The Climate Crisis

Climate emergencies surround us today. The gap between the severity of the climate crisis and the inadequate response in schools threatens students’ lives and the future of the planet. The Zinn Education Project has developed this timeline to invite teachers and students to examine the choices and stakes that animate the climate crisis, and to work together toward meaningful solutions. ;xNLx;;xNLx;Our timeline traces its roots from European colonial expansion and racial capitalism to present-day fossil fuel industry and government projects that exploit and destroy the Earth in the name of maximum profit. It also emphasizes moments and movements of resistance and activism that inform climate justice work today. Scientific discoveries and disinformation — who knew what, when, and to what ends — punctuate this history, as do accelerating catastrophes that emphasize the urgency of the crisis.;xNLx;;xNLx;This timeline is a brand new resource, and we’re eager to hear how you use it in your classrooms and curricula. Experiment with it, send us your teaching stories, and spread the word on social media (#TeachClimateJustice). Find contact info, more context on the timeline, related teaching ideas, and other resources at the [Zinn Education Project site](;xNLx;;xNLx;Background art by Jill Pelto. Her description: "Landscape of Change uses data about sea level rise, glacier volume decline, increasing global temperatures, and the increasing use of fossil fuels. These data lines compose a landscape shaped by the changing climate, a world in which we are now living." [See Jill Pelto's gallery](;xNLx;;xNLx;Learn more about [this timeline](

1452-03-01 00:00:00

Doctrine of Discovery

1460-01-01 00:00:00

First “Cash Crop” Plantation

1492-01-01 00:00:00

Columbus and Spanish Invasion

1492-02-02 00:00:00

The “Great Dying”

1501-01-01 00:00:00

Transatlantic Slave Trade

1521-03-01 00:00:00

Enslaved People Revolt

1571-01-01 00:00:00

Global Trade Routes

1600-01-01 00:00:00


1641-01-01 00:00:00

"Society" vs. "Nature"

1750-01-01 00:00:00

Dawn of the Industrial Revolution

The Climate Crisis

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