4.5.2 Climate Change: Who Is to Blame?


This 2020 video by Kurzgesagt with the support of the Bill Gates Foundation illustrates the various ways we can assign responsibility for climate change. Who should make the necessary changes so that we might limit catastrophic global changes like desertification, extreme weather events, the death of coral reefs and fisheries, and sea level rises? Kurzgesagt makes available the data they used to make the video, backing up each claim with specific evidence here.

The video is available in German and Spanish too.


Guiding Questions:

  1. Look up one claim made in the video, such as the total emissions by a state or region, by looking at their evidence page (linked again here). What kind of evidence do they use? Are you able to track down how, broadly, this evidence was gathered? This might require a bit of digging.
  2. What role does the evidence presented play in determining if the theory of climate change fits the observable facts? Recall the contemporary demarcation criteria from learning material 3.2.5.
  3. What are the different ways we can consider what state or population should address climate change? Which of these arguments have you heard before?
  4. Which argument do you find most convincing?
  5. Calculate your carbon footprint here: https://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx. Is your footprint higher or lower than the target? What contributed?


Video Credit: Courtesy of Kurzgesagt.org.

Thumbnail: Photograph of a painting of St.Rollox Chemical Works at the opening of the Garnkirk and Glasgow railway in 1831 painted by D.O.Hill. Public domain.