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Authors

Sustainable Future, Sam Shead

Grades

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

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics, Civics, Computer Science & Design Thinking

Resource Type

  • Article

Regional Focus

Asia

China’s Bitcoin Mining Is Threatening Its Climate Change Targets, Study Says

Synopsis
  • In this article, students will learn about cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and the huge amount of energy required to verify cryptocurrency transactions worldwide.
  • The article also discusses the vast amount of energy that China's cryptocurrency "mining" operations use and the actions China is taking to address this issue.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This article highlights the unintentional side effects of technological innovations that require significantly more energy or resources.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The article is easy to follow and includes hyperlinks to provide additional information.

Differentiation

  • This resource could be incorporated into science classes discussing climate change, energy consumption, or technological innovation.
  • Economics classes could use this resource when learning about unintended consequences of economic decisions and the globalization of economies.
  • Civics classes could research and propose policies or regulations to reduce the climate impact of cryptocurrencies.
  • Advanced students could read the scientific report that the article is based on (hyperlinked in the first sentence). Students could assess how accurately the article represents the true findings.
Scientist Notes
This resource reports the level of energy consumption from mining Bitcoin in China. This activity undermines China's target of cutting down emissions to achieve net zero emissions in 2050. The resource is recommended for teaching students to understand the intricacies of cryptocurrency and its impact on climate.
Standards
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.12.6-8 Assess specific rules and laws (both actual and proposed) as means of addressing public problems.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
      • D2.Eco.15.9-12 Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, rights of citizens, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.8.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.5 Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.
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