For reasons both occasionally justified and frequently questionable, many academics have been slow to adopt the kinds of media that have changed how most people process information. Presentation software like PowerPoint is still approached with trepidation by some scholars, while the potential of social media for quickly sharing information across disciplines has only been realized by a small (but growing) minority.
Comic books are, of course, far older than the internet and, if loosely defined, may in some form predate writing itself. Infographics like the one I've posted below are influenced by the spectacularly successful style in which modern comic books portray the exploits of their heroes and villains. The information is dense, communicated in equal parts through writing and flashy visuals, and flows smoothly across a page. Might such infographics suggest new possibilities for academic posters? In fact, should we have paper posters at all, when digital equivalents can be so much more accessible?
Regardless, this infographic from LearnStuff.com succinctly summarizes a great deal of information about the past century of climate change, its environmental consequences, and what it may tell us about the future. Some interesting questions are raised by the determinism of statements in which, for example, mass mortality is directly linked to future climate change. Should we dispense with the kind of nuance that perceives climatic fluctuation as one influence among many when we try to warn policymakers and the public about the impending catastrophe of global warming? Or should we explore the full complexity of relationships between climate change and (future) societies, because our insights are valuable, and after all it is simplification that gives openings for global warming skeptics?
There is no easy answer, but in the meantime attempts to communicate the urgency of our plight are always valuable.