Protecting the Egg
Mentioned Chris Feurt
One way to wrap your head around the uncertainty that comes with climate change adaptation is to practice a role play scenario.
Each table of participants at our January three-day Climate Adaptation Training was asked to become a fictitious community and assume different roles. I was the town planner and worked with the mayor, a concerned citizen, a local nonprofit, a scientist, and the private sector. We had to work together to protect our egg.
Literally, we had an uncooked egg, a small amount of federal paper money, and some expensive infrastructure options (bubble wrap, post it notes, and springs). We knew the egg and resources we bought to protect it would go into a small metal bucket. We knew the bucket had to drop. We just didn’t know how far it had to drop. If it’s not a big drop, why spend all the money to protect the egg? If it’s a really high drop, will our protection even work?
When our town finally agreed that there was a threat to our egg and it needed to be protected, we chose to spend most of the money on protection—a couple post it notes, a spring, and one square of bubble wrap.
We then picked the height our egg would drop out of a bucket. Our options ranged from one to six feet. Our town had the misfortune of picking six feet.
I groaned, "we should have bought more protection!"
“Don’t worry,” our mayor whispered, “I’ll slip the extra money we saved to our trainer—surely she’ll take a foot or two off the drop.”
Can you bribe a disaster? No, but you can get a dirty look for trying.
And so, our egg, which could have been better protected, was dropped from six feet and well, as you can see, didn't survive. All the springs, and all the post-it notes, and all the bubble wrap couldn't put the egg back together again.
The Coastal Services Center training may be over, but this is just the beginning of the Wells Reserve using role play scenarios to get people thinking about climate change. Read more about our 3-year project funded by the NERRS Science Collaborative here.
Photos by Chris Feurt