$450,000 Federal Grant Went to Make Climate-Change Video Game

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has taken up the task of chronicling government waste since notorious pork-fighter Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) retired, today revealed a nearly half-million-dollar video game produced for climate-change education.

The Climate Change Narrative Game Education (CHANGE) is being developed by researchers at the University of South Florida and piloted at Hillsborough County high schools. It received a nearly $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

“CHANGE’s goal is to help high school students learn complex Global Climate Change science by making it personally relevant and understandable,” says the USF description of the game, which uses “scientifically realistic text narratives about future Florida residents” about 50-100 years into the future and “simulations & games based on scientific data to help students learn principles of GCC so students can experience and try to cope with potential long term effect of GCC via role-play and science-based simulation.”

In his Waste Report today, Paul slammed the project as “a video game aimed at indoctrinating kids into the climate change way of thinking.”

Paul also needled the game for taking students as far as 110 years into the future of predicted global warming: “Recall that Doc Brown and Marty only went 30 years in the future; and while Back to The Future was a great movie trilogy, accurately predicting just 30 years in the future proved pretty hard.”

The Waste Report highlighted the 1980s prediction of President Obama’s science advisor, John Holdren, that a billion people would die of global warming by 2020 through famine induced by carbon dioxide emissions.

At the end of 2014, Holdren told Fox News that “it is a bit too soon, on the eve of 2015, to make any firm pronouncements about what will or will not happen by 2020.”

“As accurately reflected in the quoted passage, my statement in the 1980s about potential impacts of climate change on food production by 2020 was not a ‘prediction’ or a ‘forecast.’ It was, precisely, a statement about what ‘is possible,’” Holdren said.

“…I very much hope, of course, that nothing as dire as a famine killing a billion people will happen as a result of climate change by 2020, or ever. But the prospects for permanently avoiding such an outcome… will be greatly improved if this country follows through on the sensible measures in the President’s Climate Action Plan.”