Fan Club News

Graphic Novel Update

While we wait for the artwork to be finished we’ve made some exciting progress in preparation. 

A pencil sketch scene from the graphic novel Because IPCC

Most significantly we’ve decided that we want to make the graphic novel available online for free. The idea is that this is important info and we want nothing to stand in the way of people getting that info.

We’ve been fiddling with the title too. We’re running with Because IPCC – A Free Graphic Novel – History and Science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

We’ve established a relationship with the registered charity Succession to be able to accept charitable donations that will go toward printing paper copies of the graphic novel as well as promoting the online version. People will be able to donate at

Lastly, we’ve set up the website where the graphic novel will be made available as soon as it’s ready. There’s not much there now, but soon it will display every frame of the story plus show readers how they can help spread the word using social media etc.

You’ll be the first to know once Because IPCC – A Free Graphic Novel is available if you sign up for the IPCC fan club newsletter.

Why Do Scientists Volunteer for the IPCC?

Every time an IPCC report is released hundreds, sometimes thousands of scientists have volunteered their time to to produce the thing.
At one point in our book Because IPCC! a student asks a scientist why she volunteers.

Dr. Aedes replies that it’s because climate change is important. She goes on “Also, I get to work with smart people from all over the world, it’s prestigious, I learn a lot. But mainly, it’s important. Any part I could play in helping address the most pressing issue facing humanity, I’m in!”

Now Dr. Aedes is a fictional character in a fictional future so we wanted to be sure that an actual scientist would say such a thing.

So we checked with Professor Pete Smith of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He’d authored the article I put myself through hell as an IPCC convening lead author, but it was worth it.

His response: “Yes – totally. We certainly don’t do it for money or the relaxation! Your response captures my motivation perfectly.”

Thanks Professor Smith and all of your IPCC volunteer colleagues. We salute you.

A Doodle by the Artist

As Nicole Burton began thinking about how to draw our story she doodled this.

When I shared this doodle with IPCC fan club member email subscribers I also told them

As you know, the graphic novel we’re working on explains why the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is such a phenomenal achievement.

Spencer Weart is a renown science historian and author of The Discovery of Global Warming. He says that as designed the IPCC’s “constitution should have been (and perhaps was intended to be) a recipe for paralysis” but (as we know) the IPCC turned that “into a virtue: whatever it did manage to say would have unimpeachable authority” because virtually every qualified scientist and country in the world is part of the consensus.

Our storyline for the graphic novel is set 100 years in the future where kids are being taught about that amazing endeavor.


The graphic novel script is done and the drawing has begun.

At the end of the script, after the teacher and visiting scientists have explained scientific method, peer review, and the rigorous IPCC report writing process, the book touches briefly on what people did to save the world. Remember the scene is 100 years in the future, we’ve already saved the world.

The book concludes with the teacher asking “because why?” and the kids shouting back “Because IPCC!”

Hence the book’s title – Because IPCC – A Free Graphic Novel – History and Science of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Status Update on Graphic Novel Progress

The production of a graphic novel has several stages. In our case the first two were:

  • Having something to say.
  • Finding a narrative arc to deliver the message.

We have something to say. We want to explain just what is that the IPCC does that makes it’s reports like no others you’ve ever heard of. Like, we mean, they reflect a true consensus, officially agreed to by pretty well all scientists and all governments all around the world.

As far as narrative arc goes, that means, can we tell an interesting story that will carry that message? Well, we hope we’ve found one. Then we need:

  • a script
  • the art
  • printing and/or online publishing

I’m pleased to say that we’ve reached the stage where we have an approved script.

We’ll keep you posted…

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High Praise

The graphic novel project has roped in some professional scriptwriter and illustrator talent. It takes a little while to explain why the IPCC is so awesome, but once our scriptwriter got into it here’s what he said, unsolicited:

I don’t know if you can tell but you’ve really sold me on the idea that the IPCC is important. I went into this project feeling very cynical about it but I now sincerely believe that it represents an apex in human achievement because of all the cooperation involved – and that’s true in spite of the failings of the international community to act.

Choosing a Name

So, we’re writing a graphic novel. What should we call it?

We tried crowdsourcing. Here’s how it went:

  • The Ask
  • The Suggestions
  • Professional Comment
  • Spoiler

Here’s the ask: Please suggest and vote on a title for the IPCC graphic novel [note – submissions deadline has passed]

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is one of the greatest science/policy achievements in history. Over 30+ years scientists have volunteered countless hours to achieve, again and again, a uniquely international and unequivocal consensus. Our project will spread the news and celebrate the IPCC with a comicbook length (~30 pages) graphic novel.

The scene is a school in the future. Climate change has been “solved” and the students learn how the IPCC helped solve it. Using scenes of scientists ice climbing while studying glaciers; facing down bears while studying trees; weathering storms at sea while studying ocean acidity; flying small planes through the eye of a hurricane while studying storms (those sorts of things) we will walk the reader first through the scientific method, then peer review & scientific journals. We then jump into the international scientific sifting of what all that science means; writing it down; getting formal agreement of the scientific community; and finally, getting formal agreement of all the world’s governments.

Note – no title idea is too dumb, brainstorming may stimulate something great from someone else. Also, a “professional” title chooser wants something clever (not too clever) that does capture plainly what the book’s about. [note – submissions deadline has passed]

The Suggestions

  • How Scientists Saved the World [most votes]
  • Storm Troopers: The IPCC’s 30+ year battle against climate change [2nd most votes]
  • How the Art of Scientific Agreement Saved the World [tied for 3rd most votes]
  • No Shades of Grey – Climate Change Action [tied for 3rd most votes]
  • A Herd of Cats: The Unprecedented Consensus of the IPCC [tied for 3rd most votes]
  • The Greatest Scientific Achievement of All Time [tied for 3rd most votes]
  • The History of How the IPCC Saved the World [tied for 3rd most votes]
  • By Our Powers Combined [this and remainder of list a vote free zone]
  • No Longer a Vanishing Dream: the role IPCC and science played to save the environment
  • Galileo’s Wish: how science and reason rescued the world
  • Because IPCC: how scientists around the world forced governments to agree
  • Relentless: The IPCC and Climate Change
  • For the Good of All: How Scientists and Governments Figured Out Climate Change
  • Guardians of Our Future
  • The IPCC and the People Who Saved Our Planet
  • When Geeks Rule -Climate Gets Saved
  • True Colors in the Fight for Climate Change Action
  • Battle for Climate Dominance
  • Climate Change – The Last Lecture
  • Consensus, True and Careful: a future look back at how IPCC scientists agreed on climate change
  • In retrospect in future: Scientists in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change saved the day
  • Our children’s children will adore us: a future look back at how scientists saved the world
  • The Eye of the Hurricane

Professional Comment

We’re lucky enough to have a real live IPCC lead author giving us a little advice. They said they liked words and phrases like consensus, science and reason, and true and careful. They liked action, with the sense of going beyond simply understanding, to creating the basis to act.

They didn’t especially like notions of battle and dominance and particularly disliked forcing agreement.

Finally, the ideas of children adoring and greatest achievement were pooh poohed as being immodest.


So far we haven’t chosen a name for the graphic novel. The name IPCC Fan Club was serendipitous; coming about simply because a domain name search suggested the .club domain.

Why an IPCC Fan Club?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report process is little known. But it’s something that people should know! That’s because the IPCC gets unequivocal and uniquely international consensus, time after time.

It’s one of the greatest achievements in history. It’s the greatest science/policy achievement in history.

So to help communicate that otherwise dry bit of knowledge we here at the IPCC Fan Club are working on a short graphic novel to (hopefully) explain the IPCC process in an interesting way.

You can follow the progress on the graphic novel by subscribing to our email newsletter.

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