Karbon Kombat

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MAIN TOPIC OF VIDEO: How can you battle the impacts of fossil fuels?

Karbon Kombat Linked Pic

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Frame:
1. Why is the year, 2050 significant in terms of climate change? Be as specific as possible.
2. List some specific phenomenon related to climate change. Be as specific as possible.
3. How is air pollution related to climate change? Be as specific as possible.

Focus:
1. Why is Fossil Fuel painted black? Be as specific as possible.
2. What are Fossil Fuel’s weapons in this game? Be as specific as possible.
3. What are Green Ninja’s weapons in this game? Be as specific as possible.
4. How do these weapons perform against each other? Be as specific as possible.

Follow-Up:
1. How can you individually as the Green Ninja combat Fossil Fuel? Be as specific as possible.
2. How can your family combat Fossil Fuel? Be as specific as possible.
3. How can your school combat Fossil Fuel? Be as specific as possible.

ANSWERS TO DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Frame:
1. Why is the year, 2050 significant in terms of climate change? Be as specific as possible.

The year, 2050 is significant in terms of climate change for several reasons. First of all, the United Nations believes that the world population will hit the 9-10 billion mark. This is significant because each of those individuals will be burning fossils fuels as part of their lifestyle whether they are in India, China, and/or the United States. Also, it is estimated that by 2050, the populations of both China and India will account for 50% of the world’s population vs. the 37% today. The growing populations of India will be burning more fossil fuels in an effort to industrialize and modernize like American societies did 100 years ago. Second, atmospheric CO2 levels are predicted to double pre-industrial CO2 levels by 2050. This is a direct result of the unabated burning of fossil fuels in the world. Third, this doubling of CO2 will undoubtedly affect climate by increasing rates of global warming which in turn will lead to further impacts such as rising sea level and changing weather systems.

2. List some specific phenomenon related to climate change. Be as specific as possible.

a. Some phenomenon related to climate change in the video included increased surface temperatures worldwide and weather extremes. Increased surface temperatures worldwide will lead to the further melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets which will lead to rising sea level worldwide. These sea level changes will undoubtedly affect biodiversity and the human population as well. The increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events such as hurricanes may also be seen in a warmer world.

3. How is air pollution related to climate change? Be as specific as possible.

Air pollution is directly related to climate change because it is related to human enhanced global warming. Different types of particles can either warm (e.g., black carbon) or cool (e.g., sulfates) the environment. This is an effect of their ability to absorb and/or scatter light. Air pollutants, such as soot and ground level ozone, contribute directly to global warming. Black carbon (component of soot) absorbs sunlight, heating up the atmosphere, and it can also accelerate the melting process if deposited on snow. Other pollutants can affect the reflectivity of clouds and influence their lifetime and precipitation (EPA, 2011).

Focus:
1. Why is Fossil Fuel painted black? Be as specific as possible.

Fossil Fuel is painted black because solid forms of fossil fuels, such as coal, are black and liquid forms of fossil fuels are also black. The combustion of fossil fuels will lead to the formation of black soot.

2. What are Fossil Fuel’s weapons in this game? Be as specific as possible.

Fossil Fuel’s weapons in Karbon Kombat are the Coal Barrage, Raging Oil Spill, and Frack Attack. Coal barrage is representing the use of coal for electricity and other purposes. Raging Oil Spill represents the oils spills that are due to offshore oil drilling, or oil container ship accidents, in our oceans. Frack Attack represents natural gas fracking or hydraulic fracturing (For more information visit: US Environmental Protection Agency’s hydraulic fracturing section).

3. What are Green Ninja’s weapons in this game? Be as specific as possible.

Green Ninja’s weapons in Karbon Kombat are the Wind Turbine Upper Cut, Hydropower Cleanse, and Concentrated Solar Beam.

4. How do these weapons perform against each other? Be as specific as possible.

When Fossil Fuel uses the Coal Barrage, the Green Ninja counters with the Wind Turbine Upper Cut because instead of burning coal as a source of energy, the Green Ninja uses energy produced from a wind turbine. Also, when Fossil Fuel uses a Raging Oil Spill, Green Ninja counters with a Hydropower Cleanse because instead of burning oil as a source of energy, power generated from falling water (hydropower) is another good clean source of energy. In addition, instead of using natural gas and oil derived from hydraulic fracturing (fracking) from Fossil Fuel, the Green Ninja is using Concentrated Solar Beam as an alternative source of energy. Finally, the Green Ninja has a secret weapon, kids taking action! One of the kids has a reusable water bottle, the other has a shirt that says “flower power” hinting that she is a gardener, and the third one is riding a bike. All of the actions of these kids counter global warming.

Follow-up:
1. How can you individually as the Green Ninja combat Fossil Fuel? Be as specific as possible.

You, like the Green Ninja, can do several things at home to combat Fossil Fuel. First of all, watch less TV and play less computer games which depend on electricity derived from burning fossil fuels. Second, you can eat more fruits and vegetables because it takes 10 units of energy to put 1 unit of food on your table. Most of the 10 units of energy come from having a diet that is rich in animal protein especially those found in fast foods.

2. How can your family combat Fossil Fuel? Be as specific as possible.

As a family, there are several things that you can do as a continuation of what you can be doing in #1. First of all, bring awareness to your family. When you have dinner, take that opportunity to educate your family about making better choices on what you buy and what you eat. Something the family can do is to drive less and if you have to drive, carpool as much as possible to reduce the burning of fossil fuels. Second, talk to your parents about investing in Energy Star products the next time they replace a major appliance such as a furnace, water heater, refrigerator, etc. In addition, discuss with Mom and Dad about buying local produce so that your food carbon footprint is not as big due to transportation costs.

3. How can your school combat Fossil Fuel? Be as specific as possible.

At school, you can do even more by involving your classmates, whom then can involve their families. First of all, research and discuss the possibilities of using alternative energy sources such as solar energy at your school site. Second, discuss with your teacher the possibility of adjusting the thermostat to a lower temperature for the heater to turn on and to a higher temperature before the air conditioner turns on. Third, discuss with the principal about the possibility of a school wide reward if a certain number of students come to school without using fossil fuels.

ADDITIONAL PROJECT IDEAS

• For elementary students, the most crucial thing is creating awareness with our students. Have them make posters about what uses fossil fuels, this can lead to a discussion about the products of burning fossil fuels. Have them discuss about what comes out of the tail pipe of a car. Also, ask them to make a bar graph about what uses electricity in their houses. For example, how many TVs do they have? How many cars do their families own?
• For middle school students, they can continue to become more aware of pollution (both air and water) by having them create system diagrams of their household appliances. Also, this is an opportune time for them to understand the Laws of Thermodynamics, in particular emphasizing that heat is always produced and lost in any system, thereby rendering the system less efficient. The more inefficient something is, the more electricity is used, thus more fossil fuel burned to receive the equivalent output from a more efficient system. Basically, invest in Energy Star the next time you change appliances if possible. Below is an example of a systems diagram.

Input (Fossil Fuel) →Throughput (Power Plant) → Output (Electricity) + (Carbon Dioxide)

• For high school students, they have the opportunity to apply their knowledge into something more tangible. Students can be exposed to efficiency comparison of different products and understanding how to make something more energy efficient meanwhile acknowledging that 40% of all energy inefficiency stem from the Laws of Thermodynamics. For example, we explore how to improve the efficiencies of the heating systems in our classrooms and in our homes. We examine the concept of insulation in our homes and how that affects energy efficiencies and ultimately how much fossil fuels we have to burn to heat our homes. Perhaps the most interesting part of the exercise is when we compare the pros and cons of the different fuels for the cars that we drive (conventional gasoline, hybrid, and electric). In particular, we explore how efficiency can be improved by having less moving parts in a system, such as an automobile, or how we can use the wasted heat generated from braking. In addition, in the science classes especially chemistry and physics, the ideas of improving energy efficiency can be tackled along with how/what pollutants are produced. (stoichiometry).

ADDITIONAL NOTES AND RESOURCES

• Movies such as “Who Killed the Electric Car?” are also an excellent introduction to how we can change our lifestyle and impact climate change at the same time.
• EPA’s Climate Change & Air Quality –PDF
• Forest Service: Air Pollution

Credit: This teacher resource has been adapted from content originally developed by Chung Khong.

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