III. WILL WE CHANGE?
PARIS ACCORD –
7. In the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, virtually every nation in the world agreed to work together to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions. The following prompts can be used to direct class discussion, writing assignments or both.
• What was the role of the United States during the Paris climate talks? How is climate change impacting the U.S. and what were the U.S. commitments as a part of the Accord? What is the current status of our commitment?
• Allow students to pick a country who participated in the Accord, such as Afghanistan, Brazil, Canada, China, Cuba, France, Ghana, India, Maldives, Mexico, Thailand, or the United Kingdom and research their role during the Paris climate talks, how climate change is impacting the country and their commitments as a part of the Accord.
• Students should be prepared to discuss the role of each country, what their commitments mean not only to the country, but to the Earth systems.
• Students should be able to argue with evidence why pulling out of the accord is beneficial or detrimental to their countries communities, economy and environment.
8. Write an essay about your climate or ecological foot print, comparing it to those of others in this country and other countries. Describe the kinds of actions you, your school and community could take to reduce the carbon footprint and decrease environmental impacts.
9. Discuss how U.S. consumption affects other cultures, examining the social equity issues. What would you think if you were from another culture looking at U.S. consumption patterns? Write an essay about how you would feel. Would you want to be like us?
10. Write about the process of making choices. How does it make you feel to have so many choices? What factors go into your decision to walk or drive a car? Buy one product over another? What would make you change your mind? What makes one choice better than another? Evaluate the purchasing practices at your school. Conduct an environmental audit to see what kinds of purchasing decisions are being made, from the type of energy, paper, food, other products and services. What changes might be made?
11. Ask student to list their top 10 values on a piece of paper privately. Then ask them to reduce the number to eight and then to five. Give them ample time to think and consider between each reduction. Then, ask for several volunteers to share their lists with the class or write them on the board. Are they the same? Different? What do they discover? Ask them if they think they could agree on a class list of top ten values. What type of discussion would that take? What are some of the effects of different values in the real world? How do people reconcile their different values?How do our values and priorities have an effect on decisions related to climate change – locally, at the state level, nationally and globally?