in developing countries like India.  

The lecture also provides four suggestions put forth by Giddens to tackle these issues: 

  1. Political leaders must be convinced to take action 
  2. Small regional climate change agreements must be made instead of international agreements where accountability and responsibility are hard to monitor. 
  3. Companies that use fossil fuels must be challenged by local companies 
  4. Promotion of local activism to influence global action

Students will learn about the politics of climate change. They will learn about the existing politics of climate change and how vulnerability, risk and uncertainty affects decision making by individuals and societies. Students will further learn about the inherent presence of societal values, ethics, vulnerability, power and risk that determine societal ignorance, knowledge and perception of climate change. Through the four propositions, they will learn about the need for a transdisciplinary approach to ensure effective adaptation and mitigation strategies. Additionally, students will learn about the “knowledge-ignorance paradox’, the Giddens paradox and media representation and how this influences the public perception and concern of climate change. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discuss the link between culture and climate politics 
  2. How do the concepts of power, risk, uncertainty and vulnerability affect climate change policies?
  3. Discuss the “knowledge-ignorance paradox” and its influence on public concern
  4. Discuss the Giddens paradox and its four hypotheses and their impact on climate mitigation policies. 

About the tool

Tool NameW10 CO7 LO2 Climate Change and Society: Culture, Politics, And Social Dynamics Lecture 02
DisciplineSocial Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineCulture, Politics, Social Dynamics, Social Inequalities, Knowledge-Ignorance Paradox, Giddens Paradox
Climate Topic Climate and Society, Policies, Politics and Environmental Governance 
Type of tool Video (46 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal 
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byIndian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune
Hosted atYouTube
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic 

Video/Microlecture: Climate Change and Society

A video lecture that discusses how the social sciences have evolved to address issues of climate change by D. Parthasarathy. This video lecture is part 1 of a 2-part lecture  series titled ‘Climate Change and Society: Culture, Politics, And Social Dynamics’ of a MOOC. This MOOC has been developed by the National Resource Center on Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India.  The lecture focuses on the threat and vulnerability of the human population to climate change viewed through the lenses of the social sciences and climate sciences. This lecture discusses how social vulnerability is understood in the social sciences as “vulnerability and adaptation as representing the set of socio-economic factors that determine people’s ability to cope with stress or change” and how it is understood in the climate sciences as “vulnerability is the likelihood of occurrence and impacts of weather and climate related events, and capacity of population groups to reduce vulnerability”. 

The video further discusses how the social sciences have contributed to the understanding of vulnerability by discussing concepts of social inequalities like caste, religion and social status. It also highlights the impact of climate change in developing countries.  Additionally, the lecture discusses the need for a transdisciplinary approach and how the social sciences can further contribute to the understanding of climate change and societal impacts. These include:  

  1. Ethnographic insights: Studies that could discuss cultural values and political relations that influence climate related knowledge and the perception of climate change. This could help formulate better adaptation policies
  2. Historical perspective: History can be used to understand traditional mechanisms of adapting and coping and understanding societal collapse, survival and sustainability. 
  3. Holistic view: Studies that discuss the changing forms of consumption and production and their consequences such as migration and refugee crises. 

Students will learn about understanding climate risk and vulnerability from the perspective of the social sciences. They will also learn about climate change threats and vulnerability and social inequalities such as  caste, religion and social status. Students will further learn about how culture influences societies to adapt, survive, and mitigate the risks of climate change. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discuss the role of the social sciences in understanding climate change risks and vulnerability 
  2. Discuss the social inequalities can contribute to climate change induced vulnerability in developing countries

About the tool

Tool NameW10 CO7 LO1 Climate Change and Society: Culture, Politics, And Social Dynamics Lecture 01
DisciplineSocial Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineSociology, Anthropology, Social Inequalities, Caste, Religion, Vulnerability, Culture 
Climate Topic Climate and Society, Policies, Politics and Environmental Governance  
Type of tool Video (52 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal 
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byIndian Institute of Science Education and Research , Pune, India
Hosted atYouTube
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic 

Teaching Module: Mapping Range Shifts

A teaching module that demonstrates the effect of temperatures on species distributions. This module by Linton et al. enables students to analyze data for a chosen species, from Natural History Collections, for its range shift due to rising temperatures. It includes the following activities: 

  1. Reading a meta analysis by Pecl et al. titled, ‘Biodiversity redistribution under climate change: Impacts on ecosystems and human well-being’.
  2. Investigate a species: Students can select a species they want to investigate. Students in the same group can pick different species.
  3. Generate Distribution Maps: Using the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), students can obtain records for the ranges of species and how these have changed over time. 
  4. Examine Latitude Over Time: Using the GBIF database. 
  5. Interpret Your Data: Analyzing the species range and range shifts over time.  

Students will learn how to review published data to show the link between rising temperatures and potential changes in species distribution. They will further learn how to use quantitative reasoning to extract data from an aggregated dataset.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discuss how climate change can potentially cause changes in species distribution. 
  2. Discuss the range shifts for the species of your choice in the classroom.

About the tool

Tool NameSpecies Range Over Space and Time
DisciplineBiological Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineRange Shift, Species Distribution, Biodiversity, Species
Climate Topic Climate and the Biosphere
Type of tool Teaching Module
Grade LevelUndergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byDebra Linton, Anna Monfils, Libby Ellwood and Molly Phillips
Hosted atQubes
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: Gender Dimensions of Human Health and Climate Change

A reading by the World Health Organization titled ‘Gender, Climate Change and Health’ that discusses the gender dimensions of human health and climate change. Using specific climatic events such as heatwaves and flooding, the reading discusses some direct and indirect health issues that impact men and women differently. It further discusses issues such as domestic violence and nutrition deficiency and links with climate change. The reading also discusses the increased vulnerability of women to climate risks and hence the need for gender analysis in policy making. The reading also includes discussions on gender-sensitive approaches and gender-responsive interventions to increase health equity and ensure effective climate mitigation and adaptation. The reading is divided into five subtopics: 

  1. A background of gender, health and climate change 
  2. Impacts: Health 
  3. Impacts: social and human consequences of climate change 
  4. Responses to climate change 
  5. Conclusion, gaps in understanding and issues for urgent action 

Students will learn about gender and health inequity to climate change impacts. They will also learn about health risks of climate change to women, the social and human consequences of climate change, and the need to formulate gender-sensitive climate change policies. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. How does climate change impact women’s health? 
  2. What are some social consequences of climate change? 
  3. Discuss the need for gender sensitive and inclusive climate policies.

About the tool

Tool NameGender, Climate Change and Health 
DisciplineSocial Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineGender, Gender Studies, Women Studies, Human Health, Domestic Violence
Climate Topic Climate and Society; Policies, Politics and Environmental Governance
Type of tool Reading
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byWorld Health Organization
Hosted atWorld Health Organization Website
Linkhttps://www.who.int/globalchange/GenderClimateChangeHealthfinal.pdf
AccessOnline/Offline
Computer SkillsBasic