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Evaluating the many possible strategies for curbing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting the destructive effects of a warming planet is a daunting and contentious task. This week, about 50 MIT students got a chance to try out new software that can visually demonstrate how different policy choices could affect the global outcome.
At Tuesday’s “SimPlanet” event at the MIT Media Lab, students had a chance to beta-test a new interactive energy and climate policy simulation model, En-ROADS, developed jointly by the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative and Climate Interactive, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank. Sponsored by MIT’s Environmental Solutions Initiative, the students worked in teams representing each of eight different interest groups — including developed and developing nations, environmental activists, and industries that make and use energy — using the model to explore the impacts of dozens of possible policies and how hard to push for each.