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Carbon Offsets and Climate Change Educator Guide from MIT’s TILclimate Podcast

Grade Level Grades 9-12, Higher Education, Adult Education
Resource Type Activity, Handout
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards

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Countries, companies and even individuals can pay for carbon offsets to reach “carbon neutral” or “net zero” targets. Students investigate carbon dioxide distribution, what carbon offsets are, the history of the Kyoto Protocol, and how forest health interacts with carbon offset claims.

SWBAT

  • Explain that carbon dioxide is emitted in some places more than others but distributes throughout the atmosphere.
  • Describe the idea of a carbon offset.
  • Understand the basics of the Kyoto Protocol.
  • Analyze carbon offset claims of companies and organizations.

Skills

  • Media literacy
  • Discussion
  • Map reading

Standards

Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.
Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

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