Black and white cartoon parody of Hendrix burning guitar.
Jimi Hendrix was one of the most talented guitarists who ever lived. Some even called him the greatest guitarist. Your climate-denying uncle is just some random bloke. No one in the climate science community has ever heard of him.
Black and white comic about Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix was obsessed with the guitar. He loved playing it. He would jam on the guitar at parties, and get compliments. Hey man... you're pretty good!
Cartoon Jimi Hendrix playing guitar. The compliments felt good for an instant...but something inside told him that he was still a novice. The better Hendrix’s skills became, the more he grew aware of his shortcomings...and how long it would take to truly master his instrument. So he sat back down and kept practising.
Your climate-denying uncle heard about global warming and knew something was fishy. How was it possible that people could even affect the Earth's temperature? I mean, what about volcanoes!?
Your uncle had found the answer! The climate scientists had been barking up the wrong tree! He had noticed a flaw that the experts themselves had overlooked! He sent his theory to the climate community, seeking to correct the scientists' error. Surely they would 'see the light' and acknowledge their errors!
But the climate scientists didn't change their conclusions. Your uncle watched with dismay as the climate scientists kept saying the same thing...as though his theory didn't matter at all! A strange thought occurred to your climate-denying uncle. His mood changed. His veins pulsed as he suddenly saw the truth!
These scientists weren't just ignorant of his insights...they were deliberately tricking the world! He had uncovered a massive conspiracy! The climate scientists were all part of the secret movement. Could no one else see what was happening?! With an orchestrated genius, the scientists coordinated their statements to say the exact same thing as each other!
Life for your uncle was never the same again. The more he thought about climate science, the more he knew that they were wrong...and that he was right.
Jimi Hendrix played guitar for thousands...no, tens of thousands of hours during his short life. Always knowing he could improve, his eyes were ever-wider to the depth and breadth that could be achieved as a guitarist. One bum note could spur him to spend the rest of the night practising a lick to make sure it was perfect next time.
Your climate-denying uncle has researched climate change for dozens...no, hundreds of hours throughout his life. By now, he knows he's one of the most highly-informed people on the planet, in the field of climate science.
Jimi Hendrix was modest about his guitar-playing. He did not boast about his talents, and instead tried to downplay his ability. Your climate-denying uncle gloats about his “superior knowledge”. He will rattle on endlessly about himself to anyone who will suffer his presence.
If the internet had existed in his lifetime, Jimi Hendrix would not have felt the need to go online and rag on other guitarists. After all, he still had learning to do with his instrument. Your climate-denying uncle spends his Monday mornings policing the 'comments' sections of climate blogs and news articles. After all, it's up to him to put the warmists in their place!
Jimi Hendrix surrounded himself with the expert practitioners of his field. They were the ones whose respect he sought. He constantly reminded himself that his guitar-playing skills were nothing compared to Rory Gallagher and Eric Clapton...and that there was no way he could write a song as good as Bob Dylan or Paul McCartney.
Your climate-denying uncle does not surround himself with the experts in his field...because those stupid idiots won't listen to him. And anyway, they're wrong. He constantly seeks to confirm that he has superior knowledge...and basks in the praise of those who are as equally-misinformed as him.
“How do you rate yourself as a guitarist, Jimi?” asked the reporter backstage. Hendrix paused and thought of the depth and breadth of possibilities available to musicians on his instrument. He thought of the notes he'd missed, and the extra practice he'd have to do before the next night's show. “Oh, I'm not bad”, he sighed, as the electrified audience spilled out into the street. “I can always get better though”.
“How much do you know about climate change?”, you ask your climate-denying uncle at the family reunion. Your uncle pauses, and thinks of the pinheads and parasites. The idiots and imposters. The crooks and liars. The cheats and con-artists. “Oh, I'm well-informed!” he booms, as the room imperceptibly inches away from him.
“Much more than the 'experts' are...that's for sure!”
This comic was written and drawn in the space of 7 days. It was inspired by a heated dinner table conversation that I had with a red-faced climate denier on the night of Sunday 1 February 2015. To learn the full inspiration, read the 'making of' essay.


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Please read my reflective essay Dinner with a climate denier: the making of my Hendrix Uncle comic.

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Jimi Hendrix vs your climate-denying uncle is also available in these languages:

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  2. Jean-Paul says:

    I think it is funny that people are now called “climate change deniers” who take issue with the fact that anthropomorphic climate change will likely be a short term blip in geologic time, as your “peak oil” comic shows. No matter what we do unilaterally to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuels, all of the cheaply available fuels will be used (by China, India, the rest of Asia and then Africa) until new technology that is less expensive (Fusion?) is developed. Since our atmosphere was full of methane before those pesky plants polluted it with Oxygen, climate change has been going on for billions of years. Its like a wise man told me: ” I can predict with absolute certainty that the stock market will continue to change” Only an idiot would deny Climate is changing. I think the question is what can we do about it?

  3. David Lang says:

    Great stuff, Stuart. Love the inspiration and execution. The essay is a really nice touch too. I’ll make my contribution to super saturation by spreading it as far and wide as I can.

  4. Sonya Mann says:

    My favorite part is that the uncle looks like the Grinch.

  5. Hermit says:

    I don’t know how you endured a dinner conversation with a climate change denier without skipping right to the part where you laugh in his face. A great comic came from it though!

  6. Kristen says:

    Love it, another great installation! I’ve been thinking a lot about volcanos lately… longing for the days when they were the greatest threat…

    Have you shown your uncle this yet?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1ywB8132jc

  7. Samantha says:

    Loved this!! SO True, this Dunning-Kruger effect. Very true that the more you know, the more you realise there is to know, and the less you think you know (proportionally speaking). The thing is though, while it is admirable that we hold our beliefs on CC at arms length, it is probably pretty unlikely that there is any evidence out there which is going to overturn the groaning weight of existing evidence, from many and varied fields of science, that supports the existence of human induced global warming. It’s really very unlikely, but as a good scientist, yes I agree we must always entertain the possibility of it’s existence, however theoretical that evidence is. Well done Stuart for tackling such an important topic – I hope certain radio personalities read this and experience the shock of recognition 😉

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