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Our Changing Climate


11th, 12th


Social Studies, Economics, Civics, Justice

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States


YouTube Video

Why Capitalism Is Killing Us (And the Planet)

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  • This video describes the negative impacts capitalism has on the climate and environment. 
  • Students will learn that multinational companies have been able to evade consequences and continue to profit off the burning of fossil fuels and exploitation of natural resources by greenwashing, lobbying, and rebranding. 
  • The video highlights current movements and visionary ideas that can help us enact change from the bottom up, asserting that people, not companies, will solve this crisis.
Teaching Tips


  • The video emphasizes the injustice of capitalist economies.
  • The video is divided into 8 chapters, allowing for easy navigation.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video begins by discussing the death of people and the planet, which could be overwhelming for students.
  • There is an ad at the start of the video.
  • The video content ends at 12 minutes, 23 seconds.


  • Economics classes could use this video in a lesson on capitalism, economic justice issues, globalization, or privatization.
  • History classes could discuss the connections between capitalism and colonialism.
  • Students could research one of the movements or innovative ideas from the video and share what they learn with their classmates.
  • The video shows how BP has effectively distanced itself from climate issues through marketing. Students could look for examples of how other companies have done this as well.
  • Other resources on this topic include this course on climate economics, this video on the problem with consumerism, and this lesson on globalization and the environment.
Scientist Notes

This resource assesses free-market capitalism's role in attaining a carbon-free planet by 2050. It emphasizes with clear examples of how multinationals, energy firms, and corporate bodies are incapable of reducing carbon emissions over the last 40 years, which looks to be nothing more than greenwashing. This is a valuable resource and it is recommended for teaching.


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

  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.14.9-12 Analyze historical, contemporary, and emerging means of changing societies, promoting the common good, and protecting rights.
      • D2.Civ.6.9-12 Critique relationships among governments, civil societies, and economic markets.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
      • 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.
      • D2.Eco.5.9-12 Describe the consequences of competition in specific markets.
    • 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.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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