The climate is in crisis. The world is a mess. Think things would be better if you ruled the universe (or at least a developed nation)? Here’s your chance to test out that theory.

Play the BBC’s Climate Challenge game and you’ll take on the role of president of a powerful European nation. Your mission: 1) convincing other world leaders to climb aboard the emission reduction train; 2) adopting a mix of climate-friendly national policies that will neither starve nor alienate the voting citizenry.

Not a mean trick, that. My first try, I embraced my inner climate zealot and got booted from office before I could reach my emission goals. My second go-round, I managed to meet my nation’s climate obligations and end my term a remarkably popular president — but unfortunately, my beneficence left my country near total bankruptcy.

Bottom line — running a (virtual) country is way harder than Tetris. It almost made me feel sorry for Dubya. Almost.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.