This podcast explores the topic of eco hypocrisy, shame, and guilt and concludes that instead of pursuing perfectionism, people should do the best that they can to fight climate change.
Students will hear an interview with Sami Grover, author of We're All Climate Hypocrites Now, who explains how he tries to live a sustainable life while living in a society that makes it impossible to have no carbon footprint.
This podcast will help students to see that individual change can make a difference, but that no one can change the system by themselves.
Teachers may want to explain the nuances between guilt and shame to students before playing the podcast.
The podcast can be downloaded.
Ethics and psychology classes could discuss how guilt and shame can have positive and negative applications. Students could think of examples of how feeling shame or guilt can make a person re-evaluate their decisions or take positive actions, as well as examples of how shame and guilt can make a person feel powerless.
Before listening to the podcast, students could make a list of individual actions that they take to help the environment and a list of individual actions that they wish they could take to help the environment. Students could discuss their lists with a partner and explain how they feel when they look at the two lists. After listening to the podcast, students could write a personal reflection on their lists and what they learned from the podcast.
Other resources on this topic include this PBS video on feeling guilty about climate change and this video on how guilt-inducing messaging about climate change is not very effective.
The podcast has a strong emphasis on how individual change must be used to drive systemic change. To promote a society without flights and lessen the effects of climate change, social connectedness is necessary. The use of shame as a social regulator to alter individual behavior and inspire cooperation in the fight against climate change is also highlighted. The podcast is recommended, and the classroom is advised to listen to it.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
D4.7.6-8 Assess their individual and collective capacities to take action to address local, regional, and global problems, taking into account a range of possible levers of power, strategies, and potential outcomes.
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.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.