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Stanford Scientists Use Virtual Reality To Save The Actual World

November 30, 2018
In The News

Climate parlance like ‘2C threshold’ and ‘anthropogenic emissions’ hardly stir emotions. But the consequences of these phenomena can easily overwhelm them: One hundred million people projected to lose their lives in the next 11 years due to climate change. Roughly 75% of all humans could die due to deadly heat waves by 2100. Stanford researchers have zeroed-in on Virtual Reality (VR) as a powerful tool to make abstract climate threats more visceral and personal before the consequences of climate change become life-threateningly visceral and personal. A paper out today in the journal Frontiers in Psychology shows  VR is a technological kick in the empathy center galvanizing us to act before it’s too late.

The team demoed the SOAE for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon and former Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. “This simulation shows in rich detail the damage carbon pollution inflicts on our oceans,” Whitehouse said after the Capitol Hill event organized by nonprofit environmental advocacy group Ocean Conservancy. “I appreciate the Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience for calling attention to the peril our oceans face and what we must do to protect them.”