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The Climate Question


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Visual and Performing Arts, Social-Emotional Learning

Resource Type

  • Podcast, 27 minutes, 31 seconds

Regional Focus


Does Climate Change Have an "Image Problem"?

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  • This insightful podcast episode discusses the importance of visual imagery and photography in telling the climate story in a way that connects with many different people and increases awareness and engagement.
Teaching Tips


  • It helps students use their critical thinking skills and can stimulate a research project or art project.
  • The host speaks with various climate photographers to get their perspectives and opinions.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with climate change and global warming.
  • It ends at 25:10 and then an advertisement for another podcast follows.


  • Students can look at the "Blue Marble" image mentioned in the podcast, read about it, and discuss what thoughts and feelings it evokes.
  • Part 15:20-16:57 discusses the principles of photojournalism. Students could be given an assignment to analyze various climate visuals in photojournalism and present their findings.
  • This podcast could be used in an art class discussing framing, composition, and subject matter.
  • Students can be encouraged to take photos of their home or neighborhood over a span of 3-5 months and note any climate connections. 
  • Science classes can use this podcast when discussing communicating science to the public. Have students describe a complex scientific process they learn about in class in a way that is easy for the general public to understand.
  • The podcast mentions social media algorithms and media presentations of climate change topics and imagery, which could be explored in social studies classes and computer science classes.
Scientist Notes
This 28-minute podcast features the principles of photojournalism - how photography can be used to engage people about the reality of climate change. Taking climate photos is extraordinary and difficult, depending on the location and the magnitude of the impact. This podcast also talks about the problems associated with visualizing and storytelling climate images and proposes images to be taken in a long-form to visualize the stories in-depth rather than a single image, and also re-imagining the visual language and features of climate change. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 7 - Perceive and analyze artistic work.
      • VA:Re7.1.IIa Recognize and describe personal aesthetic and empathetic responses to the natural world and constructed environments.
      • VA:Re7.2.Ia Analyze how one’s understanding of the world is affected by experiencing visual imagery.
      • VA:Re7.2.IIa Evaluate the effectiveness of an image or images to influence ideas, feelings, and behaviors of specific audiences.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 8 - Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
      • VA:Re8.1.IIa Identify types of contextual information useful in the process of constructing interpretations of an artwork or collection of works.
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