The Disinformation Games

Your safe space for games and challenges related to misinformation and disinformation!

Case study: The Boom of Green Cars

"Dieselgate" was a turning point which had many people turn to electric vehicles as a more environmentally friendly option of driving around. But in some respects, green cars can be just as bad for the environment as traditional cars. So what can we make of this? Green cars don't emit climate-damaging greenhouse gases or health-harming nitrogen oxide. They are quiet when they run and are easy to operate. Electric vehicles seem to have a lot of advantages over cars that run on gasoline or diesel. Green cars offer a quick solution to two societal needs: reaching national targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling air pollution in city centers. Nevertheless, the overall carbon footprint of a battery-powered car "is similar to that of a conventional car with a combustion engine, regardless of its size." This was the conclusion of a 2011 study by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) in Heidelberg. Controversy? Let us find out!

Green Cars

Recommended for: high school students, university students, adults

Available building blocks4

Tags: environment, sustainable development, cars, transportation, pollution

Tips for educators

Building block 1. Can we tackle air pollution with the use of electric cars?

The impact of the transport in the air pollution is continuously rising. This is though caused by the development outside the transport. Pollution caused by the industry and energy have fallen significantly which had caused the impact of transport in total pollution. The most problematic is road freight transport where the call for its efficiency is growing. Pollution from transport is mainly due to combustion in engines. In this way, nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO) and particularly hazardous human dust particles (PM) are produced. These are the product of incomplete combustion of hydrocarbon fuels, especially diesel. When dealing with fuel, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are also released from car tanks and from incompletely burned fuel. All-electric vehicles produce zero direct emissions, which specifically helps improve air quality in urban areas. However, EVs typically produce fewer life cycle emissions than conventional vehicles because most emissions are lower for electricity generation than burning gasoline or diesel.

Suggested resources

Articles & Videos

1. The following article describes the reduction of the pollution with electric vehicles and how can they help to keep the world cleaner:  [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

2. The following article brings into the subject more circumstances which have to be take into account:  [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

3. Myths vs facts about electric cars:  [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

4. This article and video show the UK´s opinion and plans on how electric cars can tackle climate change and air pollution:  [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

5. In the following article you can compare pros and cons of electric cars:  [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

6. Other pros links:  [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive] [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

7. Other cons link:

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes represent the competences which learners are expected to develop as a result of the training intervention:

1. The learner will be able to explain and understand what a green car is.
2. The learner will be able to understand the impact the transport pollution has on our planet.
3. The learner will be able to distinguish between the necessity of decreasing the pollution on one side but doing that appropriately not fanatically.

Suggested teaching methods

> Data analyses
> Search of resources
> Discussion
> Consideration of information, assessment

Suggested learning activities

1,5 hours

> Ice-breaker – zero-pollution car? Introduce 2 different angles to handle this topic.

> Divide the class in 2 groups – instruct the groups to search and find the information of the pollution caused by conventional transport and „so-called“ zero pollution caused by e-cars. Direct both groups to the initial materials.

> Start a debate - the main aim of the case study is to allow the students to learn how to work with information. Educator should stay neutral moderator of discussion. Compare the quality of listed arguments

> Summarise the debate. Direct attention to fact-checking and source-checking based on the Eggshell model. Each groups checks the resources of their opponents.

> Ask the group to re-evaluate their position and the arguments already used in the debate. Encourage self-reflection with focus on information/disinformation. In full group: enlist, explain, provide example to properties which may indicate disinformation or manipulation.

De Facto pillars

Systemic Causality: Discuss the complex issue of e-cars – zero-pollution on one side yet can´t be used without being charged by electricity.


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