This month's issue of National Geographic has a feature article on CO2 emissions titled It Starts at Home. The article chronicles the author's (Peter Miller) attempts to reduce, by 80 percent, his CO2 emissions at home. The online version of the article is accompanied by an interactive quiz and an interactive guide to reducing CO2 emissions. All three of these items could be useful resources for teachers of environmental science.
On Friday, Google posted on their LatLong Blog a Google Earth map of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. The file was created by a team at Purdue University. On the Google Earth map you can find CO2 emissions by fossil fuel consumption source. For example you can compare how much CO2 airplanes emit compared to the CO2 emitted by automobiles. You can see the map here. A video overview of the map is posted below.
Applications for Education
The National Geographic resources and the Google Earth resources posted above could be the starting point for a classroom project about CO2 emissions. Teachers could divide their class into teams that then compete to reduce their CO2 emissions for a week. The goal could be 80% as in the National Geographic article or it could be to simply lower emissions more than the other teams. The National Geographic interactive guide and the Google Earth map provide students and teachers with a guide to places where they can reduce emissions.