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 3. Do electric cars have the same impact on the environment in all countries?

Why in some countries electric cars appear to have more impact on the environment than in others? What is behind this strange difference among countries? While electric cars don't emit exhaust fumes, they do use batteries which can emit toxic fumes. Also, most electricity used to power electric vehicles is still, in many countries, generated from non-renewable energy sources, which can have a negative impact on both our health and the environment. See the differences, decide for yourself!

Suggested resources

1. Maps showing where electric cars are more meaningful [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

2. Use of electric cars across world countries. The below interesting description of Wikipedia shows how many EV are using in different world countries. [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

3. There are specific countries that use EV more than the rest of the world. The top 4 of them are shown in the video here: [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]

4. Electric vehicles and their relation to the environment are in details explained in this interesting link: [Open from webarchive if link broken/inactive]



Map of electric car emissions by country

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 the country differences in using the green cars
2. The learner will be able to describe differences when using green cars in various environments and their impact on the environment


Suggested teaching methods

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

Suggested learning activities

45 minutes

> Icebreaker – are green cars affordable – state the purchasing costs of electric cars in your country.

> Let the group work together – instruct the group to find available resources about:
a) percentage of green cars in their country (list the countries with highest percentage of green cars)
b) government incentives in different countries to promote the use of green cars
c) why in some countries it makes more sense to use green car than in others

> 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

Motivated Cognition: Explain what motivated cognition is and provide examples using the activity just completed (e.g. trusting particular sources, being influenced by...) - list or refer to a list with many possible instances of motivated cognition.


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