What Pokémon can teach us about conservation and climate change

There’s a moment in the live-action movie Detective Pikachu when the ground beneath our heroes’ feet is crumbling. As they slip and slide, Pikachu, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, yells to no one in particular, “At this point, how can you not believe in climate change?” It’s a good quip — one of a million small jokes that’s easily missed. But it’s also one of the first times that Pokémon, the most lucrative media franchise of all time, addressed the climate crisis. It certainly won’t be the last.

Fans appreciate Pokémon for its camp humor, adorable monsters, and emphasis on the quest for excellence. But for more than two decades, Pokémon has also delivered a crash course in environmental science. Like a professor par excellence, it’s addressed…

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