Enjoy simulations and war games? Interested in politics and how national energy policy is formulated and how it is affected by our dependence on foreign oil? Care to get a sense of what the challenges and complexities of life are like in the corridors of power? Well, then you’ll probably get an education and enjoyment out of Oil ShockWave, a free energy crisis simulation and curriculum box set put together by Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) in collaboration with the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
The game is set in the spring and summer of 2009 under a new administration that has inherited current energy policy. Featuring the likes of Defense Secretary Robert Gates, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, former CIA director James Woolsey and oil industry expert and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Daniel Yergin, students participate in a simulated energy crisis by assuming the roles of U.S. Cabinet members. They need to come to grips with a potentially devastating, politically motivated disruption to global oil supplies and formulate a policy response.
“Current events only serve to confirm the unacceptable security risks created by our extraordinary level of oil dependence. Significantly reducing the projected growth in U.S. oil consumption must become a compelling national priority. I look forward to making the case for immediate and meaningful action,” comments General P.X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.) 28th Commandant, United States Marine Corps, on the SAFE Web site.
The basis for the curriculum, the Oil ShockWave simulation, was originally developed by SAFE and the National Commission on Energy Policy as a catalyst for Congress to act on energy legislation and to push the issue into this year’s presidential campaign. It has been run at the 2006 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, at the 2007 Aspen Strategy Group’s Summer Session and most recently in Washington, D.C. last November.
Situations are put forth using pre-produced newscasts, video briefings and insert cards that illustrate the links between oil, the economy and national security. The Oil ShockWave College Curriculum box set includes a range of background maps and multimedia material and instructor’s manual and will be kept up to date via the Web at www.oilshockwave.com come summer.
Teachers and schools can order a free box set by visiting http://www.belfercenter.org/oil.