Have you read the latest IPCC report? Yeah, we haven’t either. It’s not that we don’t have the attention span to get through 2,200 pages; it’s that were subconsciously waiting for oceanographer Gregory Johnson to summarize the report in haiku form. And now the wait is over! Hooray!
Just for kicks, when he was sick one weekend, Johnson wrote 19 haiku, one for each of the major points in the report’s summary — which itself was 27 pages. (They don’t do brevity real well.) He combined them with watercolors to make, dare we say, a far more readable, eye-catching version of the original IPCC report. Here are a few of his haiku:
Glaciers and ice sheets
melt worldwide, speed increasing.
Sea ice, snow retreat.
Warming land, sour sea,
Melting frozen earth may spew
Carbon back to air.
Forty years from now
Children will live in a world
Shaped by our choices.
No wonder his work has gone viral. Readers have chimed in with their own haiku, inspired by Johnson. A few teachers are incorporating the work in their curricula. According to the Seattle Times, fans even want the haiku translated into French, German, Hindi, Italian, and Luxembourgish. Now if Johnson could tackle War and Peace, we’d be very grateful.
Seattle scientist distills 2,200-page report into haiku, Seattle Times.
The Entire IPCC Report in 19 Illustrated Haiku, Sightline.