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



Resource Type

  • Videos, 9 minutes, 44 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States


YouTube Video

Why Humans Are So Bad at Thinking About Climate Change

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  • This video shows how guilt-inducing climate change messaging has had little impact on individuals or policy makers while a new psychology-based approach to communication has yielded better results. 
  • Students will learn that large companies are using behavioral science methods to get people to reduce their electricity and fuel use. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video shows students how behavioral scientists at UCLA developed experiments to determine the best way to get people involved and interested in solving the climate crisis.
  • Students will see how collective action can make a big impact.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This video contains advertisements at the beginning and the midpoint.
  • Students should have some background knowledge of the Montreal Protocol, the global agreement to halt CFC production in order to heal the hole in the ozone layer.
  • The video focuses on the impact of electricity conservation without explaining that a lot of electricity is generated from the burning of fossil fuels.


  • Psychology or life skills classes could discuss how social competition can have positive and negative impacts on people.
  • Ethics classes could discuss why people were more motivated by learning about the health impacts of climate change than they were by the money-saving information.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video that explains the psychology behind desirable food and food waste, this lesson that teaches students how to have climate change conversations, and this SubjectToClimate lesson plan on learning how to conserve energy.
Scientist Notes
The resource underscores the importance of changing our behaviour towards climate change. As a global challenge, it presents the need to measure successes, communicating hope to get everyone involved in action irrespective of geographies. This is recommended for teaching.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • 6.SL.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 6.ESS3.5 Ask clarifying questions based on evidence about the factors that have caused climate change over the past century.
  • Social Sciences
    • Social Science Analysis (K-12)
      • 8.34 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.
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