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Katharine Hayhoe


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Social Studies

Resource Type

  • Videos, 17 minutes, 3 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



Downloadable MP4/M4V

The Most Important Thing You Can Do to Fight Climate Change: Talk About It

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  • Katharine Hayhoe discusses that talking about climate change is the most powerful thing any individual can do to address climate change. 
  • She discusses how leading with the heart ("What do you love most on Earth?") is far more powerful than leading with science or statistics. 
Teaching Tips


  • This gives students of all ages a concrete plan of action: talk about the climate crisis.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Katharine Hayhoe's references to data from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication are now obsolete. (She delivered this talk in November 2018.) For the most up to date information on public opinion of climate change in the United States, check out our resources from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
  • Katharine Hayhoe is the most followed climate scientist on Twitter. Check her out here.


  • This video might work best at the end of a unit on climate change. Students may feel scared, worried, sad, or angry after learning about the catastrophic and irreversible effects of climate change. Empowering them to talk about the climate crisis with their friends and family is a great way to help them channel these feelings into action.
  • You can have English students study Katharine Hayhoe's delivery. Then, as an assignment, students could be tasked with talking about the climate crisis with one person. Students could pair up with other students to practice these climate chats. A really easy way to start these conversations is "I'm really worried about climate change, and I want to talk about it."
  • This other resource about how to have a climate conversation may be useful and this resource about enacting the solutions to climate change can provide hope and additional information.
Scientist Notes
The video provides evidence about the changing climate and the need to engage and raise voices for climate actions. This is recommended for teaching.
  • 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.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.8.9-12 Apply a range of deliberative and democratic strategies and procedures to make decisions and take action in their classrooms, schools, and out-of-school civic contexts.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
      • 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.
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