Welcome to 2014.
While we wish this was our January 2013 update, we are at the same time stoked for 2014. Our team may still be resource challenged but we made good headway despite the holidays, a septic backup, frozen pipes and flooded basements, and freelance! We reworked a few of the game mechanics, tabled one for later, and borrowed the game we had built for density to rework into the mass/volume story. We will need to confirm with user testing that learning is not impacted, but based on how we staged the early gameplay, we don't expect it to be. Derek (Instructional Design), Mike (Game Design) and I are now reworking the design document and spec to reflect complete development needs. Our programmer is still wrapping up a project that went past deadline and we are working to dovetail the two pieces as soon as we can so we can deliver end of Q1.
As if we needed reminding that understanding this stuff matters, Mother Nature caused some serious damage to the U.S. last year. According to a just-released report from the National Climactic Data Center (NCDC), seven extreme weather and climate-related events each caused more than $1 billion in damage. Despite the fact that tornado activity was below average in 2013, with only 900 reported, tornadoes accounted for three of the seven most extreme weather events and were the most deadly of them, causing 54 fatalities.
I also received an email recently that got me all fired up about how important it is for current and future generations to understand the weather and climate forming around us. I can't imagine any of our backers don't believe in Global warming, but if that describes you, be warned: you may be offended...
Thank you all for your patience and messages of support. This has not been the journey we expected and I can't express how much we appreciate you continuing to trek forward with us.
When record-low temperatures swept across the country last week, we heard from so many of the usual suspects eager to deny climate change.
Folks like Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump, and leading climate change denier in Congress James Inhofe all quickly jumped in to declare that the cold weather disproves global warming.
But then something different happened: People who actually understand the science pushed back -- strongly. Here are just a few examples:
-- On the "Today Show," Al Roker took a minute to pull up the entry for the polar vortex from a meteorology glossary dating back to 1959, mocking the notion that the term was some climate conspiracy -- and it was pretty awesome to watch.
-- Politifact gave Rush Limbaugh a "pants-on-fire" rating for his allegation that the polar vortex was something fabricated by the media to try to blame global warming for the cold weather.
-- Matt Sampson and Carl Parker at the Weather Channel filmed a great short clip destroying the notion that a polar vortex could disprove global warming.
That's how you know that, together, we're successfully changing the conversation on climate.
Across the country, more people understand that extreme weather -- of all types -- is happening more and more every year, and it's because our climate is changing.
And it gives me hope that we're getting closer to the day when the reality of climate change is understood by a majority in Congress, too.
We have a lot to do to hold climate change deniers in Congress accountable. Will you forward this email to a friend and ask them to join you in making sure that climate change denial doesn't go unchallenged for a second in 2014?
Thanks for all your hard work -- keep it up,
Ivan Frishberg Climate Change Campaign Manager Organizing for Action