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Our Changing Climate


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, Civics

Resource Type

  • Videos, 12 minutes, 59 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

North America, United States


YouTube Video

Why the United States Is Killing the World

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  • This video explains how the United States's greed for oil has led the government to issue harsh sanctions and employ military action in countries around the world. 
  • Students will learn that the United States is responsible for the most cumulative emissions in the world; yet, the government spends hundreds of billions of dollars on the military in order to safeguard oil interests in other countries. 
  • The video notes that the United States and other wealthy countries have a responsibility to make climate reparations to countries suffering from climate change. 
Teaching Tips


  • Students will learn that United States makes many military decisions under the guise of protecting democracy, when in reality the decisions have more to do with oil.
  • The video presents solutions for how the United States can reverse its course and turn away from military imperialism.
  • The video is segmented into chapters, making it easy to jump to a specific section.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The content of the video ends at 11:53. The rest of the video is an advertisement.
  • The video takes a clear stance attacking the imperialism and militarism of the United States.


  • Civics and government classes could use this video to generate ideas for research projects. Students could  choose to research any topic related to the United States government and its relationship with oil.
  • History classes could make a timeline of the United States's role in climate change.
  • Other resources on this topic include this ClimateScience course on climate politics, this article on how gerrymandering affects climate change policies, and this activity that gives students a chance to discuss proposed climate policies.
Scientist Notes
This resource provides insights on the role of the USA in coal and fossil fuel divestment and supporting economies in transition and the Global South to reduce emissions from energy production and consumption. It also provides evidence of military imperialism by the USA on low-income countries and the need to stop such actions. This is recommended for teaching environmental justice.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.2.6-8 Explain specific roles played by citizens (such as voters, jurors, taxpayers, members of the armed forces, petitioners, protesters, and office-holders).
      • D2.Civ.10.9-12 Analyze the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.
      • D2.Civ.14.9-12 Analyze historical, contemporary, and emerging means of changing societies, promoting the common good, and protecting rights.
      • D2.Civ.3.9-12 Analyze the impact of constitutions, laws, treaties, and international agreements on the maintenance of national and international order.
      • D2.Civ.6.9-12 Critique relationships among governments, civil societies, and economic markets.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.6-8 Explain how economic decisions affect the well-being of individuals, businesses, and society.
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.5.6-8 Explain how and why perspectives of people have changed over time.
      • D2.His.14.6-8 Explain multiple causes and effects of events and developments in the past.
  • 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.
  • 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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