Friday, November 7, 2014

Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni | Book Review

I give Climate Changed 2 of 5 stars.  The author really put a lot of time and research and effort into this book, and it shows.  It's a really impressive book.  However, I personally don't agree with a majority of the opinions presented within.  Hmm.

First impression:  this is a HUGE book.  Literally.  That surprised me, because I'm used to graphic novels being a bit on the slender side, you know?  Especially a paperback one.  This one?  HEFTY.  It's ok, though.  The artwork is fantastic and engaging.  And I still read the whole thing in one sitting on a Sunday afternoon.

Philippe Squarzoni presents the story of climate change mirrored with reflections of his childhood and glimpses into his personal life during his time researching and working on the book.  That was really interesting to see how his research affected him.  At one point he feels compelled to turn down a really neat-sounding opportunity because of his guilt, knowing how much CO2 is released by planes.  I also appreciated how he lets us readers know that these big ideas being pushed forward by the scientists/experts don't necessarily translate immediately into doable actions in our lives.  Like, he realizes that he can't reasonably expect to never travel again.  He just decides to cut down on how much plane travel he does, and starts using trains and boats.

I also really respect how much research the author did.  Sure, he only talked to one side of the debate, but he seemed to talk really extensively to many leading climatologists on that side.  This is a graphic novel with three pages of endnotes and bibliography!  How cool will it be to hand a graphic novel to a teen doing research on climate change?  This is a citable work!  With artwork!

Speaking of the artwork:  it's pretty incredible.  All pen and ink, black and white.  Nearly 500 pages!  There are landscapes and portraits.  It's a good, clean, easy read.  I don't read a ton of graphic novels, and I didn't have to concentrate at all to follow the panels naturally and easily.  

Overall, a good representation of the climate change evidence from one side of the story.  Important:  from only one side of the story.  Near the beginning of the book, the author lists capitalism as one of many things that the government is doing wrong.  ...  So I just wish the book was a little more balanced, but oh well.  It can live in the library where there are other books that present the other side of the story and it'll all work out.

*I checked out my copy of Climate Changed from my public library.

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