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Teaching Climate Change in the Sociology Classroom


Teaching module of resources and activities that accompanies ‘The Teacher-Friendly Guide™ to Climate Change’ edited by Ingrid H. H. Zabel, Don Duggan-Haas, & Robert M. Ross,the Paleontological Research Institution. This teaching module includes videos and classroom/laboratory activities on the following topics

  1. Societal causes of climate change
    1. Causes identified in the “green” updating of Classical Theory
    2. Causes identified in the contemporary Environmental Sociology
  2.  Climate impact on society
    1. Extreme weather events
    2.  Food
    3.  Water
    4. Health and Illness
    5. Economic impacts, at the level of the nation (U.S)
    6.  Political impacts
    7. Unequal impacts, globally, among nations
    8. Unequal impacts, in the U.S., by State and by region
    9. Unequal impacts, in the U.S., by race and class
    10. The potential for catastrophic impacts
  3. Societal responses to climate change
    1. The science; discovery; communicating; activism
    2. Climate activism, the social movements
    3. Climate denial, the counter-movement
    4. Private sector actors, pro and con
    5. Non-environmental “civil society” actors, pro and con
    6. Traditional media-print (newspapers), network television
    7. Online media- websites, blogs, social media
    8. Public opinion
    9. Policy- international; other nations
    10. Policy- federal (US)
    11. Policy- State, local (US)
    12. Technological innovation (clean, renewable energy); green cities
    13. “Plan B”: geoengineering

Students will understand the importance of the Social Sciences and the discipline of Sociology in understanding climate change.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. How does society contribute to climate change?
  2. What are some of the impacts climate change has and may have on society?
  3. How has society responded to the threat of climate change?
About Tool
Tool Name A Sociology of Climate Change
Discipline Social Sciences  
Topic(s) in Discipline Climate Change Overview, Sociology
Climate Topic Introduction to Climate Change, Climate Literacy
Type of tool Video (51 mins)
Grade Level High School, Undergraduate
Location Global
Language English
Translation      –
Developed by Andrew Szasz
Hosted at YouTube
Access Online
Computer Skills Basic

Mapped Sustainable Development Goal(s), apart from 4 and 13


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