“Games and game-like approaches motivate exploration and learning of complex material.” That, according to Campus Reform, is the wording in the grant description submitted by the PoLAR Climate Change Education project at Columbia University.
Apparently, the appeal struck a responsive chord, because the National Science Foundation saw fit to fork over $5.7 million in taxpayer funds “to create games depicting horrible scenarios that could come about as a result of climate change, including a series of mock voicemails of people screaming, gasping for air and being swept away by waves.”
“If the tsunami doesn’t get us, the heat might,” a man says in a voicemail to his mother set in 2065. “I’m just calling to say I love you and I miss you and it might be the last time you hear my voice. Bye.”
The website featuring the fake voicemails, called Future Coast, was created in response to these guidelines.
On a somewhat related note, Drexel NOW, a web voice for Drexel University in Philadelphia, reports that a study conducted by one of its professors, environmental sociologist Robert J. Brulle, found:
The climate change countermovement has had a real political and ecological impact on the failure of the world to act on the issue of global warming.
The study goes on to note that conservatives groups — including the Searle Freedom Trust, the John William Pope Foundation, the Howard Charitable Foundation, and Sarah Scaife Foundation — have continued to bankroll “climate denial” [sic], even as the evil Koch brothers and ExxonMobil have pulled back their public support for “countermovement organizations.”
Interestingly, in his study, Brulle fails to specify how much funding the countermovement received from the National Science Foundation.
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