This story tries to make the big abstract topic of climate change actually relatable and understandable for the average person. It’s a fun and light approach that also touches on a deeper issue of intergenerational differences in perspectives, which might explain some of the societal conflicts that exist today, e.g., about the priority of climate change solutions.
The story uses a relatively simple idea—that different generations experience this global phenomenon—to great effect. By showing how the hottest years of an older generation are still cooler than the coolest years of a younger generation, it really puts into context why so much conflict and seeing past each others’ perspective happens for a topic that’s seemingly ‘science-based’ and that one could argue should be more easily agreed upon. Ultimately, humans experience things not just by research but through their entire lives and senses, and this story shows that. It also spotlights some key campaigners in the region, which is important because big news outlets disproportionately cover personalities and events in rich advanced countries. It’s important to acknowledge the work being done all over the world, and to spotlight initiatives that are more suitable to certain contexts.
For the design and visuals, we used Figma and Adobe Illustrator. For the charts, we used Flourish.
What was the hardest part of this project?
It was such a challenging finding a new angle to bring to a topic that was so widely covered topic, often by outlets that are more experienced and better resourced than us. It’s also known to be a very scientific and complex topic, and it was hard to creatively visualise it. Even after deciding we wanted the story to be more personal, figuring out to do so was difficult—how to communicate such a big and ‘future’ concept to show the more personal and immediate consequences to someone living in Southeast Asia, an under-covered region.
What can others learn from this project?
Don’t afraid to be creative with your charts and how you visualise data! Including doodles and sketches helps to give your story a more personal feel, and it might help to be more ‘inviting’ for readers who would otherwise be put off by such complex topics out of their comfort zone.