Visual learners, rejoice. French artist and journalist Philippe Squarzoni—known for his celebrated non-fiction, graphic novel-style works on politics and human rights—lends his eye and storytelling panache to an extensive work on one of the world’s most significant and controversial issues: climate change. Inspired by both the scale and complexity of the issue, Squarzoni’s latest work “Climate Changed” is an addictive and personal account of the artist’s journey through the vast amount of scientific research and policy work around the issue with the role of the individual at the center.
Over 480 pages, Squarzoni engages with the reader through so many levels and topical areas that categorizing the book as just a diary, educational text or narrative is impossible—it’s at once personal while being vast in scope and information. With an analysis of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at its core, the book elucidates the complex findings and analysis of the group in a way that only a graphic novel could. By ingraining himself in the story, Squarzoni manages to personalize the data without straying away from the facts—leaving the reader both hooked on the story and wholly informed along the way.
In his approach, Squarzoni touches on every aspect of climate change; from the available science, the debate around said science, consumerism, policy action and analysis. Perhaps the book’s most useful component is its critical and creative analysis of solutions. Taking into account interviews from experts in various fields, Squarzoni leaves the reader with a very realistic but hopeful message about the issue. Existing solutions are put into perspective by the overwhelming scale of change needed. Nonetheless, Squarzoni comes back to where he began: the individual.
Photos by Hans Aschim