August 24 2013

Multi-million Dollar Climate Change Education Projects Game Taxpayers

Vicki E. Alger

The National Science Foundation is hoping to cultivate the next generation of climate scientists and engineers through Phase II of its Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP):

The CCEP program is one facet of a larger NSF collection of awards related to Climate Change Education (CCE) that has two goals: (1) preparing a new generation of climate scientists, engineers, and technicians equipped to provide innovative and creative approaches to understanding global climate change and to mitigate its impact; and, (2) preparing today's U.S. citizens to understand global climate change and its implications in ways that can lead to informed, evidence-based responses and solutions. 

Already the NSF has funded projects such as the $5.7 million Polar Learning and Responding (PoLAR) project. As CNSNews.com reports:

CCEP has already spent $46 million on taxpayer-funded research projects around the country designed to find the most effective ways to convince Americans that the federal government should confront what researchers claim is the threat of global warming.

Stephanie Pfirman, principal investigator and professor of environmental science at Barnard College, told CNSNews.com that one of the games under development by PoLAR is ‘EcoChains’ - a card game in which ‘players learn the components of an Arctic marine food chain, the reliance of some species on sea ice, and potential impacts of future changes.’…

Scientists and like-minded educators are hoping that the games developed by PoLAR will eventually lead to a society that accepts global warming as a fact, and is willing to adopt ‘responses and solutions.’ …

Authorized in 2012 and running through 2017, PoLAR grantees will be spending $5.7 million of additional taxpayer funds in an effort to convince ‘millions of adults’ to support a ‘change in practices and policies by seeding game-like approaches in informal and formal educational environments’ – despite the fact that the Earth’s temperature has been at a statistical standstill for a decade and a half, and may have actually begun cooling instead of warming.

Those of us of a certain age will recall similar efforts to “educate” children and adults about the environment back in the 1970s. Of course back then we were told the dinosaurs died out because of an asteroid and global cooling. Today, schoolchildren are being told the polar bear population is shrinking because of global warming.

Such shifts seem more the result of focus-grouping than science to me.

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