Climate change

The Climate and Education

An educated society is the driving force of change. The time has come for us to become better educated about and actively involved in the care of our planet. We must start an in-depth dialogue about our very existence on this planet, and pass our knowledge to future generations. This is possible only with factually accurate and easily accessible information.

How to understand climate change

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An understanding of the basic facts is key when getting to the bottom of a topic as complex as climate change. Unfortunately, many myths, half-truths, and lies around climate change pervade our society.

When researching climate change, it is important to consider where the information has come from, which methodology has been used, whether the information consists of actual data or represents an interpretation of data, and whether the information has been verified by experts.

Verified Sources

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To make your research as easy as possible, we have put together a list of reliable sources where you can find verified information.

BOOKS

Books dealing with climate change in an understandable and entertaining way.

Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

Describes the seriousness of current species extinction and its possible effects on humanity

Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate

The role of capitalism in global warming and how to fix it

Naomi Klein: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate The role of capitalism in global warming and how to fix it

Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

How a group of scientists successfully influenced climate change discussions by spreading misinformation

Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

A subjective description of the impact caused by chemicals on the environment

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

An ethical reflection about caring for the environment

Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Jan Keller, Aź na dno blahobytu

A humorous essay about excessive consumers

Jan Keller, Aź na dno blahobytu

Josef Vavroušek, Životní prostředí a sebeřízení společnosti

The ecological crisis and how to get out of it, in the context of Czechoslovakia

Josef Vavroušek, Životní prostředí a sebeřízení společnosti

Klimatická krize: Mýty a fakta o stavu planety (The Climate Crisis: Myths and facts about the condition of the planet)

Summarises and clarifies 10 widespread climate change myths

Klimatická krize: Mýty a fakta o stavu planety (The Climate Crisis: Myths and facts about the condition of the planet)

Atlas klimatické změny (Atlas of climate change)

Presents the most important data regarding climate change through visual infographics supplemented by explanatory texts

Atlas klimatické změny (Atlas of climate change)

Pope Francis, Laudato sí

A call to an “ecological conversion” by a spiritual and moral leader

Pope Francis, Laudato sí

MEDIA

We selected several mainstream media sources that address climate change, verify their information with trustworthy sources, and cite scientific articles. We believe these sources are accurate and relevant. You can check the reliability of other media outlets here: Nadačního fondu nezávislé žurnalistiky; or here for non-Czech media: Ad fontes media.

Aktuálně.cz “Planeta v Nouzi” (Planet in Danger)

Aktuálně.cz “Planeta v Nouzi” (Planet in Danger)

iRozhlas “Rozděleni klimatem” (Divided by the Climate)

iRozhlas “Rozděleni klimatem” (Divided by the Climate)

Deník Referendum “Změny klimatu” (Climate Changes)

Deník Referendum “Změny klimatu” (Climate Changes)

Respekt “Klimatické změny” (Climatic Changes)

Respekt “Klimatické změny” (Climatic Changes)

Deník N “Změna klimatu” (Climate Change)

Deník N “Změna klimatu” (Climate Change)

Česká televize “Téma změny klimatu” (The Topic of Climate Change)

Česká televize “Téma změny klimatu” (The Topic of Climate Change)

CAMPAIGNS

We have listed the campaigns of serious organisations providing information about climate change.

Informational campaign for strengthening sustainable water source usage and environmental ecosystem services in the context of climate change

Informational campaign for strengthening sustainable water source usage and environmental ecosystem services in the context of climate change

We Count on Water

We Count on Water

Together for the Climate

Together for the Climate

Earth on a Plate Festival

Země na talíři – online festival dokumentárních filmů o jídle | Jíme Jinak (jimejinak.cz)

Earth on a Plate Festival

Food consumption impact

Food consumption impact

The Faces of Climate Change

The Faces of Climate Change

CONFERENCES AND DEBATES

Previously recorded conferences and debates featuring experts we trust.

Recorded debate: Fakta a perspektiva budoucnosti aneb jak jsme na tom s výukou o klimatické změně (The state of climate change education in schools: why (not) teach about climate change?)

Recorded debate: Fakta a perspektiva budoucnosti aneb jak jsme na tom s výukou o klimatické změně (The state of climate change education in schools: why (not) teach about climate change?)

Recorded debate: Fakta a mýty o klimatu (Facts and myths about the climate)

Recorded debate: Fakta a mýty o klimatu (Facts and myths about the climate)

Recorded conference: Změňme klima (Let’s change the climate)

Recorded conference: Změňme klima (Let’s change the climate)

Recorded conference: Není čas KLIM(b)A(t) (There’s no time to rest)

Recorded conference: Není čas KLIM(b)A(t) (There’s no time to rest)

VIDEOS AND DOCUMENTARIES

Documentary films and educational videos on climate change that are factually correct and based on verified information.

Čhadar, cesta po řece (Chaddar – A River between Us)

Chaddar – A River between Us is a documentary including elements of a family drama, an anthropological study, and a psalm for climate change consequences. It was introduced this year at the One World Festival’s Zemětaj (Wonderland) section. The film’s strength is that it isn’t an authoritative talk, which convinces the viewers about one undeniable truth. Instead, it’s a silent and subtle observation of how climate change affects the everyday life of people living in the Himalayas, where the journey from school can turn into a fight for one’s life.

Čhadar, cesta po řece (Chaddar – A River between Us)

Hon za utopií (Journey to Utopia)

How far will you go in the search for a sustainable lifestyle? Journey to Utopia, available on the platform Promítej i ty! observes a family saddened by the climate. They decide to leave their [already very humble and eco-friendly] life in a Norwegian cottage and move to Denmark to join a maximally sustainable community. This relocation, however, won’t be as easy as it seems…

Hon za utopií (Journey to Utopia)

Když už víš (Once You Know)

What do you do once you know that society is heading towards its own collapse? French director Emmanuel Chappelin’s unbelievably complex debut goes beyond facts and questions we already know the answer to. It focuses on a tougher one - how can we prevent this catastrophe? The self-reflective, essayistic documentary tries to find solutions for a seemingly hopeless situation which will impact future generations. Winner of the 2020 Film of the Year and the main prize at the ČZU Film Fest, it is also being presented at the Academia Film Olomouc Festival.

Když už víš (Once You Know)

Naše planeta (Our Planet)

In the context of the popularisation of natural sciences, you will hardly find a bigger personality than David Attenborough. His rousing, one-man show, “David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet”, was viewed worldwide thanks to its distribution by Netflix, but the TV series where it all began is also worth watching. Our Planet is an audio-visual masterpiece consisting of eight episodes, which work with the viewers’ emotions to pass on the important message of the threat of climate change devastation.

Naše planeta (Our Planet)

Co s námi bude (What About Our Future?)

This rousing short film focuses on probably the most medialised component of the fight against climate change - student movements. Contrary to the popular Fridays For Future, it follows the Canadian movement Sustainabiliteens from Vancouver. In 25 minutes, the movements of key members are introduced, and the film offers a first-hand protest experience with its distinctive style, flying camera shots, and catchy music. After watching this documentary, viewers will be inspired to stop what they’re doing and join the student protest movement.

Co s námi bude (What About Our Future?)

Led v ohni (Ice on Fire)

Ice on Fire investigates ways of limiting the amount of carbon entering the atmosphere and how to rid the atmosphere of excessive carbon. Both are necessary for lowering temperature globally, especially if we take into account the real threat of methane.

Led v ohni (Ice on Fire)

ThuleTuvalu

ThuleTuvalu

Krajina v tísni (Environment in Need)

Krajina v tísni (Environment in Need)

The Czech Republic Deals with the Climate (ČT TV show)

The Czech Republic Deals with the Climate (ČT TV show)

The Climate is Changes the Czech Republic (ČT TV show)

The Climate is Changes the Czech Republic (ČT TV show)

ADAPTATION STRATEGIES and toolkits

Information about national adaptation strategies for climate change.

Adaptation of residences for climate change - practical solutions and knowledge exchange

Adaptation of residences for climate change - practical solutions and knowledge exchange

National strategy for the adaptation of homes to climate change

National strategy for the adaptation of homes to climate change

Increasing awareness about adaptation measures for climate change in Czech cities using the experiences of Norway

Increasing awareness about adaptation measures for climate change in Czech cities using the experiences of Norway

KLIMADAPT for municipalities of the Central Bohemian Region

KLIMADAPT for municipalities of the Central Bohemian Region

Implementation of retention and infiltration adaptation measures in Moravia‘s river basin

Implementation of retention and infiltration adaptation measures in Moravia‘s river basin

Framework and possibilities of forest adaptation measures and strategies linked with climate change

Framework and possibilities of forest adaptation measures and strategies linked with climate change

Complex planning, monitoring, informational, and educational tools for adapting an area to climate change effects, with a focus on agriculture and forestry

Complex planning, monitoring, informational, and educational tools for adapting an area to climate change effects, with a focus on agriculture and forestry

Strategy for protection from floods and other erosive phenomena in the Czech Republic

Strategy for protection from floods and other erosive phenomena in the Czech Republic

Creation of educational environmental programmes for studying the response to climate change

Creation of educational environmental programmes for studying the response to climate change

Urban Adapt - Adaptation of residences to climate change

Urban Adapt - Adaptation of residences to climate change

Project SUSTO - adaptation of residences for climate change and the participation of residents and students in local decision-making

Projekt SUSTO - adaptace sídel na změnu kliumatu a participacr občanů a studentů na místním rozhodování.

Education
and Awareness

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With the urgency of climate change, schools will continue to feel pressure to include the topic in their curriculums. Today, there aren’t enough accessible materials to help teachers incorporate the topic of climate change into different subjects. People in Need is actively preparing and providing these materials.

EDUCATION AND SUPPORT FOR TEACHERS

The climate is changing - and what about us?

Recommendations for climate education development supported by scientific research, primarily in Czech schools

The climate is changing - and what about us?
ThuleTuvalu

Course for teachers of grades six through 12 and others interested in teaching students about climate change

which includes interviews with experts, interactive activities and other tools

Course for teachers of grades six through 12 and others interested in teaching students about climate change, which includes

Current courses

Current courses

Survey of teachers on how climate change is taught

Survey of teachers on how climate change is taught

MATERIALS FOR THE CURRICULUM

JSNS audio-visual lesson about climate change

Thank You for the Rain
Children from the Disappearing Island

JSNS campaign for Earth day Náhradní planeta neexistuje (A reserve planet doesn’t exist) (2021)

JSNS campaign for Earth day Náhradní planeta neexistuje (A reserve planet doesn’t exist) (2021)

JSNS campaign Umění odpadu (2020)

JSNS campaign Umění odpadu (2020)

Lessons about climate change

Me and climate change, More and less climate change, Where did the water go, The dam, Climate change: A challenge of modesty or a global catastrophe?, Climate in need

Lessons about climate change

Komiks ve výuce (Teaching through comics)

Komiks ve výuce (Teaching through comics)

Bulletin pro školy (Bulletin for schools)

Bulletin pro školy (Bulletin for schools)

Debates:

Fakta a mýty o klimatu (Facts and Myths about the Climate) Debate on climate justice

Fakta a mýty o klimatu (Facts and Myths about the Climate)

SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS

Gratias Tibi Prize

Awarded to civically-engaged young people who have had a positive influence on society

Gratias Tibi Prize

Environmental projects

Environmental projects

Support for the active engagement of students in the topic of climate change: 1Planet4All Project

1Planet4All Project

Frequently Asked Questions

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Humans have done considerable damage to the planet over the last century, making action to reverse course and protect climate an absolute priority. Although the commitments made to this end during the Paris Agreement in 2015 may not be fully kept, giving up on the effort to save the planet is out of the question. While much of the damage caused by human activity is irreversible, it is still possible to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and to rehabilitate the earth’s ecosystems.

If previous epochs in human history have been characterised by struggles against the natural elements and pernicious ideologies, the coming epoch must be entirely devoted to the renewal of the biosphere. We must learn from our mistakes and adapt to change.
Despite 26 international conferences on climate change, global emissions are still on the rise. But international negotiation on the scale of these conferences is a small miracle in human history. Never before have so many nations sat down together to try to solve such a critical, complex problem.

At first glance, these conferences might seem like just a lot of talk, but they are built on years of intensive work by hundreds of delegates and experts. Although the decisions reached at the conferences are not binding, there is significant pressure on national governments by civil society to consider their enforcement; an active civil society plays a key role in setting ambitious goals and advocating for compliance. And adherence to climatic goals is now a matter of prestige not only for political parties but also for multinational corporations. However, any attempt at enforcement by agencies such as the United Nations would risk a backlash that would make joint action impossible.
Emission allowances motivate companies to transit to clean energy resources. In line with their purpose, they become more expensive every year, and as such, they account for roughly 20 percent of the current rise in energy prices.

The main reason for the rise in energy prices, however, is high demand for natural gas. The use of fossil fuels drives up prices and exposes the economy to fluctuations in the fuel market. The best way to prevent these shocks is through the development of renewable resources.

The Czech Republic’s slow transition to renewables has contributed to the jump in energy prices. If the Czech government had introduced renewables sooner, our energy prices would not be increasing so dramatically.
 
Czech society is willing to change its lifestyle in response to climate change and biodiversity loss. but not at the expense of the standard of living. However, the question of whether a sustainable economy will require lowering living standards is moot and requires a better definition of quality of life, one which is based not only on wealth and consumption, but also on interpersonal relations, safety, and personal and environmental health. Taking this definition into account, ecological transition is a way to foster a significant increase in our quality of life while reducing our environmental impact.
The production and operation of electric cars can have a significant environmental footprint, related to the extraction of rare raw materials needed for the production of batteries. However, these vehicles do not create air pollution and they can theoretically be powered by solar panels, which would eliminate the need to transport and burn fossil fuels.  

As the demand for electric cars grows, so does the demand for batteries and the rare materials they contain: nickel, cobalt, and lithium. The impacts of material extraction adversely affect the lives of residents, mine workers, and ecosystems such as rainforests or coral reefs. The key to lessening these impacts is the reuse of materials and the implementation of more environmentally-friendly mining methods.
For both the biosphere and our personal health, it is preferable to eat meat only occasionally and to choose the highest quality. Cheap meat comes from industrial fattening farms, where feed with a high carbon footprint is used. A typical example is soy, which is often grown on land cleared by burning rainforests. Cattle in particular contribute significantly to the greenhouse effect through the production and release of methane, which is created in their digestive tract and contributes 25 times more to global warming than carbon dioxide.

It should be noted that organically reared cattle from Czech pastures also produce methane, but their manure fertilises the soil. This, in turn, helps grass grow and supports soil microorganisms and edaphon. Unfortunately, to satiate our current rate of meat consumption would require such extensive pastures that even a worldwide transition to organic meat would not solve the problem.

The key to solving this issue is so-called integrated production, where plants and animals complement each other. An example of integrated production is the combination of rice fields, ducks, fish, and azole algae, which together create a sustainable and highly profitable agricultural system. Similar animal integrations can be done with cows, hens, and pigs.

A completely vegetarian diet with the elimination of livestock from agricultural and landscape processes around the world could mean a shortage of organic fertilisers and greater dependence on industrial ones. Animals including cattle are a necessary part of sustainable and productive agriculture, but the quality and the method of their breeding are of critical importance.
It is important to begin by noting how expensive the effects of climate change are. The floods in the Czech Republic in 2002 caused billions of Euros in damage, not to mention the physical and psychological repercussions on people’s lives. The tornado in southern Moravia in 2021 also caused enormous damage, and the locals will be recovering from this disaster for many years. Similarly, drought and the spread of bark beetles, which are both the result of climate change, also carry enormous costs.

According to scientific and economic studies, the costs of tackling climate change are insignificant compared to the costs of ignoring it. Mitigation and adaptation measures must be seen as investments into our future, saving money and suffering in the long run.  

Ecological and environmentally-friendly technologies are often the ones that save costs – for example, replacing cars with bikes, sewerage with root wastewater treatment plants, and waste bins with compost. Vegetable beds yield cheaper food and climbing plants lower the need for and thus the costs of air-conditioning. “Nature-friendly” measures harness the power of nature to replace store-bought items and should be widely promoted.

As for the fossil fuel industry, it is becoming less profitable every year. Resources are dwindling and mining is getting more expensive. The costs of pollution and its corresponding effects on our health are astronomical. These industries receive billions of Euros in subsidies from state coffers, which are funded by taxpayers and private banks. In turn, these subsidies cause market imbalances and prevent the replacement of fossil fuels with cleaner sources such as wind and solar energy.

While initial investments into new technologies may seem expensive at the outset, innovations become cheaper as they become more widespread. If the development of cleaner energy, for instance, was more widely supported, it would be more economical and cost-effective in the long run.
The major driver of climate change and global biodiversity destruction is consumption. Consumption drives the economy and the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. The emphasis on consumption is at the heart of our consumer society, and consumption patterns have a way of replicating themselves.

Changing our behaviour is the key to tackling the environmental crisis, which is why awareness-raising campaigns are essential for achieving social change. Without proper work on public awareness, there will not be enough pressure on politicians to take strong steps towards adapting to and mitigating climate change, nor will there be enough support and understanding for those working to implement change.

This is not to say that restoring the landscape by planting trees is not an essential tool for adapting to climate change; quite the opposite. However, in order to support biosphere renewal, this work must be sufficiently extensive and have widespread public support, which leads back to raising public awareness.  
 
While individuals themselves cannot be blamed for the current state of our planet, it is not true that they cannot effect change. Recently, thousands of active young citizens went to the streets to protest a lack of government action on climate protection. These voices also gave rise to political initiatives such as the Green New Deal.

We don’t have to be climate scientists to do something good for the planet; we can each approach climate change from our unique position. Artists, journalists, teachers, religious figures—all of us, really—can play a significant role. For example, a fashion designer can help protect the planet by drawing attention to the impacts of the textile industry and promoting environmentally-friendly production methods.
 
A sustainable future requires a societal transformation, where literally everyone plays a role. Luckily, research has shown that changing the mindset of only a small percentage of the population can lead to gradual uptake by the majority.
Here at PIN, we adhere to a strict, internal environmental directive. The vast majority of the environmental impacts of PIN’s activities are not related to our daily functioning, but rather to the procurement of supplies during humanitarian crises and other types of interventions.

Nevertheless, one way in which we unfortunately leave a larger ecological footprint than we’d like is when we travel by air to the places where we stage our interventions. While this is necessary in some cases, we do make a concerted effort to solve as much as we can remotely. We also compensate for our emissions through so-called “offset” certified programmes, which typically include the planting of new forests and landscape reconstruction in different parts of the world. Although these measures are not a real solution to emissions, they are the only way for us to compensate for our travel activities.

We have also been introducing measures for more responsible operations at our offices in Prague. This includes, for example, the purchase of ecological detergents, effective waste management, and the introduction of equipment and processes for saving water and energy. We educate our employees at PIN headquarters and on missions in environmentally-friendly operations and project management. Measures to operate mission offices in an environmentally responsible way rest with the mission leaders, as local context must always be considered and we must focus on the areas where we can have the greatest impact.  

For instance, waste sorting makes sense in countries where waste management and infrastructure are more developed. In countries where it is lacking, there is a need to focus on waste reduction. Missions with suitable conditions install solar panels, while missions without these conditions focus instead on reductions in energy usage. PIN headquarters in Prague supports missions with finding the activities that will have the greatest impact, and is implementing a unified system for collecting data on the environmental impact of our global operations so that we can make better decisions.

In our projects, we focus on assessing both the positive and negative impacts of our activities on the environment, and finding ways to maximise the positive while preventing or reducing the negative. To this end, we continue to monitor the impacts of our projects throughout their implementation. We have also been gradually introducing environmental guidelines for the purchase of materials for our beneficiary communities. For example, we make sure that the products come from local sources and do not contain unnecessary packaging.
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