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Welcome to Crash Course Climate and Energy! Over the next 12 episodes, we’re going to take a look at the ways climate change is affecting our planet, untangle the evolving energy landscape, and learn to think critically about how we, as individuals and as a society, can affect the outcomes. Navigating the politics of climate science is challenging, and such a daunting global issue can feel overwhelming. But there is hope! We’re going to help you understand some of the solutions we can employ to help decarbonize our energy sources and address global climate issues.

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Thanks to the following patrons for their generous monthly contributions that help keep Crash Course free for everyone forever:
Katie, Hilary Sturges, Austin Zielman, Tori Thomas, Justin Snyder, DL Singfield, Amelia Ryczek, Ken Davidian, Stephen Akuffo, Toni Miles, Steve Segreto, Kyle & Katherine Callahan, Laurel Stevens, Stacey Gillespie (Stacey J), Burt Humburg, Allyson Martin, Aziz Y, DAVID MORTON HUDSON, Perry Joyce, Scott Harrison, Mark & Susan Billian, Alan Bridgeman, Rachel Creager, Breanna Bosso, Matt Curls, Jonathan Zbikowski, Jennifer Killen, Sarah & Nathan Catchings, team dorsey, Trevin Beattie, Eric Koslow, Jennifer Dineen, Indika Siriwardena, Jason Rostoker, Shawn Arnold, Siobhán, Ken Penttinen, Nathan Taylor, Les Aker, William McGraw, ClareG, Rizwan Kassim, Constance Urist, Alex Hackman, Jirat, Pineapples of Solidarity ,Katie Dean, Thomas Greinert, Wai Jack Sin, Ian Dundore, Justin, Mark, Caleb Weeks


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CC Kids:
Our planet is heating up, and fast.

But understanding what that means and what to do about it can be… a lot. After all, climate change isn’t about any one thing.

It’s rocks, chemicals, gas; it’s geography, physics, politics. It’s billions of years, billions of tons, billions of solutions, billions of people connected by vast trade networks and energy grids. But at the same time, it’s also about you, in your bedroom, eating a whole box of mac and cheese in one sitting.

Or maybe that’s just me. Hi hi, I’m M Jackson, a glaciologist, a writer, a National Geographic Explorer, and total cold weather enthusiast. I’ve studied glaciers from all seven continents.

I became fascinated with them when I realized in my early 20s that we knew very little about our planet’s ice, and that it was disappearing. I thought it was so cool there was still something on Earth we could discover and conserve. So now, I’m trying to understand what happens to us – to real people in various communities worldwide as our ice transforms.

I think if we understand glacier change, we can understand climate change, and then we might be able to understand future change. So that’s me. And this is Crash Course Climate & Energy.

Understanding how each of us fits into the bigger picture of climate change can be tricky. We hear that as individuals we should eat less meat, turn off the lights, recycle. But we also hear that individual actions won’t fix things unless big corporations and systems change.

So, over the next 12 episodes, we’ll dive into these issues together. We’ll zoom across time and space to explore why the climate is changing, how we know that, what consequences are already underway, and what we might expect in the future. And we’ll focus on what it might take to decarbonize our energy sources—or, in other words, stop emitting so many greenhouse gases as we power our world.

We’ll find there are not only no easy solutions, but also that we shouldn’t expect easy… just as climate change is complicated, so too are all the ways forward. We’ll encounter plenty of fascinating ideas. Ideas for rethinking the energy we use to make things, grow things, power things, move things, heat and cool things.

We’ll learn why each of these industries pose their own challenges—for example, why it’s really hard to build a battery-powered semi-truck. And why we can’t just fill the Sahara with solar panels. And we’ll explore the extra-tricky territory of politics, human behavior, and environmental and climate justice.

Because while climate change involves everybody, it doesn’t affect everybody equally. Along the way, we’ll encounter a lot of questions with answers that can be summed up as “It’s complicated.” But, crucially, we’ll learn why the situation is so complicated, and some ways humanity can navigate it—covering things like electric cars, carbon storage, and the Kyoto Protocol. At times, it might feel a bit like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book—except, if we don’t act quickly, the planet will choose our adventure for us.

Big picture: the story’s not over. All of us have a role to play in shaping what’s next, whether as a city planner, a scientist, an educator, a business manager, an activist, a storyteller and so, so, so much more. At the end of the day, tackling climate change will require a ton of creativity and even more cooperation—it’s humanity’s biggest group project ever.

So join us, and let’s get to work. Crash Course Climate and Energy is produced by Complexly with support provided by Breakthrough Energy and Gates Ventures. This episode was filmed at Castle Geraghty Studio and was made with the help of all these nice people.

If you want to help keep Crash Course free for everyone, forever, you can join our community on Patreon.