Activity Introduction

TCE-Nathan-Myhrvold-photoframeQuick summary: This Changes Everything includes a book by Naomi Klein and film by Avi Lewis. The texts join the dots between climate change, economic systems and the power of community action. In this lesson, students critically assess the idea that humans can control the Earth. Critiquing an excerpt from the book, students analyse a number of proposed geoengineering strategies that use technology to manipulate the climate and attempt to curb global warming. They further analyse the pros and cons of geoengineering solutions and discuss the associated ethical and political issues. Finally, students develop a series of tweets that provide concise summaries of their personal views about geoengineering.

Learning objectives:

  • Students understand what is meant by geoengineering.
  • Students critically assess the pros and cons of geoengineering.
  • Students understand that there are ethical and political challenges in trying to manipulate the climate.

21st century skills:

climate v capitalism skills

Advice for teachers: This unit is designed to help year 9 and 10 students to look critically at the idea of how our economic system’s push for continual growth impacts both the environment and quality of life for all people. Excerpts from the This Changes Everything book and documentary film are used as starting points throughout the lessons to spark discussion, and to put a human face on complex issues through case studies and in-depth analysis. Parts of this unit is suitable for the following learning areas: Geography, Economics and Business, Civics and Citizenship, English and Environmental Science. These lessons can be used to integrate the Cross-curricular priority of Sustainability into your learning area. Each lesson is designed to stand on its own; you can easily pick and choose what learning activities best meet your curricular goals.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 9 Geography

  • The effects of the production and consumption of goods on places and environments throughout the world and including a country from North-East Asia (ACHGK068)

Year 9 English

  • Present an argument about a literary text based on initial impressions and subsequent analysis of the whole text (ACELT1771)
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746)

Year 10 Geography

  • Human-induced environmental changes that challenge sustainability (ACHGK070)

Year 10 English

  • Reflect on, extend, endorse or refute others’ interpretations of and responses to literature (ACELT1640)
  • Create sustained texts, including texts that combine specific digital or media content, for imaginative, informative, or persuasive purposes that reflect upon challenging and complex issues (ACELY1756)

Year 9 & 10 Design and Technologies

  • Critically analyse factors, including social, ethical and sustainability considerations, that impact on designed solutions for global preferred futures and the complex design and production processes involved (ACTDEK040)
  • Explain how products, services and environments evolve with consideration of preferred futures and the impact of emerging technologies on design decisions (ACTDEK041)

Syllabus outcomes: GE4-2, GE4-3, GE4-4, GE4-5, GE5-2, GE5-3, EN5-1A, EN5-5C, D&T5.3.1, D&T5.3.2, D&T5.2.1.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding, Intercultural Understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.1, OI.6, OI.8.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Geography achievement standards: Students predict changes in the characteristics of places over time and identify the possible implications of change for the future.

Relevant parts of Year 9 English achievement standards: Students evaluate and integrate ideas and information from texts to form their own interpretations. They create texts that respond to issues, interpreting and integrating ideas from other texts.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Geography achievement standards: Students predict changes in the characteristics of places and environments over time, across space and at different scales and explain the predicted consequences of change.

Relevant parts of Year 10 English achievement standards: Students develop and justify their own interpretations of texts. They create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas.

Relevant parts of Year 9 & 10 Design and Technologies achievement standards: Students explain how people working in design and technologies occupations consider factors that impact on design decisions and the technologies used to produce products, services and environments.

Relevant parts of Year 10 English achievement standards: Students create a wide range of texts to articulate complex ideas.

Topic: Climate Change, Sustainability, This Changes Everything.

Unit of work: This Changes Everything.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity and guide discussions.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet and This Changes Everything book excerpt: Managing the Sun. Film clip: Mastering the EarthPiktochart20 Reasons Why Geoenginering May Be a Bad Idea article and Addicted to Risk TED Talk (Take it Further/Extension). 

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: This Changes Everything, geoengineering, climate change, ethical considerations, political considerations.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

TCE-David-Collyer-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will understand what is meant by geoengineering and recognise that there are pros and cons to geoengineering solutions. They will also understand that there are ethical and political challenges in trying to manipulate the climate.

Teacher content information: This Changes Everything explores the complex relationship between humans and our environment, and in particular how our economic system’s push for continual growth impacts both the environment and quality of life for all people. Both the book and the film present powerful portraits of communities on the front line of both fossil fuel extraction and the climate crisis it is driving, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

This Change Everything is a vehicle to discuss the climate crisis as an opportunity; an opportunity for a new economic model that accounts for both people and the planet in a just and

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Should you change the climate to prevent climate change?

Part A.

Working independently, look at the image below and complete the table:

Geoengineering methods

Source: Climate Central - Geoengineering Methods

What do you SEE in this picture?

What does it make you THINK about?

What does it make you WONDER?

 

Part 2.

Read the This Changes Everything book excerpt, Managing the Sun, which describes a number of geoengineering proposals, or how technology could be used to manipulate the climate and curb global warming. Then, respond below.

1. List the different geoengineering strategies described in the text. For each strategy, note how it is intended to reduce global warming. Next, critically think about what some of the unintended effects might be for each strategy.

Strategy

Intended Effect

Unintended effect

2. Describe how the Pinatubo Option would work:

3. According

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