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Pre-Conference - Interactive Simulations

Environment   Oct 10, 2016 by Dylan Fields (Pimlico State High School)

Of the interactive simulations provided, I participated in both the ‘Ecological Footprint Calculator’ and the ‘Climate Change Challenge.’ It was noted in the description that the “simulations and games can help model the complex interrelation of variables underlying climate change,” and completion of these activities provided a useful insight into my impact on the climate.

The ‘Ecological Footprint Calculator’ allowed me to calculate my own ecological footprint; based on the lifestyle I live, and the part of the world I’m situated in (Australia). As an Australian, I live a considerably luxurious life. I have access to clean water, I live with a shelter over my head and I am well nourished. However, other people in different parts of the world aren’t don’t have this luxury; and because of this, you could say I take what I have for granted. Keeping in mind that the information was filled out as accurately as possible; results showed that if everyone like me, we would need 2 planet Earths to provide enough resource. Furthermore, to support my lifestyle, it takes 3.6 global hectares of the Earth’s productive area (3.9 tonnes of carbon). This specific simulation demonstrated how reliant I am on various resources; especially when my ecological footprint breakdown shows food, services and goods as my top three. These factors made me think about how lucky I am to have this much opportunity in my country; whilst also wondering how my way of life is impacting the climate.

The ‘Climate Change Challenge’ was the second interactive simulation I participated in. Unlike the ‘Ecological Footprint Calculator,’ “this small game challenges players to manage a European country’s response to climate change through various policies, while also trying to convince other nations to reduce their own CO2 emissions.” This activity tied in with the previous because as world leader I was required to minimize the national ecological footprint with each policy. However, each policy had its own impact on the economy. Each decision greatly influenced how each decision affected the wellbeing of my country and my environment.

Overall, these ‘Ecological Footprint Calculator’ and ‘Climate Change Challenge’ helped model the complex interrelation of variables underlying climate change. As inhabitants of this planet it is up to us to ensure the Earth is in the best possible condition for the generations that come after us. Climate change is not a small issue. Australia faces significant environmental and economic impacts due to climate change across a number of sectors, and other countries around the world would experience this as well. Climate change deserves greater attention in modern society from people, communities and countries. My maintaining a sustainable life, we can reduce our ecological footprint and limit our impact on the climate and surrounding environment.

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1 Comment(s)

Sam Karras
Oct 14, 2016

You mentioned some significant implications of climate change for Australia in particular. What are some specific ways in which climate change is actively affecting Australia, and what specific ways can we work towards decreasing our carbon footprint? Thanks for your post!

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