Before the Flood -National Geographic ANSWERKEY

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Video Guide - National Geographic - Before the Flood
Educator Key
National Geographic
‘Before the Flood’
Always preview questions before the video
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Educator Instructions
This video could be controversial for some of your students, make sure that you have
permission to view this video before watching it in your classroom. Mr. Higgins teaches AP
Environmental Science and can justify viewing this video as a part of the core curriculum from
the College Board, specifically dealing with the issues of manmade anthropogenic climate
change.
Specific issues that may arise with this video
● National Geographic is notorious for having their documentaries be available on their
YouTube channel, and then pulling them. Mr. Higgins has it purchased on his Amazon
Account
● The idea of Anthropogenic Climate Change could be controversial for some of your
students, Mr. Higgins uses the term ‘Scientific Consensus’
○ Read the following quote (from this wikipedia page), lots of other direct resource
links if you follow the link
■ ‘97% (of Climatologists) agree that global temperatures have increased
during the past 100 years; 84% say they personally believe humaninduced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that "currently available
scientific evidence" substantiates its occurrence.’
● At 22 Minutes in the video a quote from Glenn Beck uses the term ‘Bitch’
● At 27 Minutes in the video there is a scene in a bar with an alcohol reference
● At 1 Hour 22 Minutes in the video there are some religious references, Christianity
historical.
How Mr. Higgins grades this assignment (Rubric listed at the front of the Student version)
● 5 Point total assignment
○ 3 Points - Answer each question using full sentences that restates the question in
the answer
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Video Guide - National Geographic - Before the Flood
Educator Key
■
○
No ‘It’ or ‘They’ statements. Clearly identify what is being referenced in
the answer. Make sure that students are aware of this expectation if it is
used
■ Within the Key are many acceptable responses. Accept any that are
listed.
2 Points - For following the discussion and either ‘fixing’ their answers or adding
in something else that they missed from the viewing of the video AND / OR fix
their misconceptions. I require my students to do so in a different color (No
Grey/Black combinations!)
■ This document has far more information than students will have time to
write down.
■ Look for about 4 or 5 added comments during the Review / Discuss time
in ‘Estimated Timing’ for credit
Estimated Timing - 110 Minutes with discussion
● 10 Minutes - Introduction and pre-reading
● 95 Minutes - Watching the video, there is a introduction portion for the first
● 15 Minutes - Review / Discuss - Read all the possible answers, students should record
things that they did not record in the viewing of the video AND / OR fix their
misconceptions.
● Feel free to revise the time listed under each question. Some playback formats will only
list one type of timestamp.
● I have found that most of my students follow the rubric, and I just ‘circle’ their full credit.
Make sure to explain that is your methodology with grading before watching the video.
Rubric for Grading / Points
Each Question answered in a full sentence. You will have enough time to answer the questions
during the video
● No ‘It’, or ‘They’ starts to a sentence, explain thoroughly! ( -1 per poor answer)
● Revise or Add something new during the discussion, using a different color (NO
grey/black or pencil/black-pen, make it clear about your additions or revisions)
○ At least two new things that you did not record during viewing / or revisions if
you were wrong (1 point)
○ At least four new things that you did not record during viewing / or revisions if you
were wrong (2 points)
Full sentence answers
0
1
2 3
Discussion Revisions
0
1
2
Total ______ / 5 Points
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Video Guide - National Geographic - Before the Flood
Educator Key
Questions
Pre-Analysis of this documentary
Is Climate Change real? (take a stance and defend it)
(0:00:00 into / 1:36:00 to end)
Accept any answer. Mr. Higgins accepts any stance by students, as long as they
take a stance. This question and the final analysis question can spark quite a bit
of debate with students. Stuck to the description at the beginning of this
document. The scientific consensus is that climate change is real, and that we are
the cause. We are guaranteed 2°C by the end of the century, are we willing to have
8°C?
All questions are in the order they appear in the video. Timings for when to answer the
questions are listed below each question (Time into / Time to end). You will be asked to write a
response within the time listed between each question.
1. How are the human caused mass extinctions in the past (Dodo, Passenger Pigeon,
etc) different than what is happening today?
(0:07:30 into / 1:28:30 to end)
Climate Change is coming much much faster
Early explorers would wipe out entire species, decimating ecosystems forever
Humans are now knowingly destroying the environment, but on a much larger
scale (emphasis on this answer)
2. Explain how our search for cheap energy in fossil fuels has changed in the last 2
decades. How has this changed the environment?
(0:09:00 into / 1:27:00 to end)
Acceptable answers: Mountaintop Removal, Fracking, Offshore Drilling, Tar Sands
Emphasis on destroying the environment to attain the fuel in more extreme ways
This causes disruptions in ecosystems, wildlife, communities
Huge amounts of energy to extract vs the amount we now receive
The Tar Sand deposits look disgusting from the helicopter, but it is far away from
our cities, so we do not recognize it
Leads to loss of biodiversity and extinction
There is no such thing as clean fossil fuels
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Video Guide - National Geographic - Before the Flood
Educator Key
3. How has the ice of the Baffin Islands changed during the hunters’ lifetime?
(0:13:30 into / 1:22:30 to end)
The ice has become less ‘blue’ (solid)
Turning into ‘ice-cream’ type ice, which melts faster
By 2040 we will be able to sail over the north pole
No Sea Ice in the Summer (not in video) This is called the Northwest passage
(not in video) The resources, mainly oil, will be able to be drilled around this time,
further adding to climate change. Remind students that easy energy is why our
civilization has grown so quickly
4. What happened to the weather station in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland?
(0:17:30 into / 1:18:30 to end)
Massive amounts of ice is melting, when it melts, sea level rises
The ice under the weather station melted over 30 feet, 5 years of melt
The hose that used go straight down into the ice is now exposed
Higgins Note: It may help to have a 30 foot area that you can reference students to
for this spatial concept
5. In Florida what does the term Sunny Day Flooding mean?
(0:20:00 into / 1:16:00 to end)
During high tide the water has begun to flood over onto the streets and rise up out
the drainage system
In Florida they are already building pumps and drainage to prevent flooding of the
streets
These infrastructure changes may only last 40/50 years
No one wants to talk about Climate Change politically. But, the quote from the
video is ‘The ocean is not republican and it’s not democrat, all it knows how to do
is rise’
6. Why do we ignore climate change? What does science have to say?
(0:23:00 into / 1:13:00 to end)
(This question may cause many questions, focus on the points below)
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Video Guide - National Geographic - Before the Flood
Educator Key
Politics is different than science, and tends to focus on what people want to hear
Lobbying (repeated statements) can change what our elected leaders think
because it gets repeated so much
Science is about reproducible results / models
The consensus of scientists is that Climate Change is real, and that humans are
the cause
7. Who is funding anti-climate change propaganda? Why would they do this?
(0:25:00 into / 1:11:00 to end)
(This question may cause many questions, focus on the points below)
The Fossil Fuel industry, oil and coal are CHEAP, this is changing in the last 5
years, renewables are becoming competitive
They are attempting to keep their profits
Change is hard, our entire economic system is based on Fossil Fuel economics
Higgins Note: I emphasize with my students that this is capitalism. And only
through social pressure and policy changes will this be changed.
8. What has happened in and around Beijing, China that led to environmental protesting?
(0:29:00 into / 1:07:00 to end)
Manufacturing has moved to China, increasing power consumption
More Coal Plants to support their industrialization, around Beijing this is the same
amount as the entire United States
This has increased the pollution in Beijing to a point that it can sometimes be hard
to breath the air
9. How is China addressing these environmental issues?
(0:31:30 into / 1:04:30 to end)
Environmental monitoring is on the rise
Chinese media talks about Climate Change, increasing popular support
China is increasing investment in Wind and Solar, prioritizing these energy
sources rather than Coal
10. What concerns the Indian government more than addressing Climate Change?
(0:33:30 into / 1:02:30 to end)
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Video Guide - National Geographic - Before the Flood
Educator Key
Biggest priority is development and bringing people out of poverty
Increasing the number of households that have access to energy, 300 Million
People without access to energy (light)
The burning of cowdung for cooking purposes is inefficient and pollute, but it is
the ONLY way of cooking
30% of households in India do not have access to Electricity
Coal is cheap, 700 Million households use biomass (cow dung, wood, etc) to make
energy
United States consumption by the United States is far beyond all developing
nations (India included)
China and India are currently doing more investment in Solar (and Wind) than the
United States
The poor of these countries will be hardest hit in the first round of sever climate
change
Climate Change has already impacted India’s agricultural output (unusual rainfall
destroying crops)
11. Give an explanation of why the pacific island nations will be the first hit by Climate
Change.
(0:41:00 into / 0:55:00 to end)
Sever flooding, affecting drinking water
These island will be under water, they are already experiencing unusual high tides
Adopted a policy of migration, accepted the fact that they will not be able to live
on these islands
Farmlands are being destroyed
12. What does the ocean do for our climate / society? Why is it not doing this job?
(0:43:30 into / 0:53:30 to end)
1 Billion people depend on our oceans
Coral Reefs are dying, 50% of coral reefs will be gone in 50 years
The oceans will absorb CO2 (about 1/3rd), but we are releasing the gasses faster
than the ocean can act as a buffer
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Video Guide - National Geographic - Before the Flood
Educator Key
Life will always exist in the ocean… but are we willing to let it be slime (bacteria
mats and no fish or higher lifeforms)
13. Explain why and how forests store carbon. Why are are the forests of Indonesia being
destroyed?
(0:46:00 into / 0:51:00 to end)
Forest naturally store Carbon
The forests of Indonesia are being burned to make room for palm oil plantations,
and release more Carbon than the entire United States economy
A cheap commodity (easy Energy, emphasize this) destroys the soil
Palm Oil is impossible to avoid, a part of capitalism (making money)
14. Give a reason that reducing the amount of beef you consume would lower your carbon
footprint.
(0:51:00 into / 0:46:00 to end)
Beef is an inefficient method of food production. The United States uses 70% of
the farmable land to raise cattle
Fruit, Vegetables, etc are 1% of our land use
One Molecule of Methane (Cow Burps and Farts) is the same as Twenty Molecules
of Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
10 to 12% of US emissions are from Beef
Beef produces more methane than other protein sources like chicken, which is
much more efficient. Switching to chicken could reduce your carbon footprint
from meat by 70 to 80%
15. Why did they have to move the set of the Revenant?
(0:54:00 into / 0:43:00 to end)
All the snow melted due to an unusual warm spell (record temperatures) in
Canada, melting the set
They had to relocate to find snow
16. What is the purpose of the Tesla Gigafactory?
(0:57:00 into / 0:41:00 to end)
To make batteries on a massive scale, lowering their cost, making them affordable
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Video Guide - National Geographic - Before the Flood
Educator Key
Easier for 3rd world countries to adopt solar
A 100 Gigafactories would provide for the entire world
Will only make a difference if larger companies adopt renewable energy
Allowing developing countries to ‘skip’ building power plants and go straight to
renewable energy sources
17. Describe how a ‘Carbon Tax’ works?
(0:59:30 into / 0:39:30 to end)
Taxes Carbon entering the atmosphere, taxes social responsibility of climate
actions
People will change their consumption if there is a tax on their actions, just like
cigarettes
A Carbon Tax will get consumers to choose non-carbon emitting alternatives by
increasing the cost of carbon emissions
‘Could’ also help cover the costs of severe weather events, if applied through
social policy (Law)
Our politicians do what the people want them to do, based on polls and reactions
18. Describe one of the events that Secretary of State John Kerry references during his
interview
(1:02:30 into / 0:36:30 to end)
The United States and China (Largest Economies on Earth) have made a
statement to combat Climate Change
Mass migrations or water rights / conflict
Leaving this Planet better than we were given it
Sadly, we have backed out of this policy during the Trump administration.
Reference that this is all about policy and regulations, which is the will of the
people. If students show concern, explain to them that their power is through
voting
19. Describe one of the tipping points that could affect the Earth.
(1:05:30 into / 0:36:30 to end)
The video references 4°C this century, this is the midpoint for climate change. We
are guaranteed (per the IPCC) 2°C, but it might be as high as 8°C. And this change
will affect the arctic the most.
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Video Guide - National Geographic - Before the Flood
Educator Key
In the past 12,000 years the climate has remained stable… but we have records (in
ice primarily, but also in the rocks) that this can change very quickly.
Crops will change where they can be grown
Coral Reefs being to collapse
Agriculture collapses at the Equator
Greenland becomes darker and starts absorbing energy rather than reflecting it
Methane deposits melt and cause global climate temperatures to change faster
20. Describe the Paris Climate Summit of 2015
(1:09:00 into / 0:33:00 to end)
195 countries came together and were working towards resolutions to stop
climate change
‘Doing everything in their power to change’
Call to keep warming below 2°C, and preferable 1.5°C. This would require action
right now! We have a limited time (probably 5 years) to accomplish this.
21. Describe some of the key points that President Obama makes about Climate Change
(1:12:00 into / 0:30:00 to end)
The American public is starting to see that Climate Change is really an issue (Mr.
Higgins will reference that 9 of the 10 hottest years on record are in this century).
Huge segments of the human population lives near the coast.
The pentagon has stated that this is a national security issue.
President Obama also places doubt that the existing world order will survive if we
do not act on these issues soon.
Educating the public is key to fixing this problem.
Sadly, we have backed out of these policies during the Trump administration.
Reference that this is all about policy and regulations, which is the will of the
people. If students show concern, explain to them that their power is through
voting
22. Why is studying the Earth’s atmosphere from space important?
(1:15:00 into / 0:27:00 to end)
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Video Guide - National Geographic - Before the Flood
Educator Key
The atmosphere is revealed as being very thin from space. Like an onion skin
(insert Shrek reference if you wish)
NASA / NOAA (not mentioned in video) have about 20 satellites looking at the
Earth everyday.
We can see that the poles are melting
Biggest impact will be the Gulf Stream. (not mentioned in video) Moves up the
East coast of the United States and impacts the Greenland Ice Sheet
If the Gulf Stream fails Europe would get colder, a misconception about Climate
Change is that everything will get warmer
23. How does precipitation change due to climate change?
(1:19:00 into / 0:23:00 to end)
Places that are hot get more hot.
More Drought. Less food.
In the US, Oklahoma will get dryer.
Worst drought in 900 years in the Middle East (students may name any country in
the Middle East)
This could all happen over the next few decades
We need to confront the problem and find a way out of it
24. Why is the Popes announcement so important?
(1:22:00 into / 0:20:00 to end)
The Pope acknowledged Climate Change
It will affect the poorest the most
We should take immediate action
Students, use the remaining time in the documentary to answer the following...
Post-Analysis of this documentary
Is this documentary a message of Hope, or a message of Despair? Do you think that humanity
will be able to solve the problems of Climate Change? (one paragraph, take a stance)
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Video Guide - National Geographic - Before the Flood
Educator Key
I repeat this question, and then will say nothing. Wait 30 seconds and state
something equivalent to ‘You are the future of Environmental Policy, this is your
planet now’. Then request turn-in. It’s really up to you, the educator, with how far
you want to take this
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