Originally introduced in 1996 as a Game Boy video game, Pokémon introduced a generation of children to the world of Pokémon, small and (mostly) friendly supernatural creatures that players can capture, train, and compete in different challenges. Different Pokémon belong to different species, or "types," that helps determine their powers and attributes.
There are hundreds of different Pokémon out there, drawn from real world inspirations like trash bags, gears, gas lamps, and ice cream.
Now there is a Pokémon inspired by the effects of climate change. Its name is Corsola and it is a ghost-type Pokémon that was killed by climate change.
Originally introduced in 1999, Corsola was a coral-type Pokémon, but in the recent release of Pokémon Sword and Shield, Corsola has been updated.
“Sudden climate change wiped out this ancient kind of Corsola,” a description of the Pokémon, which is found exclusively in the Shield version of the game, reads. “This Pokémon absorbs others’ life-force through its branches.”
While the Pokémon Co. International has declined to comment on the inclusion of a character based on climate change, it's a pointed commentary on an issue that shouldn't be nearly as politically fraught as climate change.
Using coral as an inspiration for the character is particularly pointed. The ocean's coral is in danger. As much as half of the world's coral has died off since 1980.
It's particularly telling that Corsola is a bleached white color. As the colorful algae leaves the coral due to rising ocean temperature. The remaining coral is left ghostly white and can often be cooked to death.