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Our Changing Climate


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


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Economics, Civics, History

Resource Type

  • Videos, 13 minutes, 6 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

North America, United States, Asia, Europe, Middle East


YouTube Video

Why This Plant Could Save the World

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  • This video explains how hemp, a non-psychoactive strain of cannabis, can sequester large amounts of carbon, improve soil quality, and be used to produce a wide range of products.
  • Students will learn that American farmers stopped growing hemp in the early 1900s because of its association with psychoactive cannabis use.
  • Hemp farming is now on the rise again, but some fear that the surge in interest will lead to unsustainable farming techniques.
Teaching Tips


  • The video is broken up into labeled sections, making it easy to navigate.
  • The video description contains a link for "further reading and resources", offering a wide variety of articles and videos that will help students learn more about the topics covered in the video.
  • This in-depth look at hemp covers history, economics, science, climate justice, and human rights topics.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video contains commercials or ads.
  • The content of the video ends at 10:52 and the rest of the video is sponsored content.
  • Students will need to be familiar with the terms psychoactive, cannabis, weed, sequester, crop rotation, commodities, and regenerative farming. 


  • Social studies and history classes could make a timeline (digital or paper) detailing the history of hemp farming.
  • Science and math classes could learn more about carbon sequestration using Trees From Thin Air, a video and activity that quantifies the amount of carbon a tree can sequester by measuring its circumference. 
  • Economics and ethics classes could discuss how the cotton and nylon industries played a role in the destruction of the hemp market.
  • Social studies classes could learn more about the Tribal Hemp Initiative and the positive economic and environmental effects that hemp farming could have on Indigenous communities. 
  • Other resources on this topic include this Hot Mess video on the importance of soil and this experiment about soil and the carbon cycle.
Scientist Notes
This resource gives a detailed explanation of hemp cultivation, its numerous applications, and competitive advantages in carbon sequestration and regenerative agriculture. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-6 Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-5 Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.1.6-8 Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of citizens, political parties, interest groups, and the media in a variety of governmental and nongovernmental contexts.
      • D2.Civ.12.6-8 Assess specific rules and laws (both actual and proposed) as means of addressing public problems.
      • D2.Civ.13.9-12 Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
      • 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.1.6-8 Analyze connections among events and developments in broader historical contexts.
      • D2.His.14.9-12 Analyze multiple and complex causes and effects of events in the past.
      • D2.His.4.9-12 Analyze complex and interacting factors that influenced the perspectives of people during different historical eras.
      • D2.His.7.9-12 Explain how the perspectives of people in the present shape interpretations of the past.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • 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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