My group really struggled with this one. Based on the criteria that disqualified the “house on fire” one from class, we would need to find a case in which the problem was everybody’s fault, and one person couldn’t get out of it without everyone else contributing. We thought of school bus going off a cliff, but technically one person could jump out and save themselves… In order to be accurate, our analogies became more and more convoluted and crazy so that suddenly it was easier to explain our scenarios using climate change as an analogy.
What I’ve come up with now is tug-of-war. The longer you wait to really contribute, the harder it will be to help drag your team back from the middle. If you don’t help at all, and if others don’t help at all, you’ll lose. (Technically you could walk away if the stakes were life-and-death but it’s a game, and you’re in it to win, so we’re operating under the assumption that you wouldn’t). You only win if everyone helps, and you lose if even one person doesn’t help.
Obviously this has some flaws, like the fact that the stakes aren’t that high during tug-of-war, and you could walk away if you just didn’t care about losing. And if the teams were unbalanced, you not helping/helping might not make a difference either way. And nature isn’t actively working against us; we’re just aggressively attacking nature.
Still, the best analogy for climate change isn’t going to be as good as just explaining climate change. I’d rather just do that, personally.