Avoiding a bigger climate catastrophe should be a concern for everyone, but understanding how to do that could be a challenge for some. The EN Roads simulator is a way for people to easily understand how to end our destructive energy practices. It’s an easy to use interface that has tons of educational resources behind it, and if you like it you can get training on how to use it to train other people on the how we can save the climate.
Developed by Climate Interactive, the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative, and Ventana Systems, En-ROADS is a system dynamics model carefully grounded in the best available science, and has been calibrated against a wide range of existing integrated assessment, climate, and energy models. En-ROADS runs on an ordinary laptop in a fraction of a second, is freely available online, offers an intuitive user-friendly interface, and is available in over a dozen languages.
En-ROADS helps people make connections between things they care about and the possibilities available to help ensure a resilient future. Users can quickly see the long-term effects of the global climate policies and actions they imagine. The goal? To break through the noise and equip elected officials, business leaders, and others with the knowledge they need to implement equitable and high-leverage climate solutions. You can learn more about the science behind the simulator here.
As a game designer who creates games about the climate crisis and what we can do about it, this recent article in the Guardian warmed my heart. The article looks at how games can help people understand the climate crisis and that there’s still hope that we can do something about it. Games are fantastic for teaching people systems and what external factors impact those systems, which is a great way to capture the complexity of ecosystems.
Go play some climate friendly games!
“There is an increased public desire to engage with climate change in a tangible way,” said designer Matt Parker, who has also taught courses on game development. “Often people don’t want to confront climate change or feel powerless in the face of its complexity. But a lot of the joy of board games is in engaging complex systems with other people.”
In 2020, Wingspan, in which players develop biodiverse bird habitats, was named the best strategy game by the American Tabletop Awards. The game was reviewed by the science journal Nature, in addition to more traditional gaming publications, and sold over 750,000 sets in its first year.
Last year, Cascadia, where players compete to create “the most harmonious ecosystem” in the Pacific north-west, won the prestigious Spiel des Jahres award as well as American Tabletop Awards’ best strategy competition.
Other recent titles include Kyoto, where players put themselves in the shoes of climate negotiators; Renature, where the objective is to restore a polluted valley, and Tipping Point, where participants build cities that must adapt to a warming climate.
Students at the University of Barcelona will now be required to take a class on the climate crisis regardless of their field of study. Adding the course to all students makes sense since the climate crisis impacts all aspects of knowledge from urban planning to our understanding of history.
The way the course got added to the curriculum is further proof protesting works.
“The trigger was the student occupation but it shows a general cultural change. Ten or 15 years ago the university would have sent in the police. But now you can’t kick them out because you know they’re right and society supports them.”
“It’s not just another course on sustainable development,” said Lucía Muñoz Sueiro, an End Fossil activist and PhD student at the university. “It combines the social and ecological aspects of the crisis, which are interrelated.”
Looking for a climate expert? Here’s the only database you need.
The Global South Database is a vetted list of scientists, researchers, and practitioners around the climate the crisis. The database was created to help journalists find voices from Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. It can help you find a climate expert too!
The database currently lists 412 experts from 80 countries. The map below shows the nationalities of the respondents, where larger circles indicate a greater number of experts.
All experts on the database are nationals of at least one global south country.
There are currently more than 50 languages represented on the database. Spanish, Portuguese and Hindi are the most commonly spoken languages by experts on the database, after English.
When you think about climate change coverage in the Financial Times you may assume that they’re writing about how to profit from it; however, the tides have risen. The market-focused publication recently published a short and sweet game that explores how we can avoid climate catastrophe. Through a series of key decisions players need to figure out how to protect the environment and the wealth of the elite. Ultimately, players need to get the global economy to net zero by 2050. Can you do it?