This is 2009 video, but still relevant and may inspire some classes to try their own experiments or collaborate with a science class.
Colin Beavan’s essay in YES magazine, What It Takes to Change Hearts and Minds,
speaks to how facts may not be enough to change minds. As he says,
Facts and figures are wonderful tools, but they are not a communications strategy.
It is a short essay worth reading.
Question Are state same-sex marriage policies associated with a reduction in adolescent suicide attempts?
Findings This difference-in-differences analysis of representative data from 47 states found that same-sex marriage policies were associated with a 7% reduction in the proportion of all high school students reporting a suicide attempt within the past year. The effect was concentrated among adolescents who were sexual minorities.
Meaning Same-sex marriage policies are associated with reduced adolescent suicide attempts.
The WunderBlog has an excellent summary of the current state of Antarctica Ice in their post Sea Ice Extent in Antarctica Bottoming Out at Lowest on Record. The chart here comes from the NSIDC Interactive Chart and is a full version of the one in the article.
A few tips on using the interactive chart. On the top left you can click to get a chart for Antarctic or the Arctic. In the top right of the years menu there is a button to press that allows you to download the chart you create as a jpeg or png file. The bottom of the years menu has a scroll down button to get to more recent years. The chart is updated daily.
If you are looking for graphs and data on a variety of sustainability issues you should look at the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Goals – World Development Indicators 2017. The site contains interactive related to 17 development goals. For example, the chart here (downloaded from the site) is the proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments. The U.S. is the bold light blue line. You can also download the data to be analyzed.
The BBC has a great article on a Siberian crater, the Batagaika crater, that is growing quickly due to melting permafrost. Excerpt from the article:
As more permafrost thaws, more and more carbon is exposed to microbes. The microbes consume the carbon, producing methane and carbon dioxide as waste products. These greenhouse gases are then released into the atmosphere, accelerating warming further.
“This is what we call positive feedback,” says Günther. “Warming accelerates warming, and these features may develop in other places. It’s not only a threat to infrastructure. Nobody can stop this development. There’s no engineering solution to stop these craters developing.”
The article provides some great context in understanding the impacts of global warming.
This is not exactly a sustainability example, but it does exhibit the value of some basic regression skills. Drum’s post from yesterday, Fact Check: President Trump Has Nothing To Do With the Decline of the Peso, provides a graph of the Peso Dollar exchange rate for the last couple of years (please read the short post). The graph you see here is made using R and monthly average exchange rate data from FRED or you can download the excel file. Note that the graph here is the number of Pesos to purchase 1 dollar and so the graph increasing is a decline in the Peso.
There are two points here. The change in the peso dollar exchange rate has been reasonably linear for the last couple of years and so there is no evidence that the recent change in the U.S. presidency has had an impact, so far. Second, using examples like this in classrooms empowers students.
If you are looking for general information about the impacts of climate change the EPA is a place to start. Their climate change page has a map that breaks the U.S. in to regions and you can click on the region to answer the question What are the impacts of climate change where I live?
Is the U.S. more violent “these days”? Kevin Drum tracks down crime data in his post Raw Data: Here’s What Violent Crime Really Looks Like Over the Past Decade and the answer is largely no, although a few places are up (yes Chicago is one of them). The post cites sources to this data and it could be used is statistics classes.
This is an interesting Feb 7, 2017 article about the Antarctic ice shelf with a number of excellent graphics.