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Our Changing Climate


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


Science, Social Studies, Economics, Geography, Climate Action

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

The Real Problem with Palm Oil

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  • This informative video explores how palm oil production is linked to environmentally damaging practices such as clear-cutting rainforests and burning peatlands. 
Teaching Tips


  • This informative video contains reliable sources, statistics, facts and studies that show the pros and cons of the palm oil industry and the associated environmental costs.
  • It is an interdisciplinary resource that offers a combination of economics, geography, science, and sustainability.
  • The video not only highlights the issues but also provides suggestions for environment-friendly best practices for palm oil producers. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students need to be familiar with the idea that certain commodities may have an associated environmental cost.
  • The teacher may need to wait through a commercial to view the video on YouTube. 


  • In addition to the environmental degradation discussed in science or biology classes, cross-curricular connections could be made to social studies and economics.
  • Students could discuss how to minimize global consumption of palm oil and what best practices could be put in place for palm oil producers.
  • Support Group: The teacher can pause the video after each chapter to help students understand the information and check their understanding.
  • Students could explore this interactive map from Global Forest Watch showing real time deforestation around the world.
Scientist Notes
This resource examines the environmental costs of the increasing global demand on palm oil. It utilizes reliable sources to explore the pros and cons of this industry. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • 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.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • 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.15.9-12 Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, rights of citizens, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.
    • 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.
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