Many science communicators suggest that the key to effectively translating climate change research is to keep the message concise, accurate and interesting, all in one tight package. Perhaps the most streamlined of platforms to communicate this science is a comic strip in which the cartoonist has just a few panels to neatly and accurately convey the findings, the alternative viewpoint and the gravity of the issue at hand. Oh, and it should be funny too.
That is a tall order for even the best of communicators, but if it is pulled off, it is arguably the most dynamic and effective platform for engaging people in environmental issues. Neil Wagner, illustrator and writer of the blog and comic strip “What On Earth?” on NPR’s Science Friday program, uses humor to tackle the issue of global climate change and other environmental challenges, such as the effect of invasive species on the coffee industry. He discusses the challenges and pleasures of communicating climate change through his comic strip in a recent interview for EcoTone.