Lehigh University
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Game will let students take the heat for climate change

Students, faculty and staff will see firsthand how their choices affect climate, and that these effects could mean more than a longer sunbathing season.

On Tuesday, Oct. 23, the Global Union and Global Citizenship Program will sponsor a large-scale Climate ChangeGame simulating how different choices affect the global climate. A Philadelphia-based educational company, BigPictureSmallWorld Inc., will run the Climate ChangeGame from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Lamberton Hall.

“This is very timely given the campus’s environmental focus,” says Bill Hunter, director of the Global Union.

The game divides players into teams representing businesses, governments and individuals. As the teams make choices, the situation heats up—literally.

Players are given realistic options with consequences that are grounded in scientific findings and make a series of choices, competing until the climate reaches the “tipping point” or the point where change becomes irreversible.

“Players learn about the challenges and opportunities of coming climate change, as well as develop and test out various strategies and actions that could mitigate, slow, or reverse the slide into the changed climate future in which we will all be living,” says the BigPictureSmallWorld Inc. Web site.

Ilya Khazen ’10, the Global Union’s vice president of social programming, spearheaded the organization of the game. He contacted BigPictureSmallWorld Inc., booked the event and contacted interested clubs on campus.

“I liked this (concept) because it’s not just someone lecturing you,” Khazen says. “In the game you play a part, and the choices you make have an effect that you can see.”

Magdalena Grudzinski-Hall, program development officer for the Global Citizenship Program, hopes students will learn global responsibility through the game. Because each player must make decisions that affect the climate and each decision has specific consequences, “They have the opportunity to see the changes they can make on the world, wether good or bad,” Grudzinski-Hall says.

As of Monday Oct. 22, only 30 out of 200 seats remained available for students, staff and faculty who want to participate in this event.

“It’s open to everyone who wants to explore their carbon footprint,” Hunter says. People who are interested in attending should email Bill Hunter.

More information about the program can be found at the Global Union Web site.

--Becky Straw

Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007

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