Climate change isn’t a beautiful thing; it’s pollution and overpopulation, using up all the resources and cutting down all the trees, greenhouse gases and rising temperatures. The ramifications have frightening potential, and though some parts are simple enough to talk about, the subject as a whole is quite complex.
The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Fifth Assesment report in September, a 2,000-page paper that details the history, causes, and consequences of climate change. While climate change really is one of those topics we should all be well-versed in, such a long report isn’t likely to be read by the average Joe.
Dr. Gregory Johnson isn’t a regular Joe, though. He’s an oceanographer and artist, and he’s managed to do something incredible with the report: he’s turned parts of it into visual haikus. Pairing striking watercolor illustrations with poignant three-line poems, Johnson is sharing the pieces on his Facebook page, along with some descriptive text that sets the stage for what he’s trying to convey.
By nature these haiku strip the report’s findings of its technical jargon, facts and figures, and tiny details, and that’s part of what makes them so beautiful. The haiku certainly shouldn’t be treated as a one-for-one replacement for the report, but they are a simple and beautiful way to convey some of the most striking facts we are facing today. Take a look at a few of Johnson’s climate change haiku below:
Johnson’s set of 19 climate change haikus has been published by Sightline Daily, and can be viewed in its entirety on the Sightline blog.