Part 1: Rooney-Varga explains that a holistic, systems thinking approach is necessary to understand human-caused climate change. Systems thinking concepts that are critical to climate change science include the accumulation of atmospheric stocks of greenhouse gases, feedback processes that amplify or dampen the impacts of climate change, abrupt nonlinear change, and the delayed impacts of today’s actions, such as emissions today that will influence the climate for millennia.
Part 2: Rooney-Varga discusses the need for integrating climate change into biology education and why it can be difficult to understand and teach. She explains that introducing simulation-based role-playing games to students is an effective and fun way to teach how decisions and actions taken today will impact climate change in the future.
Juliette Rooney-Varga is Director of the Climate Change Initiative and Associate Professor of Environmental Biology at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. She leads the NASA-funded Climate Education in an Age of Media Project, and works closely with Climate Interactive to design role-playing games that simulate the long-term outcome of today’s energy choices and policies…. Continue Reading