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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

  • Articles and Websites

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.8.2 Summarize texts, from a variety of genres, to determine one or more themes or central ideas and analyze their development over the course of the text. (RI&RL)
      • R.11-12.5 In literary texts, analyze how varied aspects of structure create meaning and affect the reader. (RL) In informational texts, analyze the impact and evaluate the effect structure has on exposition or argument in terms of clarity, persuasive/rhetorical technique, and audience appeal. (RI)
  • Social Studies
    • Economics
      • SS.Econ1.a.m Predict the opportunity costs of various decisions and explain why the opportunity cost might differ from person to person or in different situations. Assess how limited resources (e.g., money, land, natural resources, workers, time) impact the choices of individuals, households, communities, businesses, and countries.
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