Daily Video

October 15, 2018

UN Climate Change Report: What your students need to know



Directions: Read the summary with your students, watch the video (if helpful, follow along with the transcript) and then answer the discussion questions.


Summary: The United Nations new IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report warns that some of the most devastating consequences of global warming will arrive sooner than expected — in as little as 12 years — if the world does not move to rapidly cut carbon emissions. Among other noted events, low-lying nations could be flooded by rising sea levels, producing huge flows of refugees, while fierce wildfires will grow in frequency and intensity. The panel, which includes some of the world’s leading scientists, stated that preventing such tragedies requires reducing carbon emissions enough to limit warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius. Doing so, however, requires a sudden and “unprecedented” shift in how the world generates electricity, grows food and moves goods around the globe. Every bit of warming matters, the report concludes, and countries must approach the problem from every angle — with taxation on fossil fuels and clean energy.




1. Essential question: How do politics affect the world’s response to climate change?


2. What changes to environmental policy need to be made in order to address the recommendations in the climate report?


3. Do you believe a new tax should be placed on gasoline in order to discourage driving and incentivize the use of alternatives such as public transit? Explain your answer.


4. How could young people use their voice in response to political decisions surrounding global warming?


5. Media literacy question: How have other broadcast news outlets covered the climate change report? Have they interviewed experts on the subject? What are their sources? What types of headlines and subheadings did they use? Use the website Allsides.com to help you. Choose at least three different news outlets to examine.


Extension activity:


Check out Allsides.com’s editorial philosophy and how it determines its media bias ratings.


Have your students take the “Discover your bias” quiz. Be sure to preview the quiz before showing it to your students.


Lake Hume in Australia at 4 percent level. Photo by Tim J Keegan via Flickr http://bit.ly/2QPLYzJ


PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs’ Thomas Maxwell contributed to today’s Daily News Story.


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