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Dickinson to Durban » Summer Reading Responses » One trillion dollars…okay, deal! Wait, what?

One trillion dollars…okay, deal! Wait, what?

Last week, the COP17 mosaic crew came together with a group of first year students to try to save the world! Using the climate interactive system C-LEARN, we were able to simulate climate negotiations much like those we will be attending at the end of November. At the risk of sounding redundant and possibly (accidentally, of course) plagiarizing some of my very articulate classmates, I will point to posts written by Tim Damon and Maggie Rees for a more detailed description of the simulation. Also, check out the short video below for a good overview of the purpose/significance of climate interactive as told by one of the organizations founders, Peter Senge.

Our negotiation simulation (say that ten times fast!) provided me with an excess of epiphany’s regarding the complex relationships and details involved in the climate talks. One of the most shocking of these epiphany’s came as a realization that I do not have the slightest idea of the value of a dollar on a global scale. To prove I am not alone in this confusion, I hope you will read Sam Pollan’s post, “And so it begins”.

As the mock representative of Japan, I was in the developed nations category. In the real climate negotiations, these countries are looked upon for monetary support from the developing and least developed states. That being said, in the simulation, we (developed nation group) had to decide on an appropriate dollar amount which we were willing to fund the other groups to aid in their sustainable development, protection from climate change impacts, etc. When the financial question was first posed, we all looked at each other, perplexed and slightly horrified that we did not have a clue of the difference between a billion, ten billion, or even hundreds of billions of dollars. As if my mind was not already baffled by the thought of 500 billion dollars, the representative “from Sudan” suggested that 2 TRILLION dollars was a fair offer.

As shocking as that statement (demand?) was, I really couldn’t prove that she was wrong to pose such a number! It is clear that I have a lot more learning to do before I hit the conference in Durban, but it is through experiences like the climate interactive simulation that I will continue to prepare and educate myself on what I will encounter in Africa.

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I think GIS is ok.

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2 Responses to "One trillion dollars…okay, deal! Wait, what?"

  1. babsone says:

    I completely agree with you Dani on the confusion about dollar amounts. I was in the “other developing” group and we ended up googling the amount which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has in order to gain some sort of understanding of how much to ask for. Yet even then we still really didn’t have any idea how much money we were asking for!

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