Extreme Temperature Diary- January 7th, 2019/ Topic: Using Art For Climate Change Awareness

Monday January 7th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊. 

Using Art For Climate Change Awareness

Not very long ago I thought that just presenting scientific data on climate would be enough to stir people towards action. Then in 2013 I began writing World of Thermo, which is a climate primer for ages 7-12.  Another author friend of mine who wrote a book about global warming way back during the early 1990s, Buzz Bernard, suggested that I should not publish World of Thermo without doing many illustrations to hook young readers, which I made through a wonderful young artist, Alyssa Josue.

I’ve now come to realize that as of 2019 art can be a powerful tool, which can be added on top of scientific information to win the Climate War. For example, here is one of my favorite illustrations from World of Thermo, which is that of oil wells releasing “evil” carbon molecules:

Today I noticed a post from a new service, Changing Climate Times, that inspired me to write this article today. I’m reposting this for all to read:


The Art of Climate Change Awareness

01.06.19: Cries from the heart and stressed-out butterflies


What role does artistry play in stirring action on climate change? Grappling with a radically changing climate motivates lots of artforms nowadays. What is a benchmark for successful climate crisis-inspired artistry? Inspiration to act? Motivation to advocacy? Maybe such work is enough in itself, a cri de couer — a cry of the heart, as the French say. It’s a phrase whose dictionary definition could summarize the urgency we feel: 

An anguished cry of distress or indignation; outcry.” Maybe such work needs only to hold a mirror to an urgency and fear that speaks volumes, in the way sci-fi invasion and monster films of the 1950s and ‘60s were retrospectively seen to channel anxiety over atomic apocalypse. Do we even have time for such a retrospective? What artworks of climate crisis have moved you and why?



My older brother, David, is a retired museum director, a naturalist before the term was ever widely known and a keen-eyed, inventive photographer. He has been producing a series of circular landscapes like the one above. While not intended overtly as climate crisis artwork, some spoke to me as I was contemplating the theme of this issue. David added these words for the image above: 

“When it comes to climate change, we have a choice about which road to follow into the future. There are maps and signs to guide us if we choose to use them. The signs tell us that our road has a dangerous curve ahead. We have a choice. Heed the signs, follow the curve and ride safely down the highway. Or, ignore the signs, miss the curve and risk a barrel roll off the road to oblivion.”

I also invite all to subscribe (for free) to Changing Climate Times.

Some images produced by these new “climate artists” can be disturbing, but on purpose. Throughout history art, particularly modern art from the late 19th century on, was created to make people think. Climate science itself is highly analytical, so some folks may nod off, becoming disinterested after being “drowned” by a plethora of numbers and charts. Climate art can awaken the public to the dangers of carbon pollution through jolting imagery. Photography is also another great tool showing the public stark imagery of the consequences of climate change.

So, the message is clear for my climate scientist friends…embrace the artistic side of humanity, as well, to help win that Climate War.


 Here is some more climate and weather news from Monday.

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have  put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity.)


(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

The Climate Guy

One thought on “Extreme Temperature Diary- January 7th, 2019/ Topic: Using Art For Climate Change Awareness

  1. Hello Guy:

    “Not very long ago I thought that just presenting scientific data on climate would be enough to stir people towards action.” (Me too)

    There was a good article in The Guardian about processed meat and cancer:

    It discribles an industry that profits from a standard practice that is known to be harmful to people, animals and the planet. Any guess as to sales/consumption trends in the industry???

    People love bacon, but they don’t want to look into the confinement hog operation…and a review of the Ag Gag efforts reveal the lengths industry will go to be sure one can’t look.

    Those of us that have a relatively good understanding of the science struggle with correct action. And most of us have a very good reason to not understand what needs to be done…

    Yet, people can and do change their beliefs and behaviors. Art is often the start.

    Again, thank you for your great work.

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