Warming Warning

How much warmer is the planet now than it was in 1980?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What story does the chart tell?

  3. Make a claim that can be substantiated by data in the chart.

  4. Explain whether this story is good news.

  5. What is the most significant cause of the trend in the chart?

  6. What is the most significant consequence of the warming of the planet?

  7. The people who made most of this climate mess (my generation and older) won’t be around to suffer from it as much as your generation (and younger). The people who made most of this climate mess (the wealthy) won’t suffer nearly as much as the poor. What do you think about that?

  8. What is the Trump administration’s position on whether the real information in the chart above is even true?

  9. What is the Trump administration’s position on what we should do about the trend in the chart?

  10. Last year, The Trump administration nominated oil lobbyist David Bernhardt to run the Department of the Interior, whose role it is to “manage and sustain” America’s lands. Describe the confirmation process that Bernhardt will have to go through to become the Secretary of the Interior.

  11. Today is the beginning of the Global Climate Strike. How are you fighting against climate change?

  12. What would you consider the most effective political method to fight climate change?

  13. Given the fact that the U.S. House of Representatives is Democratic controlled, and the U.S. Senate and the Presidency are both Republican controlled, Describe how difficult appointment processes like Bernhardt’s are.

  14. What are some tactics interest groups could take to try to fight A nomination or to generally limit climate change?

  15. List some government department, agencies, or groups that have a role in measuring or regulating climate change.

  16. Explain how the United States’ federal system impacts our ability to tackle climate change.

  17. Donald Trump recently decided to take away California’s ability to have higher emissions standards than the federal government. How will increasing emissioins impact Climate change?

  18. How is that an example of Federalism?

  19. What would a supporter of states’ rights say about trump’s plan to take away California’s regulatory power?

  20. What steps could California take to stop trump’s plan?

  21. Climate change is clearly one of the most significant threats to our future. What about our political system has made it so hard to do anything to solve this problem?

  22. Climate is never mentioned explicitly in the U.S. Constitution (neither were elevators, airplanes, self-driving cars, Intercontinental Ballistic missiles, or ROOMBAs). What clause in the U.S. Constitution empowers the U.S. government to tackle climate change?

  23. How do demographics (age, political party) impact American’s views on climate change? (see chart below)*

  24. Explain why the young and the old have such different opinions about climate change.

  25. Why do you think Americans are more worried about climate change under trump than they were under Obama? (see below)*

  26. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released a Green New Deal outline today. In our divided government, how likely is this New Deal to become a reality?

  27. In a democracy, public opinion on an issue (climate change) and public policy on that issue should be aligned - maybe not perfectly, but at least closely. Given that American pubic opinion does not closely match U.S. public policy regarding climate change, what claim would you make about the level of democracy in America?

  28. What is one policy the government could implement to help ameliorate the problem of climate change?

  29. What is the most effective thing you could do to fight climate change?

  30. In general what argument would adherents of the following ideologies make about the role of government in solving the climate change problem:

    Liberal

    Conservative

    Libertarian

    Socialist

Visual Extension*

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Learning Extension

Plug your city or town into the temperature calculator to see how much your home has warmed. Here’s mine…

Action Extension

In question #19 you were asked to list the best way to fight climate Change. Take one step towards that action now and share your step in class or online.

Our World In Data Extension

Goodbye

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Iran, I ran so far away!

What percent of Americans support military action against Iran?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What is the big story the chart tells about the U.S. and Iran?

  3. Why do you think that is?

  4. What is one consequence of this?

  5. Is this good news?

  6. Explain how political party affiliation impacts views on Military action against Iran.

  7. Explain what percent of you supports military action against Iran.

  8. How much does public opinion usually impact President Trump’s policy decisions?

  9. Do political trustees or delegates rely more on public opinion in formulating policy?

  10. The polling data above comes from the summer of 2019. Since then, Iran appears to have launched strikes against Saudi oil infrastructure leading Secretary of State Pompeo to call this, “an act of war.” How much will These Iranian provocatins impact the likelihood of war?

  11. Who do American’s believe are America’s biggest enemies?*

  12. How do you rank these five enemies on a scale of 1 (the biggest threat of these five) to 5 (least threat)?*

  13. Who would you rank as America’s biggest allies?

  14. Multilateralism is a diplomatic/military approach where allies join to solve problems or fight wars together as opposed to fighting alone. Do you imagine that America will be able to rally our allies behind a war against Iran?

  15. Has POTUS Trump made American alliances stronger or weaker?

  16. President Trump’s “hyperbole and outright fabrications through a daily tweet diet,” said Wendy R. Sherman, who negotiated the details of the Iran deal for the Obama administration (notice her point of view), has left him with “little credibility with Congress, allies and partners, let alone the American people.” Based on what you know about American politics make a claim about the accuracy of Sherman’s statement.

  17. President Trump just named Robert O'Brien as National Security Adviser. Prior to his appointment, O'Brien had been perhaps best known for his efforts to win the release of American rapper A$AP Rocky, who was held in a Swedish jail after being arrested for his involvement in a Stockholm brawl. Explain how the fact that the National Security Advisor does NOT need to be confirmed by the Senate impacts the kind of person picked for this job.

  18. The N.S.A. director serves as a chief national security advisor for the president as a member of the National Security Council. What is the National Security Council?

  19. N.S.A. director O’Brien is a hawk, a term used in politics do describe someone generally favoring war as a strategy to achieve political goals (a dove is someone who generally opposes war). How much will a hawkish approach impact America’s response to Iran?

  20. What role does the U.S. Congress play in making war?

  21. Hey, speaking of taking action: what are you doing for the Global Climate Strike tomorrow?

Visual Extension*

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Learning Extension

Read this article about Trump’s ability to persuade our allies.

Action Extension

Political scientists Calculate that it generally takes participation by approximately 3% of Americans in a cause to make a difference in national policy. Contact the White House or your U.S. senator and express your opinion on military intervention in Iran.

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Nationalism So White

What percent of Americans see white nationalism as a “somewhat” or “very” serious threat?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What story does the data tell?

  3. Make a claim that can be substantiated by the data in the chart:

  4. How surprised are you by this data?

  5. What trend do you see in the data?

  6. Describe the difference between Democrats and Republicans about whether white nationalism is a threat:

  7. What do you think best explains this difference?

  8. Explain how the racial demographics of the Democratic and Republican party impact this difference about whether white nationalism is a threat.*

  9. What is one consequence of this party difference regarding the threat of white nationalism?

  10. What impact do you think the current President has had on this data?

  11. In your opinion, how much of a threat is white nationalism?

  12. What is the difference between white nationalism and racism?

  13. According to the most recent HuffPost/YouGov poll, 77 percent of Democrats think Trump supports white nationalism, but only 10 percent of Republicans agree. What do you think?

  14. Based on this and the 52 point difference in party opinion on the severity of white nationalism in the chart above, my student Frederick argued that it would be fair to say that we live in two different countries. Make a claim about whether America has become two different countries.

  15. What impact does the news media have on the large differences in opinion?

  16. Democratic politicians, including many of the 2020 contenders, have called the president a “white nationalist” and a “white supremacist,” and have been outspoken in saying that Trump’s rhetoric incites violence. Explain whether you think this will be a successful electoral strategy.

  17. According to a survey from the Pew Research Center conducted in May — prior to the El Paso attack — large majorities of both Democrats and Republicans said that when elected officials use “heated or aggressive language” to talk about certain people or groups, it makes violence against those people more likely. A majority of respondents from both parties also agreed that politicians should avoid “heated language” because they think it could encourage violence. do you think the President avoids heated language?

  18. Do you think the President should avoid heated language?

  19. In 2017, after the Unit The Right white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, President Trump held a press conference defending white nationalists saying they included “some very fine people,” and that “You also had some very fine people on both sides.” Were you surprised to hear the President of the United States refer to white nationalists as “very fine people”?

  20. In 1776, when Thomas Jefferson wrote the immortal lines of the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” there were more than 500,000 Black Americans were enslaved, and Thomas Jefferson, himself, enslaved over 100 humans. How does that history impact race relations in America today?

  21. What part of the federal government would most likely be tasked with protecting the United States against white nationalism?

Visual Extension*

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Learning Extension

Check out the Southern Poverty Law Center’s interactive Map of Hate in the U.S. and see where hate lives in your state.

Action Extension

Contact the President or a top Democratic candidate for President and tell them what you think they should do about white nationalism.

Trump

Biden

Warren

Sanders

Harris

AP Studio Art

Now draw what you have learned about the difference in perception of the threat of white nationalism. Take 10 or 20 seconds. That’s all you need. Nothing fancy. Don’t expect a masterpiece. Draw with symbols or stick figures if you wish. Now Look at your drawing. You’ve got it. That’s all.

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The Price of Power

Happy Constitution Day!

How often does the top spending candidate win their race for the U.S. House of Representatives?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. In 2016, how often did the candidate running for congress who spent less than their opponent win?

  3. What is the big story this chart tells?

  4. Why do you think that is?

  5. What is the most important consequence of that story?

  6. Is this story good news for American democracy?

  7. For whom is this good news?

  8. Explain whether the information from the chart above makes it more or less likely that you would run for office in the U.S. Congress one day.

  9. Based on the data from the chart above, make a claim about money and politics in the U.S.

  10. What did the U.S. Constitution say about money in politics?

  11. Based on the data from this chart, when we say,”House of Representatives,” What is the House representative of?

  12. What question do you have about this data?

  13. Respond to this argument a student named Brett made. “The top speding canidate should win the race, because the best candidate will get the most money, so we are just electing the best candidate.”

  14. Respond to the argument made by A student named Bjork who said, “We have a government by the rich, for the rich, and of the rich.”

  15. Explain whether the data in the chart moves the United States more towards democracy or towards plutocracy?

  16. Let’s say that a group of Americans wanted to do something to make the highest spender less likely to win election. What is one action they could take?

  17. What would a typical American liberal say about this chart?

  18. Explain whether the U.S. Congress is likely to pass a law making the highest spender in an election less likely to win.

  19. In general, which costs more a U.S. House seat or a U.S. Senate seat?*

  20. Describe what has happened to the cost of seats in the U.S. congress over the past 40 years.*

  21. Why is that?*

  22. So????? *

Visual Extension*

Learning Extension

Read 10 Things Every Voter Should Know.


Action Extension

Register to vote before it’s too late. If you are already registered or ineligible to vote, help register someone who is eligible to vote.

Happy Constitution Day!

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PoliSports

AP US Government and Football

The fans of which major American sports league are the most pro-Trump and which are the most pro-Democratic?

  1. Seriously?

  2. How accurate/lucky was your prediction?

  3. Are there any groups that we don't have statistics on regarding their support for Trump? (i.e., Cutlery Owners; Ambidextrous Actors; Reptile Enthusiasts)?

  4. What does this data tell us about America?

  5. We are divided in politics, but are we united in sports?

  6. Why do you think College Football fans are such big Trump supporters?

  7. Why do you think NBA fans are so pro-Democratic?

  8. What is a consequence of the division shown in these charts?

  9. Which sport do you think Trump personally likes the best?

  10. There have been recent protests by NFL players refusing to stand during the national anthem because of American racism. Have there been protests in other leagues?

  11. A friend of mine said she was going to kneel during the national anthem at this week's Carolina Panthers game to protest all the players kneeling during the national anthem. Is there any issue, or can you think of anything that would upset you enough to cause you to protest during the national anthem?

  12. Do you think that the players protesting racism during the national anthem have gotten their point across to the pubic?

  13. Have these protests made America less racist?

  14. Why do we play the national anthem at sporting events, anyway?

  15. What NFL market (metropolitan area where team is centered) is the most Pro-Trump and the least Pro-Trump?*

Learning Extension

Read the FiveThirtyEight story about sports and politics in the US.

Action Extension

Contact the White House and ask the POTUS which sport he likes the best. Share his answer in class or online. You can submit your question online or by phone at - Comments: 202-456-1111

Bonus Charts*

Random Bonus Chart For Absolutely No Good Reason except that it is the Monday after Friday the Thirteenth.

Bonus Question

  1. What is the most popular unisex name in the US?

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