As the climate change crisis continues to intensify, our curricular response has moved at a (preindustrial) glacial speed. A shift in our physics pedagogy can empower students to understand how our society’s energy use warms our planet. This paper is both a call to action and a practical illustration of one approach for including climate change conversations in the energy unit. In particular, we connect the physics canon (energy forms) with a climate-focused energy topic (energy resources).

Climate change belongs in every subject area1 because it is an inherently interdisciplinary challenge. To minimize the effects of climate change, we need expertise from many domains: scientists, politicians, community organizers, entrepreneurs, and consumers. And it’s a problem worth solving: climate change is the “biggest threat modern humans have ever faced.”2 Extreme weather (droughts, floods, fires, storms, etc.) driven by climate change are already disrupting people’s lives, access to food, and...

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