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


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Economics, History

Resource Type

  • Videos, 11 minutes, 33 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, South and Central America


YouTube Video

The Global Coffee Crisis Is Coming

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  • This video explains how climate change is limiting the number of places in the world where coffee can be grown. 
  • Students will learn about the history of Colombia's coffee industry and how current price volatility inhibits farmers from making expensive adaptations to their farms that would allow them to continue growing coffee as temperatures rise. 
Teaching Tips


  • This video integrates interviews with Colombian coffee farmers with graphs, maps, charts, and data in a way that will draw students in.
  • Students will understand how trade policies, economic decisions, and climate change are interconnected.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This video contains advertisements before and during the video.
  • Students should have an understanding of greenhouse gas emissions and their relationship to climate change.


  • Civics and government classes could discuss the pros and cons of Colombia's decision to break up large farms and sell smaller pieces of land to individual farmers.
  • History, social studies, and government classes could learn more about the International Coffee Agreement of 1962 and why it began to fall apart in the 1980s.
  • Economics classes could research why coffee prices are unstable and the role that unfair labor practices plays in the low cost of coffee.
  • Science classes could learn more about how silvopasture, or interspersing shade trees with crops, provides shade for crops and creates carbon sinks.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video on sustainable practices for coffee agriculture, this NASA video that shows global temperature changes over the last 140 years, and this TED video on how to build a thriving economy instead of an expanding economy.
Scientist Notes
We have already observed climate change across the globe. As global warming continues, different industries will face different challenges. One such industry is the production of coffee. Climate change has already harmed the coffee industry and threatens to continue to do so. This video from Vox is thoroughly researched and vetted and is recommended for teaching.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
      • D2.Eco.6.6-8 Explain how changes in supply and demand cause changes in prices and quantities of goods and services, labor, credit, and foreign currencies.
      • D2.Eco.15.6-8 Explain the benefits and the costs of trade policies to individuals, businesses, and society.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.11.6-8 Explain how the relationship between the environmental characteristics of places and production of goods influences the spatial patterns of world trade.
      • D2.Geo.12.9-12 Evaluate the consequences of human-made and natural catastrophes on global trade, politics, and human migration.
      • D2.Geo.5.9-12 Evaluate how political and economic decisions throughout time have influenced cultural and environmental characteristics of various places and regions.
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.1.6-8 Analyze connections among events and developments in broader historical contexts.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
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