Aldrin on the moon

Though by definition no analogy is perfect, a good one can create a flash of insight or provoke thought. A strong analogy can clarify a point or an argument. It can bring dry facts to life, attaching them to images and emotions and showing us why they matter. And it can help us work through something complex and difficult.

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Given a wicked problem like climate change, those who want to write, speak, or think clearly are well advised to keep an eye out for strong analogies used well.

By using a relatively obvious analogy as an expandable thinking tool, each of these three inviting essays works its way to some unexpected and useful insights.

(And for a different way of using this analogy – as a quick source of dark humor – see Peter Gleick’s “Climate Change and the Titanic” in the same journal.)

This series is curated and written by retired Colorado State University English professor and close climate change watcher SueEllen Campbell of Colorado. To flag works you think warrant attention, send an e-mail to her any time. Let us hear from you.

SueEllen Campbell created and for over a decade curated the website "100 Views of Climate Change," a multidisciplinary collection of pieces accessible to interested non-specialists. She is especially interested...