President Obama will see a familiar, furry face when he arrives in Hawaii this weekend.
Frostpaw the Polar Bear -- the Center for Biological Diversity's mascot -- has been following the President around for months. He was in Martha's Vineyard this past summer, in California this fall, and he even held a Thanksgiving vigil in front of the White House in an effort to catch the President's eye. Now he'll also be traveling to the Aloha State -- a "long swim" according to the Center -- to follow the President around on his Christmas vacation.
His mission is simple: by being adorable and showing off impressive dance moves (see below), Frostpaw hopes to raise awareness about the perils facing polar bears because of climate change, and more specifically, the Keystone XL pipeline. The Center argues that the pipeline would be "game over" for avoiding the worst effects of climate change, and that two-thirds of the world's polar bears will disappear by 2050 if climate change is left unchecked.
The proposed, 1,179-mile, $5.4-billion Keystone XL pipeline would transport crude oil from the Alberta oil sands in Canada to U.S. refiners in the Midwest and Gulf Coast markets. Although initially proposed in 2008, the line is still under review by the Obama administration and faces heavy criticism from environmental groups who argue that it would increase carbon-intensive tar sand extraction, thus abetting climate change.
The Center for Biological Diversity is no stranger to using unconventional marketing techniques in its fight against climate change. Since 2009, it has distributed over 500,000 "endangered species" condoms to raise awareness on population growth and its effects on the environment. Colorful packages with cuddly animal pictures include slogans like, "Wrap with care…save the polar bear,” “In the sack? Save the Leatherback” and “Be a savvy lover…protect the snowy plover.”
Hopefully, the sight of a dancing polar bear on a busy beach will be enough to catch Obama's attention, but at the very least, Frostpaw's moves are sure to make him some new friends in Hawaii: