New Research Suggests It Is, Even Across the Political Divide
81 PERCENT OF PARTICIPANTS IN A ROLE PLAY SIMULATION INCREASED MOTIVATION TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE, REGARDLESS OF POLITICAL ORIENTATION
Research published today in PLoS ONE found that 81 percent of participants in the World Climate Simulation, a role-playing game of the UN climate talks, showed increased motivation to combat climate change, even among Americans who are free market proponents, a belief strongly linked to denial of human-caused climate change in the United States.
Prof. Juliette Rooney-Varga of the UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative led the research into how the game affected participants’ beliefs, emotional responses, and intent to take action on climate change. The study examined how World Climate affected more than 2,000 participants from eight countries and four continents, ranging from middle school students to CEOs. Across this diverse population, and regardless of political orientation, cultural identity, age, or gender, participation in World Climate was associated with increased understanding of climate change science, a greater sense of urgency and hope, and increased motivation to learn and do more about climate change. The more people learned through the game, the more their sense of urgency increased. As Rooney-Varga explains, “it was this increased sense of urgency, not knowledge, that was key to sparking motivation to act.”
The researchers also found that the game reaches people outside the traditional climate change “choir,” including free-market proponents and people who knew and cared little about climate change before participating. In fact, these people experienced greater gains in knowledge, urgency, and motivation to act. This finding is particularly exciting given the failure of many prior climate change communication efforts to reach across the political spectrum and to engage people who are not concerned about the issue. The study relied on statistical analysis of surveys that participants completed before and after experiencing World Climate.
The World Climate game is “an engaging, social experience grounded in the best available climate science,” comments Rooney-Varga. Participants take on the roles of national delegates to the UN climate change negotiations and are charged with creating a global agreement that successfully mitigates climate change. As in the real negotiations, each delegation offers policies for their greenhouse gas emissions. The developed nations pledge contributions to the Green Climate Fund to help developing nations cut their emissions and adapt to change; the developing nations specify how much they need to do so. Their decisions are then entered into the climate policy computer model, C-ROADS, which has been used to support the real negotiations, giving participants immediate feedback on the expected climate impacts of their decisions. First round results usually fall short, showing everyone the likely harm to their prosperity, health and welfare. Participants then negotiate again, using C-ROADS to explore the consequences of more ambitious emission cuts.
World Climate is designed for ease of use. As of July 2018, more than 43,000 people in 78 countries around the world have participated in it. The simulation has been reviewed by independent educators and scientists, found to support national science education standards in the US, and designated as an official resource for schools in France, Germany, and South Korea.
Co-author, Prof. John Sterman of MIT Sloan School of Management, notes that “research shows that showing people research doesn’t work. World Climate works because it enables people to express their own views, explore their own proposals and thus learn for themselves what the likely impacts will be.”
Dr. Rooney-Varga of UMass Lowell adds, “For most of human history experience has been our best teacher, enabling us to understand the world around us while stimulating emotions—fear, anger, worry, hope—that drive us to act. The big question for climate change communication is: how can we build the knowledge and emotions that drive informed action without real-life experience which, in the case of climate change, will only come too late? The answer appears to be simulated experience.”
Co-authors Eduardo Fracassi and Florian Kapmeier have used World Climate extensively across South America and Europe. Fracassi has seen World Climate inspire “life-changing insights,” with many participants “embracing projects that reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the real world and taking steps to protect people from future climate risks.” Kapmeier shared the simulation with the Germany Ministry of Education, which designated World Climate as an official resource for German high schools. As Kapmeier explains, the German government “realized that education is a key means to move climate policy forward” and “appreciates that the C-ROADS climate model in World Climate is used by actual policymakers.”
Co-author Andrew Jones of Climate Interactive sees relevance for climate communication more generally: “Our findings may be useful to anyone who is engaging others on climate action. It suggests three key ingredients: information grounded in solid science, an experience that helps people feel for themselves, on their own terms, and social interaction arising from conversation with their peers.”
Learn more: Is the Key to Sparking Climate Action a Game? New Research Suggests It Is, Even Across the Political Divide
The Latest on: World Climate Simulation
[google_news title=”” keyword=”World Climate Simulation” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: World Climate Simulation
- Feature: Israeli scientists use Red Sea simulator to prove coral resilience to climate changeon June 5, 2023 at 8:50 am
Amid summer heatwaves, flocks of snorkelers seek coolness and colorful corals in the southernmost Israeli city of Eilat, a popular Red Sea resort. Meanwhile, on the shore, some corals placed in water ...
- Scientists in Amazon simulate climate change with 'rings of CO2'on June 5, 2023 at 4:19 am
Deep within the Amazon rainforest, a fascinating endeavor is taking place as Brazil is constructing an extraordinary edifice: a cluster of towers ...
- Were Italy’s devastating floods really caused by climate change? This new study suggests noton June 1, 2023 at 3:59 am
A triple-whammy of cyclones caused Italy’s deadly floods, but climate-driven drought made them worse, according to the first attribution study. View on euronews ...
- Little-Known Microbes Could Help Predict Climate Tipping Pointson June 1, 2023 at 3:44 am
Microbes like this play a double role in climate change, releasing or absorbing carbon dioxide -- the heat-trapping greenhouse gas that is the primary driver of warming -- depending on whether they ...
- Climate change not to blame for triple-whammy cyclones, floods ravaging Italy: researcherson May 31, 2023 at 4:25 pm
Three back-to-back cyclones that led to deadly floods across northern Italy cannot be attributed to manmade climate change, a study by the World Weather Attribution found.
- World Newson May 31, 2023 at 9:24 am
Using computer simulations and past observations, a team of researchers looked for but found no evidence of human-caused warming behind the drenching. World Weather Attribution compared what ...
- How gaming can simulate climate changeon May 26, 2023 at 7:00 pm
Susanna Pollack and Sheridan Tatsuno talk about dealing with climate change, and the role gamers can play in the effort.
- Global flash droughts expected to increase in a warming climateon May 26, 2023 at 10:42 am
Researchers at the University of Oklahoma published new findings on how our warming climate will affect the frequency of flash droughts and the risk to croplands globally.
- New study helps solve a 30-year-old puzzle: How is climate change affecting El Niño and La Niña?on May 18, 2023 at 5:27 pm
We then examined climate simulations over hundreds of years before ... bushfires and storms around the world. Previous research suggests the El Niño-Southern Oscillation will continue to change ...
via Bing News