This authentic assessment task is from Victoria University's Graduate Certificate in Planetary Health, in a unit called 'Responding to climate change through a planetary health lens'.

The contributing academics are Dr Efrat Eilam and Associate Professor Jeannie Rea.

Example Podcast

  • Overview: Record a podcast about a climate change organisation.
  • Length: 5 minutes
  • Weighting: 30%
  • Due: Before Session 8 of 8; listen during Session 8
  • AQF level: 8

The purpose of this assessment task is to:

  • conduct research into climate change and climate change organisations
  • learn about the cross-disciplinary nature of climate change
  • practise articulating analyses in a spoken (recorded) form and using modern technology.

 

It aligns with the following learning outcomes:

  • LO1: Understand and articulate the scientific bases of climate change.
  • LO2: Understand and identify the cross-disciplinary (inter-, multi-, trans-) nature of CC and its inter-connectedness with all other human-related systems (economy, policy & governance, socio-culture, ethics).
  • LO3: Critically review local drivers of CC and future CC projections.
  • LO5: Critically evaluate CC’s positioning with the public sphere, including: the role of NGOs, interest groups and public participation.

Background

Dale Jamieson (2014), in his book Reason in a Dark Time, describes how the “denial industry” has been operating across the globe to prevent governments from acting on climate change. Following the inception of the IPCC in 1989, the fossil fuel-related industry – which was threatened with losing billions in profit – began to strike back. The big oil companies, alongside the American National Association of Manufacturers and other corporates, established the Global Climate Coalition (GCC).

The sole purpose of the GCC was to undermine the validity of climate change science and praise the doubling of atmospheric carbon, claiming that further oil extraction helps in greening the planet through increased agricultural productivity. The GCC has not stopped short of applying any manipulation required to buy politicians’ support (Climate Investigations Center; Jamieson, 2014).

The scientific community, international and local NGOs, and grass-root organisations have made their own efforts to influence decision making. For example, since 2018 Greta Thunberg and other youth activists have inspired young people to mobilise in the School Strike for Climate Action, demanding more climate action from their governments. Thus far, the impacts of these protests on carbon emission reductions is unclear. Scientists and other academics and researchers continue to act in the public sphere, and this is a characteristic of the Planetary Health movement.

When it comes to climate change actions, it is not an even playfield. There are many actors operating in the public sphere – some supported by corporations’ budgets, and some struggling to continue their operations. Common to all is that the stakes are high, and that the planet’s health depends on their success or failure.

Task

Record a 5-minute podcast that analyses the website of a chosen climate change organisation.

Focus on a big, international organisations that has been active for some years, e.g. Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, Coalition for Rainforest Nations, Clean Air Task Force. You may also choose to address the path of the Global Climate Coalition or other climate change denial organisations and campaigns.

In this assignment, you should rely almost solely on information presented in one website – the site of your chosen organisation. There will be no other resources for your analysis (unless you choose to work on the GCC). Therefore, when choosing an organisation, you should first browse the internet to ensure the organisation’s website provides sufficient information. (However, if the organisation is no longer active, you may use documents to report on your chosen organisation.)

Use the following structure in your podcast:

  1. Introduce yourself and your chosen organisation (i.e. say who you are and what you’ll be talking about)
  2. Organisation background: Provide some background in relation to the group. Who are they? When did they begin to operate? Who are the participants?
  3. Missions/goals: Describe the group’s missions, objectives and/or goals
  4. Actions track record: Describe the group’s actions along a timeline
  5. Recorded impacts: Describe any impacts that the group might have had
  6. Evaluation of achievements relative to goals: Evaluate the group’s effectiveness in achieving its goals
  7. Conclusion (i.e. wrap up the podcast and sign off)

Remember, you may need to record in more than one take, and you might need to edit it afterwards.

 

  1. Carefully read the assessment requirements, criteria and rubric for this task.
  2. Choose a climate change organisation and research them on their website.
  3. Record your podcast in the software of your choice (most computers should at least have basic recording software).
  4. Edit the podcast so you are happy with it.
  5. Upload your podcast to the Dropbox before Session 8.
  6. Listen to each other’s work in Session 8.

Criterion 1: Explanation of organisation and its background.

Criterion 2: Explanation of missions/goals.

Criterion 3: Description of actions track record.

Criterion 4: Description of recorded impacts.

Criterion 5: Evaluation of achievements relative to goals.

Criterion 6: Presentation and time management.