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Friday, April 4, 2014

Climate Change: A Personal Journey through the Science (Abrams ComicArts), by Philippe Squarzoni

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Comic books have long been deployed for educational and political purposes, and the bulkier format of the graphic novel has followed suit. With Climate Change, French human rights activist Philippe Squarzoni produced something better described as “graphic non-fiction” as he interviews experts, travels to hot spots and illustrates his findings in black-and-white line drawings with speech bubbles. As the title suggests, Squarzoni is a character in his own story, searching for answers amid the obstructions of politicians. He finds that relatively minor variations in Earth’s climate over the past 10,000 years have had drastic results. Nowadays, a few degrees of change could devastate a world with an unprecedented human population. As Squarzoni writes at the onset, the hardest thing about this book is not the beginning but “how to end it.” (David Luhrssen)