Comic pursuit 

New graphic project aims to stimulate environmentalism among youth

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Comic pursuit 

Last week, on the same day that leading Republican presidential candidates questioned the science behind climate change, folks at Michigan's Sierra Club chapter were unveiling a comic book designed to help clue young people in to exactly how serious the problem is.

You would think the adults would have been convinced by now. Virtually every legitimate climate scientist now acknowledges that the long-predicted effects of global warming are being seen, and that the problem is manmade. 

The rub is that fossil-fuel industries and their political proxies keep trying to cloud reality. 

"The idea that we would put Americans' economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that's not settled yet, to me, is just nonsense," Texas Gov. Rick Perry drawled during the debate held last Wednesday in California.  

As The New York Times reported, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman was "apparently alone on the stage" when it came to holding the belief that global warming is a real issue.

"Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science," Huntsman said. 

In the hope that it can get youngsters running toward science, the Sierra Club's Michelle Martinez teamed up with K.D. Jackson to produce Haunted Planet, a comic book designed to deliver the message about global warming in a way that kids will readily embrace. 

Jackson, a 23-year-old from Detroit's east side, honed his comic book skills as an intern at Marvel Comics. He was working in a literacy program with AmeriCorps when Martinez and he, along with a few others, set to work producing Haunted, which features a vision of fly-like extraterrestrials attempting to take over an Earth overly rich in carbon dioxide — the main contributor to global warming. 

The intent is to use the publication during classroom presentations and workshops. 

"The decisions being made right now are going to be affecting these children 20 to 30 years into the future," explains Martinez. We want to help transform them into activists, to get them to the level where they see themselves as decision makers and change makers." 

Martinez can be contacted by phone at 313-974-6547 or via e-mail at michelle.martinez@sierraclub.org.

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