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Sustainable Future, Sam Shead


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics, Civics

Resource Type

  • Article

Regional Focus


China’s Bitcoin Mining Is Threatening Its Climate Change Targets, Study Says

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  • In this article, students will learn about cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and the huge amount of energy required to verify cryptocurrency transactions worldwide.
  • The article also discusses the vast amount of energy that China's cryptocurrency "mining" operations use and the actions China is taking to address this issue.
Teaching Tips


  • This article highlights the unintentional side effects of technological innovations that require significantly more energy or resources.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The article is easy to follow and includes hyperlinks to provide additional information.


  • This resource could be incorporated into science classes discussing climate change, energy consumption, or technological innovation.
  • Economics classes could use this resource when learning about unintended consequences of economic decisions and the globalization of economies.
  • Civics classes could research and propose policies or regulations to reduce the climate impact of cryptocurrencies.
  • Advanced students could read the scientific report that the article is based on (hyperlinked in the first sentence). Students could assess how accurately the article represents the true findings.
Scientist Notes
This resource reports the level of energy consumption from mining Bitcoin in China. This activity undermines China's target of cutting down emissions to achieve net zero emissions in 2050. The resource is recommended for teaching students to understand the intricacies of cryptocurrency and its impact on climate.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading (K-12)
      • R.6-8.5 Provide an accurate summary of various texts; determine the central idea(s) or theme(s) and analyze its development throughout each text.
      • R.9-12.8 Analyze the structure of various texts, including how the features and components relate to each other and the whole.
  • Social Studies
    • Civics & Government
      • Civics & Government 1 (D2): Students understand the basic ideals, purposes, principles, structures, and processes of constitutional government in Maine and the United States as well as examples of other forms of government in the world by comparing how laws are made in Maine and at the federal level in the United States.
    • Personal Finance & Economics
      • Personal Finance (F1): Students understand the principles and processes of personal finance by explaining how scarcity influences choices and relates to the market economy.
      • Global Connections (F2): Students understand economic aspects of unity and diversity in Maine, the United States, and the world, including Maine Native American communities, by analyzing how resource distribution effects wealth, poverty, and other economic factors.
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