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May 26, 2014 11:21 AM EDT

Columbia University Uses $5.7 M Grant To Create Climate Change Game


Columbia University in New York received a $5.7 million grant  to create a game depicting "horrible" scenarios that could come about as a result of climate change in an effort to raise awareness, Campus Reform reported.

The Ivy League school used the grant, issued by the National Science Foundation, to fund its PoLAR Climate Change Education project, which includes a series of mock voicemails of people screaming, gasping for air and being swept away by waves on its Website, Future Coast.

"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 National Science Foundation hopes the project will engage people and inform public understanding and response to climate change.

"Games and game-like approaches motivate exploration and learning of complex material," the grant description states.

The predictions being foretold in the voicemails include that all of the glaciers in the Sierra Nevada will be gone by 2038, and that most of the coasts and beaches will "have disappeared" by 2059.

In a voicemail set in 2020, a man tells his mother he cannot afford to attend Thanksgiving celebration because one of his family members spent all of their money on hurricane simulation booths which are now useless because  "everyone has been in a gosh darn hurricane now."

The Ivy League university received the hefty grant in September 2012, and it expires in August 2017.

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