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Climate Change Comic

September 2007

Over the summer I saw a documentary* about climate change and was worried. Worried for the effect we, collectively, are having on the planet and worried, also, about how little I know about climate change. There are so many questions, and to answer these requires more knowledge of economics, science, politics and industry than I have. I was worried and bewildered. So I decided that if I have five basic questions I could set about answering them, through reading and asking people who know more than I do. I came up with:

  1. What different attitudes do people, in the UK, take to climate change?
  2. What is the considered science of climate change?
  3. What are alternative energy sources, assuming serious effort is put into developing them?
  4. What are good examples of organisations making profit and reducing green house gas emissions simultaneously?
  5. What are the policy plans of the main political parties in the UK for Climate change? What agreements and organisations can the UK be part of (Kyoto etc)?
A friend recommended the book 'Six Degrees: our future on a warmer planet' to help with the second question. The book describes the science of climate change and the dangerous positive feedback loops that mean we have a small window of time in which we can make change. After this time the effects of our greenhouse gas emissions leave our control. I think this book is really good and the structure of it is inspired. So good, in fact, that I want to make 'Six Degrees' accessible to many more people. I want to make it into a graphic novel, or at least storyboard it so someone else can. So I am making some serious notes on it and thinking of how it can be presented in an engaging, colourful and meaningful way. Here are a couple of drawing that describe the structure of 'Six Degrees':

six degrees six degrees

The notes I am making look to separate the studies of how the climate has changed in the past and the models for what is predicted in the future. The notes also look to find interesting ways to present the information. When I first started, I thought that if the facts about various countries and biological systems were presented very beautifully, like the BBC nature documentaries, that would be enough. But now I think it would be more powerful if there were some stories about the people who did the research and who make the models. This is still, very much, a work in progress.

* The documentary I saw was 'The Planet' by Michael Stenberg, Johan Soderberg and Linus Torell and interviews Dr. Stephen Peake, Herman Daly, Lester Brown, Gretchen Daily, Norman Myers, Jill Jar, George Monbiot, Robert Costanza, Will Steffen and Jared Diamond.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.