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‘How It Started, How It’s Going’: WWF Uses Meme to Highlight Climate Change

The organization joined the Twitter trend to show striking "before and after" photos of the environment.
October 15, 2020, 9:38am
Photo: Pixabay

A new meme has taken over Twitter. It has people sharing side-by-side photos of themselves in two different stages in life with the caption, “How it started vs how it’s going.”

Most people use it to show how much has changed in their relationships, careers, and hobbies. But non-governmental organization the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) jumped in on the bandwagon to shed light on an important issue: climate change.

The posts present the drastic effects of climate change to those living on earth, using graphic images of just how much has changed in the planet through the years.

The first tweet shows a “how it started vs how it’s going” of melting ice caps. On the left is a photo of the once-thriving ice caps, while the right shows a polar bear on a sheet of ice that’s melting.

Sea ice is shrinking by 14 percent per decade due to climate change, National Geographic reported. As the ice melts, polar bears are forced to walk and swim long distances just to get to any remaining ice. Either that or the polar bears stay on land longer, starving themselves. A study published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature found that polar bears could be wiped out by 2100 due to the effects of climate change.

The WWF’s second tweet shows how forests destroyed by fires have caused koala bears to lose their homes. The first photo shows a green and flourishing forest, while the second shows a koala bear clinging to a tree in a forest that has been completely burned.

Climate change is a contributing factor in Australia’s devastating bushfires. The country has been experiencing severe droughts and drastically low rainfall.

In 2012, the Australian government declared koala bears “vulnerable to extinction” under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The New South Wales parliament also released a report on June 30 which estimates that the bushfires from September 2019 to March this year killed at least 5,000 koalas in New South Wales alone, concluding that koalas in the state could face extinction by 2050.

After posting the memes, the WWF also invited people to take part in their Voice for the Planet movement. It encourages people to pledge to make small changes in their everyday lives, from eating and shopping habits to energy consumption.

Despite evidence of climate change, many people still choose to turn a blind eye. According to a 2018 Pew Research Center survey, a median 20 percent across the countries surveyed considered global warming a minor threat. Nine percent do not consider it a threat at all.