Visualizing Change’s researchers observed multiple live interpretations of this script in aquarium settings.
Observers found that Ocean Acidification was a topic that most aquarium visitors were wholly unfamiliar with before hearing the interpretation, but that this script was a highly effective teaching tool. It fostered accurate understanding of the definition of OA and some of its impacts, as well as extremely productive and very specific thinking about solutions at the systems level.
The visualization of the “heat–trapping blanket of CO2” was especially effective with visitors, as evidenced by folks nodding their heads during this slide, as well as spontaneous recall of this image in follow-up interviews. Another thing this script did quite effectively was break people’s “guessing machines” around the inevitability and naturalness of CO2 in the atmosphere, as evidenced by the comment from this participant after hearing the presentation:
Participant: "Regular CO2 is something natural that the trees need, [they] need CO2 for their existence ... We exhale the CO2, so some CO2 in the atmosphere is expected and good ... Rampant is when we’ve accelerated to the point where it’s gone past its natural existence. It’s now just out of control.”