Decoder: What happens if you buy a carbon credit?

Decoder: What happens if you buy a carbon credit?

I am interested in carbon credits — permits that offset greenhouse emissions. So I bought a tonne of carbon. Here’s what I learned. (Photo courtesy of Cory Willis of Willis Farms, Inc. in Tennessee, United States) Anyone with a credit card and the inclination...

Climate change is an existential challenge that resonates particularly strongly with young people, but much of the debate around how to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius remains abstract. Carbon credits are considered part of the solution, but just what is a carbon credit? Monica Kidd, a Global Journalism Fellow at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health, asked herself that same question, but instead of simply consulting a text book, she went out and bought a tonne of carbon for $15 and then listened to the farmer who made the sale explain how it works and why carbon credits are not a silver bullet in the climate fight. Understanding the complexities of problems is the sine qua non to pinpointing solutions.

Exercise: Break students into groups and ask each group to buy a tonne of carbon and then explain how they have contributed to the fight against global warming and why it is not enough.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine imperils Arctic cooperation

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine imperils Arctic cooperation

The Arctic has long been a region of peace. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is jeopardizing cooperation in the vast zone threatened by climate change. An Inuit family in Quinhagak, Alaska, 2015 (Photo by Brian Adams, courtesy of the Inuit Circumpolar Council)...

War in Ukraine has unleashed a tsunami of ink – about geopolitics, military alliances, weaponry, diplomacy, history. A relatively little noticed but hugely important angle is the future of the Arctic, which has eight nations, including two nuclear powers, the United States and Russia, staking a claim to portions of the vast region. Susanne Courtney introduces us to the relatively little known Arctic Council, which is sure to assume more and more importance as global warming opens up new shipping routes and facilitates the extraction of valuable natural resources. It’s never too early to be ahead of the news curve.

Exercise: Ask your students to debate the resolution: “Seven member states of the Arctic Council acted unwisely in boycotting talks with Moscow after Russia invaded Ukraine.”

Listen: There’s no Plan B if our friends the bees perish

Listen: There’s no Plan B if our friends the bees perish

Some consider them a nuisance, but bees are critically important. Our podcast, “Plan Bee,” explains how climate change and humans put bees at risk. News Decoder · There's no Plan Bee if our friends the bees perish Bees are a vital part of our...

Climate change is affecting our planet in so many ways that the disruptions can feel overwhelming. Two students at the European School Brussels II train their sights on bees, which play a critical role in protecting our environment. In their 10-minute podcast, Isabel Fontan Ireland and Oliver Sanchez de Leon Tuomi explain why we all should fret over the fate of bees. Their conversation is an excellent example for students interested in audio as a platform for expression.

Exercise: Divide your students into teams of two and have them record a five-minute conversation about a complicated topic that they have researched. The challenge is to make it simple, understandable and engaging.

Climate change