Sierra Club, RYOT release first VR climate change PSA

(Image courtesy Sierra Club and RYOT.)

(Image courtesy Sierra Club and RYOT.)

Sierra Club, America’s largest grassroots environmental organization, and virtual reality production studio RYOT today announced the release of the world’s first virtual reality climate change public service announcement.

The video, which is being released just two months shy of the international climate negotiations in Paris, aims to not only highlight the devastating effects of climate change but to urge world leaders to take meaningful action on climate. The upcoming negotiations, commonly called COP21, will bring together 195 nations in an effort to produce the world’s first unifying agreement to stop climate disruption.

“The climate negotiations present a unique opportunity to take on the climate crisis and take action for a strong and just clean energy economy,” said Michael Brune, the Sierra Club’s executive director. “As the momentum has continued to accelerate toward this moment, we’ve seen unprecedented climate action from not only the world’s biggest economies but the grassroots activists who are driving the change. Supporters from the entertainment industry like Jared Leto are stepping up to help show that this is not just a political issue, it’s a cultural and humanitarian issue. We need people everywhere around the globe to join the movement and call on their leaders to Act In Paris and beyond.”

“To us, this is by far the most exciting use case for virtual reality technology,” said Molly Swenson, C.O.O. of RYOT and an Executive Producer of the film. “When you’re standing in the middle of a glacial ice cave, watching and hearing it melt rapidly from the inside out, you not only understand that climate change is real, but you feel compelled to do everything you can to halt and reverse it. Virtual reality is the best tool we’ve found for turning passive viewers into active participants.”

“At EMA we are always looking for cutting ways to tell the story of today’s environmental issues to the public. With this incredible virtual reality piece we have found the perfect project to reach people that may not grasp the true impact climate change has had on our glaciers,” said K. Asher Levin, EMA’s Director of Business Development.

The video is available to view by downloading the RYOT-VR iOS app from the App Store, or on YouTube 360 and Facebook.

Or watch the video below:

To learn more, visit

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit

About RYOT

RYOT is a media company based in Los Angeles, and is the leading virtual reality production studio for nonprofit storytelling. RYOT’s virtual reality films have been viewed over half a million times and been covered in over 300 press publications including NPR, New York Times, re/code, Bloomberg TV and BBC.

About the Environmental Media Association

The Environmental Media Association is a Non-Profit 501(c)3 Organization founded in 1989 by Cindy and Alan Horn and Lyn and Norman Lear. EMA is dedicated to harnessing the power of celebrity and the media to promote sustainable lifestyles and believes through positive role modeling the entertainment community can inspire consumers to take action. The organization has grown into a diverse group of industry professionals from film, television and music dedicated to the mission of promoting environmental awareness through the entertainment business and the media. EMA serves as a valuable link between the entertainment industry and the environmental community. Visit us at online at and, Instagram @green4ema and Twitter @green4ema.

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7 Responses

  1.' Alex Ferraris says:

    Climate change happens naturally and to say that human beings are affecting it is just not true. Climate change is an ideology created , fabricated by socialists in order to put a stop in capitalism. This is dangerous and people should wake up.
    The earths temperature hasnt gone up in over 18 years.
    Yes there are changes locally all around earth because thats the differences in weather patterns.
    Like now its fall in New York.

    • On the one side of the debate you’ve got most of the world’s scientists and both far-left politicians and moderates.
      On the other side, a bunch of conservative politicians and oil companies.

      Yes, it is possible that the scientists are all wrong or biased — it happens. Some scientists used to think that smoking was okay. They do make mistakes.

      But given the choice, I’d bet on the scientists.

      Meanwhile, socialists and communists may be opposed to capitalism as an economic platform, but very few are opposed to economic growth. The Soviet Union certainly didn’t care much about the environment.

      Socialists and communists, for the most part, want people to have jobs, and want economic growth. They just disagree on how to get there.

      They support more checks and balances on businesses — minimum wages, safe working conditions, that sort of thing. But not because they want to restrict economic growth, but because they believe that these things, in the long run, help everyone — including businesses themselves.

      I personally am a big fan of business — “business” is right there in this publication’s name! — but I’m also a fan of long-term sustainability, instead of a short-term race for profits. Using up natural resources in order to make more money now is as short-sighted as lying to customers to make a quick sale — in the end, both bite you in the butt.

      Personally, I don’t understand why more conservatives don’t support uniform conservation policies.

      After all, if company A has to spend more money to the do the right thing (whether it’s wages, safety, safe ingredients, paying taxes or honest advertising) and company B doesn’t, then there’s often a race to the bottom.

      But if everyone is held to the same minimum standard, then individual companies are no longer at a disadvantage when the do the right thing — and the entire industry benefits as a result.

      •' XMIR Grid says:

        Science and their models can say what they want, the fact ist there has not been any global warming for over 18 years. Meaning those who graduated from college this year never heave experienced global warming in their lifetime.

        • You have seen that NOAA has revised this data, right? Turns out that over the past few years, they’ve been using different equipment — and a lot of it — to measure ocean temperatures, and it turns out that they new equipment shows colder results for the same spot as the old equipment. (New specialized buoys instead of whatever ships happened to be around.)

          Which would explain why sea levels continued to rise and glaciers continued to retreat during this time.

          In fact, the rise in sea levels has actually been accelerating recently:

          The scientific evidence is really overwhelming:

          Now, it’s fine to say you don’t believe scientists, and they’re all wrong, or all liars. But you can’t do that AND try to argue against climate change on scientific grounds — there really aren’t any.

          Either you make your decisions based on the best available scientific evidence, or you make your decisions based on political theories.

          I’ve done a lot of international reporting (and spent my early childhood in the Soviet Union) and personally have a problem with the latter approach.

          Now, am I also making a faith-based decision based on pro-environmental tendencies? It’s hard to tell whether you yourself are biased or not.

          The main question to identify bias is to ask: What would it take for you to change your mind? And how would that make you feel?

          So, say, if the scientific consensus were to shift, and independent scientists started coming out and saying that global warming was over, and that it looked like all our efforts had paid off, how would I react?

          At first, I’d be cautiously optimistic. Really, we’ve reversed course? You sure?

          But then I’d be extremely happy because I have children, and would rather that they not have to lead a Mad Max lifestyle.

          I have a feeling that climate change falls into the same category as the moon landing. If you look hard enough, you will always find inconsistencies. If you look hard at ANYTHING, you will always find some data points that don’t make sense, usually the result of some error or other.

          But in order to take those small inconsistencies and spin them into a broader picture, it usually requires a massive, ginormous conspiracy to explain away all the rest of the data. Hundreds, or thousands, or tens of thousands of people have to all be able to keep a secret. The most respected and educated people on the planet all have to be liars.

          That COULD happen. In theory, it is definitely possible. Stranger things have happened.

          And I would be very happy to see global warming no longer be a problem. But it would take more than a single, discredited data point to convince me to disregard the scientific consensus.

          •' Alex Ferraris says:

            Weather patterns always change. It is alive. Nothing humans can change.

          •' XMIR Grid says:

            > Either you make your decisions based on the best available scientific evidence, or you make your decisions based on political theories.

            Virtually every decision on climate change is based on political theories. It has become a madness of religious beliefs for many.

      •' Alex Ferraris says:

        The biggest problem the scientists have Maria is that there is no scientific proof about global warming. They are basing it all on their weather models. Which they have been found quilty in manipulative activities in order to get the results to show global warming
        And another proof that these scientist are all bought and paid for is that they always predict 20 to 30 years ahead. Never predict now!
        And yes these reaults always give the liberal democratics the bullets to attack our free society with more TAXES and carbon taxes.
        The so called Green Energy.
        Do you know that without the carbon dioxed plants cant survive?
        The planet needs the green house effect in.order to sustain oxygen production that u and I need to breath !