Recently, I wrote a blog post about The Economist’s Climate Change Issue (9-21-2019). I can’t stop thinking about the articles and thought I could prepare a discussion guide for secondary teachers who might find the magazine in the school or local library. So, I did. I wrote questions for many but not all of the articles, thinking about what might be discussed in class.

Click on the link below to download your free instant PDF with the five pages of questions.


Really, reading any of the articles might be enough to inform some people. They have really researched the information and presented it well.

Discussion questions for Economist Magazine Climate Change Issue Page One

Page one of the PDF begins with the first article in the magazine regarding global warming, A Warming World: The Climate Issue provides background information. The questions on page one also include Briefing, Climate Change, What Goes Up. Is is easy to notice they do not say “goes down.” Many of their titles are particularly clever in this issue. Scientists discovered gases in our atmosphere decades ago. But like many scientific discoveries, the information was not widely accepted.

This page also asks questions about the Green New Deals article.

Discussion questions for Economist Magazine Climate Change Issue Page Two

Page two of the PDF discusses drought and the Panama Canal. A first thought might be that the Panama Canal probably has lots of water, and the sea level is rising, so what’s the problem? This article offers discussion of both drought and sea rise. It has alarming information of what could happen to the Caribbean Islands of San Blas if sea levels continue to rise. But how is there both drought and flooding? That is the question for students to consider.

Mexico’s identity rests on oil. One point in that article is that being an environmentalist is a luxury few can afford.

The page also has questions about the Asia article and how some areas are already planning for rising seas.

Discussion questions for Economist Magazine Climate Change Issue Page Three

Asian countries are among the top 12 for carbon emissions. They are also some of the most vulnerable. People will say China and India aren’t doing anything, but they are as mentioned in the article — just probably not enough.

The Europe section begins with Russia and how some people there are looking forward to rising temperatures. Student could read and find out why that might be true.

Germany is trying to end all dependence on coal, but this effort is meeting some difficulties. Why would it be a problem?

Discussion questions for Economist Magazine Climate Change Issue Page Four

The first question on page four is about how locals have renamed the olive groves, gives information about spittlebugs, and explains why climate change isn’t the culprit — directly.

Britain is trying to market offshore wind turbines, but they are not as wonderful as they might sound. The article describes the problems and how people are ever hopeful and working on this solution anyway.

The small island nations are in great difficulty as TIME Magazine’s climate change issue mentioned. (My blog post about that magazine also has a free PDF for teachers.) The islands are working together and getting the attention of larger countries.

Business has some climate capitalists who would like to do well for the planet and themselves as well. How there could be climate lawsuits in the future is also discussed.

Discussion questions for Economist Magazine Climate Change Issue Page Five

The first question on page 5 of the discussion hand-out asks about the biggest source of uncertainty in predicting how climate change will evolve. Why scientists are having difficulty is described in the Science and Technology section of the magazine.

Books and Arts provides the names of climate change artists and describes some performance art by “Cooking Sections.” It is very interesting. Climate change art is a thing.

The end of this issue of The Economist is an obituary for an 800-year-old glacier. It wasn’t the most remote. It wasn’t the smallest. The article does make one pause and think.

Thank you for reading,

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Download the free student pack at the link below:


and the Jamboard file at this link

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