“Research shows that showing people research doesn’t work,” said En-ROADS Ambassador Nate Mills at an ESRAG Climate Solutions workshop Jan. 25.  Instead, Mills explained, it’s more effective to put them in charge: “Give them a way to see the problem, what they can do, and how to interpret the results.” 

Mills then introduced participants to the En-ROADS simulator developed by Climate Interactive, the Sustainability Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Sloan School of Business, and Ventana Systems.  This free, online tool provides a graph showing how global temperature will rise if current trends continue.  By adjusting sliders, you can see the impact of applying 30 different policies, such as carbon pricing, improving building efficiency, and changing the mix of energy generation. The global temperature graph shows not only how much, but how quickly a given policy would slow global warming between now and 2100.  Given the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 to avoid a calamitous tipping point, that’s an essential virtue of this simulation.

By clicking the three dots next to a policy option, you can adjust the implementation timeline and other factors such as price, tax, and subsidy.  The simulator also offers a quick summary of some of the co-benefits of changes, such as preventing disease by reducing air pollution from the combustion of fossil fuels.

This is a great resource to start a constructive discussion of climate solutions by putting participants in the role of policy-makers.  It can be used in workshops for Rotary clubs, students, business groups, local government, philanthropic organizations, or a mixed group of stakeholders. ESRAG’s Climate Solutions Task Force invites you to get trained in how to use it. Task Force member Tim Conners is coordinating a team of En-ROADS Ambassadors who can provide a workshop for your group. Contact Tim to schedule an ESRAG-sponsored training, or sign up for one of the upcoming En-ROADS workshops sponsored by MIT alumni.  

The model shows that carbon pricing has huge potential for fast action in reducing emissions. If you are an American Rotarian, “Join Citizen’s Climate Lobby (CCL),” recommends ESRAG Board Member Steve Solbrack.”As we learned in the workshop, there is no silver bullet, but this group (started by a Rotarian!), is focused on the biggest piece of silver buckshot.  Their Monthly calling campaign https://citizensclimatelobby.org/monthly-calling-campaign/  takes a minute or two to accomplish and sends a message to your representatives in Washington!”