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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th



Resource Type

  • Videos, 21 minutes, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Is It Wrong to Fly?

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  • This video examines the ethical considerations of flying, the "flight shaming" movement, and recent innovations in electric plane technology that may enable future alternatives. 
  • Using a flight emissions calculator and carbon footprint calculations, the hosts of Vox discover how each of our individual actions has an impact on climate change. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video provides an in-depth analysis of the ethics of flying and how individual choices impact the climate.
  • The hosts make a somewhat abstract concept easy to understand by helping viewers visualize the connection between the number of flights the hosts are taking and how much Arctic sea ice is melting as a result.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Viewers should have basic knowledge of how fossil fuels are contributing to climate change.


  • Although this video is long and better adapted for high school audiences, middle school audiences could gain a better understanding of how personal choices have direct impacts of climate change by watching the video up until 9:44. After that point, the video shifts to Greta Thunberg's trip to the United States and a test flight in a small electric aircraft.
  • Math classes can watch this video and then calculate their own carbon footprint by using the links provided in the video description.
  • Students can identify concrete ways to take action against climate change and work to inform the public about what they learned.
  • Students can explore this online platform about people quitting flying, this fact sheet about how aviation impacts the climate, and this fact sheet on the aviation industry's greenwashing of electric flight.
Scientist Notes
It is true that air travel is one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions. This video from Vox explores the data behind this and asks if it is wrong to fly. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
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