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.
By Gudrun Heise
Just as scientists are scoring successes in coronavirus research, new problems are on their way. Fall is with us and winter is around the corner, so the season for colds and flu has begun — joining COVID-19.
Influenza Vaccination<p>A flu vaccination may thus be able to narrow down the diagnostic options when flu-like symptoms occur, but whether such a vaccination also has an influence on the behavior of the dangerous new virus is — like so much else — not clear. "It is conceivable that there is an indirect effect. But it is, I believe, a matter of speculation whether it has an immunological effect in the narrower sense," says Krause.</p><p>Every winter, doctors' waiting rooms are full of people who are coughing and sniffing but who mostly turn out to have only a severe respiratory infection. According to current knowledge, the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, is also likely to be subject to seasonal fluctuations. </p><p>In winter, cold viruses, at least, flourish because cold and dry air offers ideal conditions for their spread. In addition, it becomes more difficult to air rooms regularly and intensively — an important further measure to counteract the coronavirus and contain to some extent the danger posed by aerosols.</p><p>According to the <a href="https://www.rki.de/DE/Home/homepage_node.html" target="_blank">Robert Koch Institute, Germany's public health agency</a>, between 5% and 20% of people in Germany become infected with flu viruses every year. These viruses are also dangerous and can be fatal. The flu vaccination must be adapted to the influenza viruses every year, because they mutate. But at least there is a vaccination.</p><p>Most experts agree that there is unlikely to be a vaccine against the coronavirus by the time the next wave of influenza comes around. And even if a vaccine were to be approved, many unknowns remain.</p>
COVID-19 and Flu Simultaneously<p>For example, there is a lack of practical experience in dealing simultaneously with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza. It is possible to speculate that having influenza could facilitate the entry of the coronavirus into the human body. "The general weakening of the immune system during an influenza infection could increase the susceptibility of a patient to a SARS-CoV-2 infection," Krause says.</p><p>However, it is uncertain how dangerous this double infection could ultimately be and what can be done about it. Krause is of the opinion that we must arm ourselves against all three diseases — colds, flu and COVID-19. If we have a cold, bed rest, hot tea and cough medicine usually help. We can get vaccinated against flu. But how do we deal with COVID-19?</p><p><span></span>Probably people can only hope that if they get the illness, they will have a mild form with as few after-effects as possible. Here, it will certainly help to stick to suggested rules on hygiene to reduce or prevent our exposure to the virus. In an interview with DW, Bonn-based virology professor Hendrik Streeck made it clear that COVID-19 usually takes a more severe course when there is a high viral load at infection.</p>
Hygiene, Hygiene, Hygiene<p>The same hygiene measures with which we are trying to get at least some kind of grip on COVID-19 also apply to influenza. The less we come into contact with viruses, the greater the chance that we will be spared an infection or that it will be mild.</p><p>These measures include general hygiene precautions such as frequent hand washing and the wearing of protective face masks. "The various hygienic measures against COVID-19 will also reduce the spread of influenza," says Krause. "Possibly, further connections of a more immunological nature will be discovered."</p><p>Let us hope that is the case, because the flu season hasn't even started.</p>
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Rising temperatures in the air and the water surrounding Greenland are melting its massive ice sheet at a faster rate than anytime in the last 12 millennia, according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
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A grim new assessment of the world's flora and fungi has found that two-fifths of its species are at risk of extinction as humans encroach on the natural world, as The Guardian reported. That puts the number of species at risk near 140,000.
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As human activity transforms the atmosphere, flowers are changing their colors.
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By Sharon Zhang
Back in March, when the pandemic had just planted its roots in the U.S., President Donald Trump directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to do something devastating: The agency was to indefinitely and cruelly suspend environmental rule enforcement. The EPA complied, and for just under half a year, it provided over 3,000 waivers that granted facilities clemency from state-level environmental rule compliance.