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The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change will be a fun and accessible guide to global warming science and policy.

Update May 2: A rough draft of Part One is now available, comments are welcome!

Hi there, I'm Yoram Bauman, an environmental economics Ph.D. and "the world's first and only stand-up economist". I'm also the co-author (with the illustrator Grady Klein) of the two-volume Cartoon Introduction to Economics.

For our next project, we've been invited by the good folks at Island Press to create a Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change that will cover the science, impacts, and policy of global warming. As we did with the econ cartoon books, we want to take a tough subject---one that enrages some people and bores others---and make a fun and accessible cartoon book that everybody can relate to and learn from.

Island Press is a non-profit publisher, so we're looking to raise $20,000 to help cover the time and effort we're putting into this book. If you'd like to stay in the loop but can't contribute just send me an email and I'll keep you in the loop. And if you can contribute then Thank You. Make sure to check out the awesome rewards on the right, and please help spread the word!

Sincerely, Yoram (and Grady)

Self-portrait by Grady
Self-portrait by Grady

The fine print: Sorry, contributions are not tax-deductible. Please email me (yoram@standupeconomist.com) if you have other questions!

About us: Grady Klein is a graphic novelist and illustrator; he is the author of the Lost Colony series, the co-author (with yours truly) of the two-volume Cartoon Introduction to Economics, and the co-author (with Alan Dabney) of the Cartoon Introduction to Statistics. As for me---my full bio is here---I got my PhD in economics from the University of Washington in 2003, and thereafter I taught for many years in the UW environmental studies program; I just co-authored this article on climate sensitivity with UW climate scientist Gerard Roe (ungated version here) and I'm also currently a carbon tax Fellow at Sightline Institute in Seattle. For more of my views on climate change, read my NY Times op-ed and/or check out my CV and FAQs and my comedy videos. For evidence that I can take a critical look at all sides, read my Nature Reports Climate Change book review.

Excerpt on climate change from Cartoon Macro

Other excerpts from Cartoon Macro (and a climate-related excerpt from Cartoon Micro) are here.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Challenge #1 will be making tough material fun, engaging, and accessible. But with your help (not just financially, but also editorially, through comments on early drafts) we're confident that we can make it happen. Grady and I have successfully produced two cartoon economics books, and together with the good folks at Island Press we are committed to creating a terrific Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change!

Challenge #2 will be making sure we get the facts right, and to do that we'll rely on our connections with climate scientists, environmental economists, and other experts at places like the University of Washington and the University of Chicago; on reader feedback on drafts; and (of course) on our own curiosity and research skills.

FAQ

  • This is a long-way-around answer, but: The target audience is similar to the audience for the two cartoon econ books that Grady and I have written. The econ books are used in high school and college courses, and of course there's general-audience appeal too. (Some parents write that their 12-year-olds get a kick out of the books, too, even if they don't understand it all.) We're aiming for something similar for this book, essentially an intro-college-level climate change book for non-majors. We're going to get the science right, and (as with the econ books) our hope is that folks studying climate change could learn some interesting things from the book (stories, story-telling, etc.), but our main goal is to take folks with a modest level of interest and give them an entry point that's really fun and accessible. If you care about climate change, we want this to be a book that you can give your neighbors; if you don't care about climate change, we want this to be a book that you might actually read if your neighbors give it to you!

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  • Island Press kindly agreed to provide and mail 100 books for free, but beyond that they need to cover their costs, too, and so the economics unfortunately doesn't make sense to expand this level. If we did, then taxes and the cut for Kickstarter and Amazon Payments would take up something like $4 of the $20, and the book itself would cost something like $13 to produce and mail. That means that something like $3 is left to actually fund the book... and that's not much. The book will probably retail for about $20, so if $50 is too steep for you then please consider making a $5 or $10 donation now and then picking up the book from Amazon or elsewhere when it comes out. We're not trying to squeeze potential supporters, we're trying to do something that makes sense from our end as well as yours.

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  • I'm reaching out to the folks who are currently backing us at that level, and here's what I know!

    * Economist Ben Mathew (PhD, University of Chicago) is going to promote his forthcoming book, Economics: The Remarkable Story of How the Economy Works. More on Ben and the book (coming May 2013) at http://www.benmatheweconomics.com.

    * Physicist and historian of science Spencer Weart (until recently Director of the Center for History of Physics) might promote a new project, or he might promote his fabulous website on the history of global warming: http://www.aip.org/history/climate. He's condensed the website into a book (The Discovery of Global Warming) that is a great read and occupies pride of place on my bookshelf. I am honored to have his support.

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    TWO SIGNED COPIES of the book PLUS signed copies of the two-volume Cartoon Introduction to Economics. (And we'll keep you in the loop and thank you by name in the book!)

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    All of the above PLUS A TAKEOVER OF STANDUPECONOMIST.COM. For two weeks you can promote your organization/ideas/etc at the #1 economics comedy website! (See standupeconomist.com for details.)

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    All of the $250 rewards PLUS we'll celebrate with an ECONOMICS COMEDY SHOW at your school, your company, your kid's birthday party, or other mutually agreed upon time and place. I'll also join you for dinner and hanging out if desired. If you have questions please ask: yoram@standupeconomist.com.

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