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The Climate Question, BBC


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


Science, Social Studies, Civics, Health, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Podcast, 27 minutes, 10 seconds

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast, South and Central America, Africa, Europe, New York, New York City

How Can We Get More People on Their Bikes?

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  • In this podcast, students will learn about the massive impact that the transportation sector has on carbon emissions and how getting more people on bikes is an imperative step in the climate transition. 
  • Listeners will learn about initiatives in places such as New York City, Botota, and Kampala that include successes and timelines for the infrastructure changes made in these locations. 
Teaching Tips


  • Students will be challenged to think about the ways that shifting how we get around could have a significant impact on the climate crisis. 
  • This podcast focuses on case studies around the world including the Netherlands, France, Colombia, and Uganda. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Before listening, it may be helpful to give students context about the locations highlighted in the podcast. 
  • Since the podcast is somewhat lengthy, it may help comprehension to pause at a couple of natural stopping points to summarize what students have heard so far. 
  • This podcast switches to climate news at 26:30. 


  • It may help students to have a graphic organizer or note-taking guide while listening in order to help organize main ideas and new learning presented in the podcast. 
  • This SubjectToClimate lesson plan could be used in science classes to help students compare the environmental impacts of different modes of transportation. 
  • Have students watch this Not Just Bikes video and discuss in groups how Paris purposefully transformed its city's bicycle infrastructure. 
  • Engineering or design classes could put students in groups to design a project in their cities to change bicycle and transportation infrastructure. 
  • Social studies classes could have students work in groups to propose ways to address local governments about why transforming bicycle infrastructure could positively impact the environment. 
  • Other related resources include this short video about a protected bike lane pilot program in New York City, this TED Talk about detoxing transportation, and this course about taking personal action. 
Scientist Notes
The podcast promotes individuals to switch to cycling by bringing attention to the need to lower carbon footprint in the transportation sector. In this case study, the Netherlands is used. We advise using this resource in the classroom.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
  • 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.
      • D2.Civ.13.9-12 Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.8.9-12 Evaluate the impact of economic activities and political decisions on spatial patterns within and among urban, suburban, and rural regions.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.9-12 Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.3 Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.
      • 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.
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