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Home » Warming Trends: Chief Heat Officers, Disappearing Cave Art and a Game of Climate Survival

Warming Trends: Chief Heat Officers, Disappearing Cave Art and a Game of Climate Survival

Warming Trends: Chief Heat Officers, Disappearing Cave Art and a Game of Climate Survival

A column highlighting climate-related studies, innovations, books, cultural events and other developments from the global warming frontier.

Climate Save or Climate Disaster? You Decide

The actions taken in this century will either save the planet from the dire effects of global warming or spin the world into a downward spiral of catastrophe and disaster.

A new online game lets you decide which.

“Survive the Century” is a branching, choose-your-own-adventure game where users assume the role of an influential news editor making decisions, decade by decade, about what news to cover between 2021 and 2100. Each decision leads to effects on human health, the global economy and the balance between ecosystems and society. At the end of each decade, users can read fictional news articles describing either the planet’s recovery or descent into disaster.

The game does not try to predict the future, said Chris Trisos, an ecologist and co-creator of the game, but is rather intended to show the players that our world is not yet committed to any specific trajectory.

“You have a lot of choices to get off the climate change superhighway to dystopia,” said Trisos. “It’s good to think about what kind of choices we can make to get us off continued warming.”

Although the scenarios players encounter in the game are fictional—developed by a group of science-fiction writers—the creators collaborated with scientists to ensure the trajectories were possible within the bounds of time and warming.

Co-creator and sci-fi writer Sam Beckbessinger, who often writes for a teenage audience, said she witnesses young people losing hope in their future and falling into climate nihilism, where they feel as if nothing matters because the Earth is doomed.

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