The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change (June 5, 2014)

Cartoon Climate Change CoverButton: Buy from Amazon

Ask your local bookstore for my new book (co-authored with and illustrated by Grady Klein, and published by Island Press, ISBN 978-1610914383), or you can order it for about $16 from Amazon.com or B&N.

Here are excerpts, reviews, corrections (just a few minor clarifications so far!), and information for teachers about PPTs and more. Also detailed page notes plus rights info for foreign translations.

PS. Click here for similar info about Cartoon Micro and Cartoon Macro.

Comedy/book tour

Details about upcoming shows here, please contact me to bring economics comedy to your school, corporate event, or comedy club! If you are with a public high school, community college, or the armed forces, or are otherwise looking for a free show, click here.

Excerpts

Here is Chapter 2 (“A Brief History of Planet Earth”), plus the front and back covers and Table of Contents. Elsewhere, here’s an excerpt of Chapter 9 (“Life on Earth”) on Grist, an excerpt of Chapter 14 (“Putting a Price on Carbon”) from the PBS NewsHour blog (also on Greenbiz.com), my “Five Chinas” theory of the world from Chapter 7, and an(other) excerpt of Chapter 2 (“A Brief History of Planet Earth”) from Gizmodo.

Reviews

Terrific web reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews (both copied below), the LA Times summer reading list, plus economics prof/blogger Bryan Caplan (more responses #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, plus a bet). On the enviro side there’s “my new favorite book” from DeSmogBlog’s Brendan DeMille, Connor Gibson on the Greenpeace blog, the Nature Conservancy magazine (June/July 2014 issue, not online sorry), Ryan Walker in Earth Island Journal, Conservation magazine, and The Ecologist.

From the back cover and inside pages of the book:

“I know we’re trashing the planet, but do we have to add to our misery by reading gloom and doom books about it? The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change offers another way: learn some serious science, evaluate strategies for change, and have a good laugh in the process.”
Annie Leonard, creator of The Story of Stuff

“Are you curious about the science and economics of global warming? You can find many dull books on the subject. A better bet is The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change, which tickles and teaches at the same time. Who says that sophistication is only in equations?”
William Nordhaus, Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University, and author of The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World

“A clear, concise rendition of the story of human-induced climate change, candid and yet brimming with warm-hearted humor and well-founded optimism. Gently persuasive, beautifully illustrated… an innovative springboard for discussion of what we can do as individuals and as a society to turn down the heat in our planetary ‘compost pile.’”
John Michael Wallace, Professor Emeritus, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, and co-author of Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey

“Climate is no laughing matter — but it beats crying. Maybe this is the secret passage into people’s hearts and minds.”
James E. Hansen, former Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and author of Storms of My Grandchildren

“Fresh! Cheeky! Accurate and inspiring! An accessible, friendly, and fun explanation of climate change – free of politics, free of jargon, and fresh with insights. Cartoons you can believe in!”
Jane Lubchenco, Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology, Oregon State University, and former Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

“Grady Klein and Yoram Bauman are a national treasure. The economics of climate policy has never been more accessible.”
Kevin Hassett, Senior Fellow and Director of Economic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute

The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change will tickle your fancy while expanding your mind. Highly recommended.”
Martin Weitzman, Professor of Economics, Harvard University

“Rarely do you read books that attempt to deal with the world’s biggest problems and present the information in a way that the average public can absorb it. Bravo to Yoram Bauman and Grady Klein, and thank you on behalf of everyone who is deeply concerned about this issue.”
Mark Reynolds, Executive Director, Citizens Climate Lobby

From Publishers Weekly: “Illustrated with deceptively simple black-and-white art that masterfully supports the text, this book provides a skillful tour of the issues that face our developing world and it serves as a model of how educational works of this sort should be crafted.”

From Kirkus Reviews:An often amusing graphic primer about an issue the authors recognize as apocalyptically serious. If alarmism proves polarizing where global warming is concerned, maybe humor can bridge the divide and build a consensus. Such would seem to be the strategy of Bauman, who bills himself as “the world’s first and only standup economist,” and cartoonist Klein; both collaborated on The Cartoon Introduction to Economics (two volumes, 2010 and 2011). The authors admit that there have long been wild fluctuations in climate before there was any ecological concern, that human activity is only part of the issue and that the doomsday scenario that some find inevitable is in fact uncertain. Having established a tone of moderation, invoking scientific method rather than ideology, Bauman and Klein nonetheless reinforce the realities of global warming, fossil fuels and greenhouse gases as potentially catastrophic. “The key fact about business as usual is that it would make [carbon dioxide] emissions explode,” they write, while softening the punch with an analogy involving China and cakes (a guitarist and feedback feature prominently elsewhere). Projecting through the century, “[u]nder business as usual emissions could rise 250%…pushing atmospheric [carbon dioxide] concentrations up near 1000 ppm.” The perspective of “environmental economics” distinguishes this analysis from that of a natural scientist or an environmental ideologue, for the authors insist from the start that economic growth, particularly in Asia and Africa, will be a dominant theme throughout the century (and a positive force) but that the profound environmental impact of all that growth is likely to accelerate climate change, unless the world at large faces the problem and its implication and arrives at consensus that might slow the process. Though the book’s approach is entertaining, its message is nonetheless urgent.

And, via Twitter, from Gavin Schmidt, who days later was named Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies:

Corrections

Email me if you find anything beyond these!

  • page 146, “pumping sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere”: Richard Gammon notes that this should really say “upper atmosphere”.
  • page 178, black carbon: Richard Gammon notes that “two years and I’m outta here” should really be more like “two weeks and I’m outta here” (unless it’s in the upper atmosphere).
  • Glossary: Richard Gammons suggests we “add ‘theory’ and ‘hypothesis’ to the Glossary, making clear that a scientific ‘theory’ like ‘gravity’ or ‘relativity’ or ‘quantum’ is considered well established, and has withstood years of criticism and observational evidence, so much more than ‘just a theory’!”

Information for teachers (including PPTs!)

If you ‘re a college or high school instructor looking to adopt the cartoon book(s) for a class, check out the information here and here. (In particular, you should be able to request a free electronic examination copy. If you want a hard copy here’s info on desk copies or examination copies; make sure to read the terms and conditions!) For information about PPTs please contact cartoon@islandpress.org. If you have any trouble please contact me.

Click here for detailed page notes.

One response to “The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change (June 5, 2014)”

  1. Very well executed. As a fellow Eco cartoonist, I wish you the best of luck.

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