In the visuals, a fox is abruptly awakened after a nightmare foreshadowing the havoc that pollution and climate change have wrought on the earth: Icebergs melt and plants turn into ashen waste. Alarmed, the fox gathers two animals friends that you might recognize from prior doodles and other Google products, to help him save the earth. Together, the creatures use less electricity, rides bikes instead of buses, phone in requests for wind turbines and solar panels, and plant greenery.
Don't let the doodle's cuteness distract you from the urgency of its message. The fox's nightmare is not some future event, it's the present. According to the World Health Organization, environmental risks currently result in the deaths of 1.7 million under the age of five each year. And studies show that ice sheets are melting at accelerating rates.
"I did a lot of research into coral bleaching for the doodle, and it surprised and saddened me that these underwater ecosystems were so fragile," says Google doodler Sophie Diao. "I also learned how everything is interconnected, so the rising temperatures in the sea lead to all kinds of effects beyond just melting ice caps."
Instead of taking a macro approach to enacting change, Diao went smaller.
"I wanted to focus the Doodle on what an individual contributor can do for the environment," says Diao. "There's a lot of distressing news about changes to our ecosystems, but it can be hard to know how to help as just one person. That's why I wanted to create a story about individuals coming together to do something about it."