Tag Archives: Climate crisis

Amusing Monday: Animations find new ways to talk about climate crisis

I’m always looking for new ways to visualize the causes and effects of excessive greenhouse gases and what is happening to the Earth’s climate. A clever new animation depicts the carbon cycle as a clickety-clackety machine that moves the carbon from place to place.

The video, produced by Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, shows how carbon takes on different forms as it moves from the air into plants and animals, becomes embedded deep in the ground and then is turned into fuel at a pace that upsets the natural cycle. (Don’t forget to go full-screen.)

“Humans have thrown the carbon cycle out of adjustment, with increasingly severe consequences for climate, oceans and ecosystems,” states the description below the YouTube video.

I’ve reviewed dozens of climate-change videos. Some are so simplistic that they provide only a stark vision of the problem without a picture of the science. A video posted by Nina Ree-Lindstad, for example, is designed for 8- to 12-year-olds, and it is meant to be viewed with a teacher who can stop and explain things along the way.

Other videos focus focus on one aspect of climate change, such as the effect of clouds or the findings of the International Panel on Climate Change. Others find new ways of relating to people, such as comparing climate change to a game of Tetris.

Some animations appeal to our emotional side and basically ignore the science. I like the video produced by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) — the second video on this page. A 10-minute production, by Live and Learn Environmental Education in Australia, tells the story of climate change from the viewpoint of an older flying fox explaining the issues to his son.

The last video on this page, below, is another production by the Smithsonian, showing how the Earth’s population has changed through time, creating an environmental crisis and making it imperative to protect the Earth’s remaining natural resources.