A new polar bear of the Greens

The environmental movement can always be counted on to give us a good laugh. As I wrote on da-boss in 2012:


Despite being fierce predators, polar bears look fluffy and cute which has not escaped the attention of the PR experts of the Green movement. A polar bear was made into a symbol of the environmental threats facing the Arctic. This resilient, powerful animal was supposedly vulnerable and prone to extinction unless we curb the CO2 emissions.

But the polar bear stubbornly refused to be affected by the reducing Arctic ice cover and its population has actually been growing since 1970 when a real threat to its existence – commercial hunting – was banned. The fact this poster child of the campaign to stop the environmental destruction is actually doing very well got so embarrassing for the Greens that a new symbol had to be found. Enter the white lemuroid ringtail possum.



White, fluffy and cute just like its predecessor in the role of an ambassador of the eco movement, in the words of the tropical rainforests expert and James Cook University researcher Professor Bill Laurance:

… is a better icon for global warming than a polar bear because it typifies the type of biodiversity we will lose in the future.

With only four individuals left alive there may not be much anyone can do to save them but it beats me why a possum typifies the biodiversity better that the polar bear. Or might it be, Mr Laurance, that your previous icon has simply failed to expire and you had to find one that will?


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