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Climate Change Crisis Simulation

Image credit: ParabolStudio / Shutterstock

Crisis Simulations are used by government, military, and businesses to simulate a crisis and implement and test a crisis management solution before game day. You might find that, when push comes to shove, the way instructions are written for something as simple as an evacuation plan can be misleading or lacking. A simulation of the crisis will help tease out these insufficiencies and allow you to execute on it in an improved fashion. For more on a business approach to crisis simulation, check out Deloitte’s page.

Global Crisis Simulations can include diplomats and delegates from all parts of the globe. They can also include scientists, teachers, and writers who play delegates from all parts of the globe. The simple rules of the game are as follows:

  • Everyone is divided into individual countries
  • Within each country you have roles such as Head of Delegation, Press Officer, Negotiator, Strategist, Communications Officer, etc. and each role has a specific function
  • All countries are given the same background information on the crisis at hand and the general problem that is trying to be solved
  • Each individual country is given a separate and secret set of interests, goals, and redlines that they will need to act in accordance to during the simulation. Since other countries do not know this, needs analyses are of the utmost importance.
  • A timer is set (sometimes there are 2 days, sometimes they’re as long as two weeks) and away you go!

The results of a particular crisis simulation on climate change caught my eye recently. It was a crisis simulation that was effectively Terraforming Mars except the temperature was rising at a set speed and this was considered, go figure, bad. As the temperature rose, individuals’ goals and objectives also evolved.

They believed that the global nature of the problem would incentivize collective action from even the actors staunchly in the realist camps, but that was not the case. Actors became increasingly insular as the temperature rose, guarding resources, and blocking others from gaining valuable resources to meet the needs of their constituents.

I think this is an important thing to reflect on as I live my life today. Who will I care about if the world is ending? Probably myself and those closest to me unless I inject yourself into a community that is built on the notion of improving everyone’s existence through collective action. That’s sensible, even noble in the right cinematic light, but is it right? I don’t have an answer to that, but it’s what’s been on my mind.