2017 World Affairs Institute: Global Solutions to the Environmental Crisis

47th Annual World Affairs Institute for Student Leaders

Global Solutions to the Environmental Crisis

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Westin Convention Center
1000 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

There is no shortage of issues facing people across the globe, but there is one issue that affects us all – climate change.

There is 97% consensus among scientists that climate change is a reality and is a direct result of our actions, primarily our reliance on fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and gas. Recent studies have found that the impacts of climate change are no long in the distant future; consequences of climate change pose an imminent threat to civilization and demand action by countries around the world.

This year’s World Affairs Institute will focus on Global Solutions to the Environmental Crisis. You will hear speakers discuss climate change and the environmental impacts. Experts will cover topics from the Paris Climate Agreement to renewable energy and sustainable solutions, and attendees will discover ways in which they can become involved in combating climate change.

Student delegates will participate in a World Climate Simulation produced by Climate Interactive and MIT Sloan School of Management, a role playing exercise of the UN climate negotiations.

 

The cost of the Institute is $75 per person.

Student delegates receive scholarships to attend the Institute from their local Rotary Club or high school. More information about Rotary scholarships, including registration materials, can be found below.

The fee of $75 for each delegate and chaperone will cover the cost of registration, educational materials, all conference sessions, lunch, and refreshments.

Click here for student registration.

Click here for chaperone registration.

Please complete registration by October 2.

 

Tentative Institute Schedule

9:00 a.m. Registration

9:30 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

9:45 a.m. Featured Speakers:

12:00 p.m. Institute Luncheon

12:30 p.m. World Climate Simulation

2:00 p.m. Simulation Debriefing

3:00 p.m. Adjournment

 

Self-parking is available at The Westin Convention Center for a rate of $22/day. Parking is also available at parking garages and parking lots near The Westin Convention Center.

 

Questions? Contact Kathleen Newell, Education Program Manager: 412-281-7973

 


 

Foreign Policy Scenario: World Climate Simulation

(Produced by Climate Interactive and MIT Sloan School of Management.) The World Climate Simulation is a role playing exercise of the UN climate change negotiations. The simulation builds climate change awareness and enables participants to experience some of the dynamics that emerge in the UN climate negotiations. The exercise is framed by current climate change science and allows participants to use an interactive computer model to rapidly analyze the results of the mock-negotiation to find out how their proposed policies impact the global climate system in real-time.

Goals:

  1. Reduce greenhouse gas levels by 2100 at a level that keeps global warming well below 2*C above preindustrial levels.
  2. Agree on a deal to share costs of mitigation and adaptation fund to aid most vulnerable nations.

 

Students will be divided into groups of delegates representing one of the following parties:

China

European Union

India

United States

US Cities and States

Other Developed Nations

Other Developing Nations

Climate Activists

Fossil Fuel Industry Lobby

Journalists/Press Corps

 


Please note that the required readings and video below will serve as the “Background Paper” for this year’s World Affairs Institute.


 

Required Readings:

I Am Still In: Your Guide to Taking Action to Support the Paris Agreement

  • (Published by The Climate Reality Project.) In this kit, you’ll learn the facts about the Paris Agreement, who’s still supporting the US commitments to climate action, and how you can take action to build support for clean energy and other climate solutions.

 

Overview of the National Climate Assessment

  • (Published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program.) The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future. A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.

 


 

Required Videos:

Adapting to a Changing Climate

  • (Published by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Adaptation Committee.) A new video documentary by the UNFCCC Adaptation Committee aims at raising awareness on climate change adaptation. The 20 minute documentary “Adapting to a changing climate” introduces viewers to the topic of climate change adaptation, weaving in inspiring stories of adaptation action and interviews with experts.

“Climate 101” with Bill Nye

  • (Published by The Climate Reality Project.) Take Climate 101 with Bill Nye (the Science Guy) and you’ll be schooled in the scientific fundamentals of climate change in under 5 minutes.

 


 

Recommended Readings:

Climate Change Science and the Environmental Impacts of Climate Change:

Climate Change and the Water Cycle: Four Big Questions Answered

  • Published by The Climate Reality Project.) Check out The Climate Reality Project’s answers to four of the most confusing questions about how climate change impacts the water cycle.

The 12 Questions Every Climate Activist Hears and What to Say

  • (Published by The Climate Reality Project.) A handy guide to the most common arguments against the reality of man-made climate change and why they’re totally wrong.

 

Renewable Energy:

Top Solar Energy Myths

  • (Published by The Climate Reality Project.) The Climate Reality Project sets the record straight on some of the most common solar energy myths.

Top Wind Energy Myths

  • (Published by The Climate Reality Project.) The Climate Reality Project sets the story straight on some of the most common wind energy myths.

Twelve Economic Facts on Energy and Climate Change

  • (Published by jointly The Hamilton Project and the Energy Policy Institute in March 2017.) This jointly written document provides useful context for a discussion of the dangers to the economy posed by climate change and the policy tools for addressing those dangers.

 

The Paris Climate Agreement:

So What Exactly Is In The Paris Climate Accord?

  • (Republished by NPR in June 2017.) Representatives from 196 nations made a historic pact on December 12, 2015, in Paris to adopt green energy sources, cut down on climate change emissions and limit the rise of global temperatures — while also cooperating to cope with the impact of unavoidable climate change. Here are some key figures from the final agreement.

 


 

Recommended Videos:

The Cost of Carbon: North America

  • (Published by The Climate Reality Project.) North America is paying the cost of carbon through ways of life and livelihoods. We visit Staten Island to hear from homeowners who survived Hurricane Sandy. In Manitou Springs, raging wildfires were just a prelude to devastating floods. In Durango, Mexico, farmers tell of land lost to drought and a dying community.

“The Price of Carbon” with Reggie Watts

  • (Published by The Climate Reality Project.) Big Oil and Big Coal aren’t just handing you a hefty bill for your gas and energy usage. There’s another bill we’re all picking up thanks to their carbon pollution, and it’s a doozy.

 


 

In the News…

Climate Change Is Complex. We’ve Got Answers to Your Questions.

  • (Published by The New York Times.) We know. Global warming is daunting. So here’s a place to start: 17 often-asked questions with some straightforward answers.

 


 

School District Registration Materials

2017 World Affairs Institute Brochure

2017 School District Scholarship Request (Due Monday, September 25)

Please send the School District Scholarship Request along with your check (payable to World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh) to:

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh
2640 BNY Mellon Center
500 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2502

2017 Student Delegate Registration (Due Monday, October 2)

Students and chaperones attending the Institute must complete the respective online registration forms above.

 


 

Rotary Registration Materials

2017 World Affairs Institute Brochure

2017 Rotary Scholarship Request (Due Monday, September 25)

Please send the Rotary Scholarship Request along with your check (payable to World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh) to:

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh
2640 BNY Mellon Center
500 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2502

2017 Student Delegate Registration (Due Monday, October 2)

Students and chaperones attending the Institute must complete the respective online registration forms above.

 


 

World Affairs Institute for Student Leaders – FAQ:

Who sponsors the World Affairs Institute?

The Institute is sponsored by Rotary International and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. This year’s Institute marks the 47th year of collaboration between the Council of Pittsburgh and Rotary International.

What is the objective of the Institute?

The Institute engages high school student leaders in a discussion of key issues in international affairs so that they can understand and think critically about their world.

Who can attend the Institute?

High school students are selected by local Rotary Clubs (Districts 6650, 7280, 7300, and 7330) in cooperation with schools. Each Rotary Club determines the number of scholarships available.

How many student delegates will attend?

Approximately 350 high school juniors and seniors.

How is the conference structured?

Through panel presentations and an experiential learning activity, experts will discuss key issues with the student delegates. Each student will have access to a comprehensive overview of the topic prior to the Institute (see above).

Who pays for the scholarships?

Each Rotary Club pays for the number of scholarships it is sponsoring. The fee of $75 for each delegate and chaperone will cover the cost of registration, educational materials, all conference sessions, lunch, and refreshments.

About Rotary International

Rotary International is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Its mission is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. There are 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are non-partisan, non-denominational, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto, “Service Above Self,” Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.

About the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

Established in 1931, the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to providing a pathway for a more globally minded region, offering students and the community a learning space that covers key international issues.

For nearly five decades, the Council has had a special focus on serving secondary schools throughout Western Pennsylvania. Through its award-winning educational outreach program, the Council annually organizes events focused on the policy challenges which lie ahead for the successor generation, so that they may understand and think critically about their world.