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Angry Birds Takes on Climate Change

Climate

Could a few really upset birds get people all over the world to fight the cruel effects of our ever-warming planet? Could they ignite a groundswell of support, from the bottom up, to convince world leaders to commit to tackling climate change?

That’s what Rovio, the creators of Angry Birds, Earth Day Network, and we at Connect4Climate are hoping.  To encourage a binding climate agreement at the United Nations meeting in Paris this December, Rovio is doing their part, by creating Angry Birds: Champions for Earth, a special tournament on Angry Bird Friends, a mobile game in the Angry Bird series that you can play as a free Mobile App and on Facebook.

In Champions for Earth, participants play in the tournament with specially created Angry Bird avatars in their likeness. The game is themed around climate change, and players encounter facts about the climate and learn what they can do to take action.

Put on your angry face, and join Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Christiana Figueres, Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Ian Somerhalder and Korean pop group VIXX for a special Angry Birds Friends tournament to help protect our environment!

We at Connect4Climate try to motivate people to take on the world’s number one threat by connecting to people where they live, which is why we’re honored to support Champions for Earth. Incorporating climate change messages into the most popular video game ever is an ideal example of how to really communicate climate change messages.

In the original, highly-addictive, Angry Birds game, the heroes are birds, who are angry at pigs for stealing their eggs. While comical, the underlying theme of the game is about a commitment to justice and protection of the innocent. These messages, in fact, transfer easily to climate change messages. In Champions of Earth, players translate protecting eggs to protecting the earth.

Will Champions of Earth reach many people? With a record-breaking 3 billion downloads, Angry Birds is the most downloaded game ever. In some countries, the game has been downloaded more times than the size of the population. We now spend 3 billion hours a week playing online games, and close to 100 percent of teenagers under 18 years old play games regularly. By age 21, a person will have spent 10,000 hours playing on-line games, close to the same number of hours they have spent in classroom education. Now there’s a captive audience! We’re betting Champions of Earth will hit big.

Rovio is hoping that the game will ignite a powerful call to action and is hosting a seven-day tournament this week during the UN Environment Week when world leaders are chugging through details to announce goals around climate change.

We believe that this game, Champions of Earth, has the potential to be the game-changer, the point at which a critical mass of concerned global citizens together turn toward solutions to calm our ever warming earth, and finally—finally—provide the force to get our global leaders to act.

As Sonam Kapoor, a Connect4Climate Global Leader, puts it: Climate change affects us “in every country, and it makes us very angry.” It’s time to put on our angry faces and call for climate action.

Spread the word! You can tweet: These celebrity birds are #angryaboutclimatechange & want to plant 1B trees: @EarthDayNetwork @AngryBirds @Connect4Climate.

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"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."

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The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.

Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.

"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."

Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.

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The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.

Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.