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Hot Mess, PBS


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


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, History

Resource Type

  • Videos, 4 minutes, 58 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

We've Ignored Climate Change for More Than a Century

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  • This video presents a succinct history of climate science over the last 200 years.
  • The video explains multiple reasons why humans find it difficult to act on climate change.
Teaching Tips


  • The video incorporates music, imagery, and text to ensure student engagement. 
  • The video poses ideas that could be used as interesting discussion points.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There is an advertisement at the end of the video. The content finishes at 4 minutes, 38 seconds. 
  • Students will benefit from understanding the term climate change before watching the video. 


Scientist Notes
It is well known in academic circles that scientists have understood the physics behind climate change for more than a century. This resource video from PBS explores how long we've known, and why it is difficult for people to take action. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.14.6-8 Explain multiple causes and effects of events and developments in the past.
      • D2.His.1.9-12 Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.6.6-8 Draw on multiple disciplinary lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.
      • 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.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-5 Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
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