Greg Craven (teacher)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Greg Craven is an American high school science teacher and climate change author. The creator of a 2007 viral video on YouTube, he is the author of the 2009 book What's the Worst That Could Happen?: A Rational Response to the Climate Change Debate.

Early life and education[edit]

Craven grew up in Silverton, Oregon. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, studying Asian studies and computer science.[1]


After graduating from college, Craven worked as a software engineer, traveled in Asia, and took graduate science courses at the University of Washington in Seattle.[2]

In 2007, when he was a science teacher at Central High School in Independence, Oregon, Craven posted the nine and one-half minute The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See[3] on YouTube. The video presented a simplified version of risk management using a 2x2 grid to sketch out possible scenarios based on: a) whether we choose to take action or not, and b) whether global warming turns out to be a threat or not. Using the grid, Craven concluded that taking action to combat climate change was the better choice, given the relative risks.

In the first six months online it garnered four million hits, and prompted Craven to spend six weeks creating 44 follow up videos totaling over seven hours detailing specifics of risk management applied to climate change.[4] Craven's conclusion was that "the risk of not acting far outweighs the risk of acting."[5] Craven was the focus of some media attention,[6] was named "Featured Teacher" by WIRED Science,[7] and was opposed by climate change denialists. In 2009, Craven published the book What's the Worst That Could Happen?: A Rational Response to the Climate Change Debate.[8]

At the annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in 2010, Craven delivered a speech[9] (and subsequent comments during a panel discussion) exhorting the climate science community to become personally involved in the public debate over climate change. Craven's comments caused some negative attention in denialist climate blogs, which argued that Craven was "the face of the 'New AGU.'"[10] This prompted Craven to publish a clarification taking personal responsibility and emphasizing that his remarks were in no way associated with the AGU organization or its official view.[11]


  • What's the Worst That Could Happen?: A Rational Response to the Climate Change Debate, Perigee Trade, 2009; ISBN 978-0-399-53501-7

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Teacher's video on global warming a hit online", Newhouse News Service via Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 20, 2007 (accessed 21 June 2009)
  2. ^ Learn, Scott (20 December 2007). "Teacher's video on global warming a hit online".
  3. ^ Original "The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See" on YouTube
  4. ^ "A rural teacher with global reach", Christian Science Monitor, December 20, 2007(accessed 21 June 2009)
  5. ^ "Climate change video becomes YouTube sensation" Archived 2010-04-17 at the Wayback Machine,, 28 December 2007 (accessed 21 June 2009)
  6. ^ "High-school teacher spreads the word on climate change", Yahoo! News, 10 January 2008 (accessed 21 June 2009)
  7. ^ "Featured Teacher: Greg Craven", WIRED Science, 9 October 2007(accessed 21 June 2009)
  8. ^ What's the Worst That Could Happen?: A Rational Response to the Climate Change Debate Archived 2009-06-22 at the Wayback Machine, available from
  9. ^ "AGU Talk",, December 15, 2010 (accessed 19 April 2011)
  10. ^ "Craven Attention". Watts Up With That?. 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  11. ^ Mea Mega Culpa: an Open Letter from Greg Craven re: Dec. 15th speech at AGU, accessed December 18, 2010