The two pre-conference simulation activities that I have taken a part in are the ecological footprint calculator and the climate change simulations. Both of these activities gave an insight to how much I consume on a daily basis and how living standards would need to change to support the rest of the earth. This has changed my perspective towards the current climate change issues.
The Ecological footprint calculator used information based on our individual lifestyles to predict how many earths we would need to support everyone living lifestyles like mine. Living in a first world country, Australia, I am considered to be living at a high standard, with endless opportunities and open space I have taken advantage of this, not realising the effect it may have on the rest of the Earth. For the population to live a lifestyle like mine 2.6 earths would be required to sustainably support everyone. This is affected due to my large amounts of driving to and from my rural home, which takes up more land than most. This showed me how land based my lifestyle is, taking up 4.7 global hectares of the Earths productive area, as most of my food comes from large farms. The simulation activity has encouraged me to put more thought into those countries who are more disadvantaged then mine. Countries where fresh produce is scarce and countries where there is not enough room to accommodate everyone.
The second activity, Climate Change Simulation, was a small game that challenged participants to manage and improve a European country’s response to climate change and maintain their countries happiness, whilst convincing other nations to reduce their own CO2 Emissions. This task provided a challenge for me, with the high responsibility of minimizing the ecological footprint and take into account the country’s wealth, food, water and energy.With little knowledge on what approach I had to take on this task, the difficulty of becoming a leader overtook.Once I made one move to improve CO2 emissions the economy or the popularity would go down, likewise with all changes I tried to make, thus allowing me to think more about what difficulty it is to run a country and take care of these factors.
Overall these two simulation activities allowed me to think more about how sustainable my actions are towards the environment and to take into consideration what life may be like in the future if everyone was to live in high, easy going standards of living. With an increasing population it is important to change our living standards for a more sustainable way of living otherwise it will come to the point where every country has a lack of clean water, fresh produce and money, like some unfortunate countries already do.However if world leaders take a stand on this like I have in the simulation activities, work can be done and lifestyles can be changed so that only one planet earth is required to support our population.