How To Visualize Climate Change – Idea #4,379: DebateGraph

I’ll admit it: I’m addicted.  My fix: discovering new ways to tell stories through innovative uses of visuals.

Most of the 350.org team shares this obsession.  We’ve realized: in a world shaped by YouTube and cell-phone cameras, static words on a page carry increasingly less weight.  So we often focus on the visualization. 

Some of our favorite examples are remarkably simple, like using photos to channel a political message (like we do with 350 or our last national campaign, Step It Up). Others are a bit more advanced—like our 90-second, wordless animation or the elegant use of infographics to explain complex topics.

Lately, I’ve been excited about non-linear presentations of information that allow users to explore topics at their own pace—and in their own way.  This is sort of a “choose your own adventure” method of presenting information. 

One tool I stumbled across today is DebateGraph, an amazing resource its developers describe as  “a wiki debate visualization tool.”  Their goal is noble: “to make the best arguments on all sides of any public debate freely available to all and continuously open to challenge and improvement by all.”

They’re are “DebateGraphs” on all sorts of topics—from Peace in the Middle East to the Financial Crisis. You sort of have to see it to understand.  To that end, I’ve embedded the Climate Change Debate Graph below. 

From a scientific perspective, “the debate is over” about the existence of human-caused climate change.  That said, some of the more nuanced aspects of how to deal with it deserve a robust, public debate.  DebateGraph makes that debate easier—and more interesting.  Check it out:

 

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