The usual set of pranks have popped up this year, for example, Google enabling PacMan in Google maps, atheist bloggers declaring they have found Jesus, or Democrat advocates announcing that they have switched allegiance to Trump.
We have seen it all before and so at best you get an eye roll or two.
So I’m asking myself if there have been any climate change specific pranks that managed to fool a few people?
The answer is yes, and the best one I believe is the following that was initiated by the World Wildlife Fund and was also publicised within a story that appears in the Telegraph …
Anybody venturing to Scotland normally has only the midges to avoid. Now there’s an altogether more terrifying, not so wee beastie lurking in the woods.
For scientists with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have discovered a polar bear living on an island in the Outer Hebrides.
The images and video footage were captured by a dog walker on North Uist. Its authenticity has been verified by the WWF.
Scientists believe the bear may have been forced to head south after finding itself stranded on a melting sheet of ice that broke away from the Arctic ice cap.
They even have a little map …
“With continuing increases in Arctic temperatures and record declines in sea ice we can only predict that polar bears will continue to migrate to Scottish shores. The Arctic is in meltdown.”
Scientists are keeping the precise location of the polar bear secret to prevent sightseers flooding the island armed with cameras and inappropriate food, such as deep fried Mars Bars, to lure it into the open. It is feared that a number of monster spotters from Loch Ness may also make the journey.
Did this fool anybody?
Yes, very much so.
A zoo keeper started planning a trip …
Others were also fooled …
What's happening? There's a polar bear in Scotland. First on in 18000 years. Husband shouts upstairs.
— Keggie Carew (@KeggieC) April 1, 2017
The Prank Story serves a real purpose
It earns a nod from me, not just because it was a prank that fooled a few people, but because it highlights an important issue.
WWF’s Living Planet report 2016, found nearly one in six species of Polar Bear are at risk of extinction from climate change, and so the prank brings publicity to the real impact of climate change …
“We need to act now to lower our carbon emissions by improving energy efficiency, switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy and tackling climate change head-on to limit the impact on all arctic species, including polar bears.”
Melting sea ice may cause polar bears in some parts of the Arctic to travel further to find prey, spend more time on land and use more of their vital energy stores.
Current predictions find that by 2050, polar bear numbers may decline by 30% due to the rapid loss of sea ice unless climate change is halted. And it’s not just polar bears which are vulnerable, WWF’s Living Planet report 2016, found nearly one in six species are at risk of extinction from climate change.
By adopting a polar bear with WWF, you can help to protect them from the threats caused by climate change.