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Database Provider

Authors

Grist, Peter Kalmus

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

North America, United States

A Climate Scientist Who Decided Not to Fly

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Synopsis
  • In this article, climate scientist Peter Kalmus explains why he stopped flying in airplanes after he realized how much flying contributed to his carbon footprint.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This article prompts students to think about how their individual choices contribute to the global issue of climate change.
  • The article includes a pie chart and a graph that show Peter Kalmus's carbon footprint before and after he decided to make changes to his lifestyle.
  • Students will also learn about other ways the author was able to reduce his carbon footprint through vegetarianism, growing his own food, biking to work, and composting.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know how and why burning fossil fuels causes climate change.

Differentiation

  • Students can use this carbon footprint calculator to learn more about their own carbon footprint and then create an action plan to reduce their emissions.
  • English language arts classes could read this article and discuss the techniques that the author used to convey his message. Students could think about the tone of the article and how it shapes the reader's opinion on flying.
Scientist Notes
There is no standard parameter or instrument the author used in measuring or estimating the amount of emission from the gasoline he burns or during air travel from 2010-2014 (period of survey). However, the content can guide students on how to mitigate individual carbon footprints.
Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.6.9-12 Use disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses to understand the characteristics and causes of local, regional, and global problems; instances of such problems in multiple contexts; and challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address these problems over time and place.
      • D4.7.9-12 Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
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