It’s the End of the World as we Know it… and I Feel Fine

On an educational and scientific level, climate change is a topic that is very important to me. I consistently find myself very aware of the fact that climate change is a serious problem facing our world, but is simultaneously a problem that no one seems to take all that seriously. However, in reading Climate Changed: a Personal Journey through Science, I find my climate change related anxiety somewhat eased. Not because I’m wrong to think that climate change is a serious problem, it is, but because one of the most difficult aspects of climate change is resolved through this book. That issue being the explanation of climate change itself, and how it functions. The idea of taking Climate Change and explaining it through the medium of comics is a genius idea. It is a perfect way of representing all facets of the issue visually which works very well in its favor because the facts and images work perfectly in tandem with one another and comfort me in the idea that this is the perfect avenue for people to truly understand the climate problem in a palatable way.

I, and many others, think that is the key to solving the climate problem is getting people invested. However, it is consistently the case that people feel so far removed from the subject that they can’t bring themselves to truly care about it. As stated in The Nation’s article The New Abolitionism, Global Warming is a concept similar to slavery that demands the American populace be shocked out of apathy into change. The primary difference being that slavery was something truly quantifiable that we could see happening right before our eyes. Climate Change is too, to some extent, though the outcomes and side effects are much less objectively objective. Yes, we can see the ice caps melting, we can see the deterioration of glacier national park, and we can observe the gradually rising temperature. The problem is that people have a tendency to explain away these effects as not being our fault. Arguably, this happened similarly with Slavery, so logically if history is to repeat itself, then eventually people will become shocked out of their apathy and stand up to do something to stop climate change. Hopefully this will not lead to a bloody war pitting brother against brother on the battlefield.

Now, I am not saying that Climate Changed is going to be the catalyst for something like that. Instead, I think that it is a book that will not so much shock people out of apathy, but will gradually win them over. It is a subtle beautifully illustrated depiction of what climate change is and what effect it will have on the world around us, and more importantly than that, why we should care. It takes climate change to its most basic level and tells in such a way that anyone at any age can understand it without dumbing it down. It’s a perfect encapsulation of the subject, and I highly recommend it to absolutely anyone who either doesn’t see it as a problem, or wants to know more about it. It has not completely eased my climate change anxiety, but I’m almost there.

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