06/23/2014 04:30 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Five Chinas & the Cartoon Guide to Climate Change

Over the next 8 to 12 months, Lindsey Fransen and I are riding our bikes across parts of Asia, and sharing what we learn about the climate issues facing the countries they bike through.

In the past six weeks, Lindsey and I have biked across Turkey, talking to people about climate change. While a summary of our impressions can be found in this blog post, what struck us the most is how much new infrastructure -- and especially power plants -- Turkey is building. In fact, in the next decade, the country plans to almost double its electrical generating capacity.

I've been looking for good ways to explain why this is a problem. Turkey's per capita emissions are about one quarter of the U.S.'s, comparable with China's per capita emissions. Turkey makes up only 1 percent of the global population, and emits only about 1 percent of human-produced greenhouse gases -- why should it matter if they dramatically increase their emissions?

A great explanation can be found below, courtesy of The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change, a new book by Grady Klein and "Stand Up Economist" Yoram Bauman. It sums up why "business as usual" is a major problem. If Turkey, and all of the other countries with similar per capita emissions, "catch up" with the developed world using energy from fossil fuels, emissions - and global warming - will spiral out of control.

The book is now available on Amazon and other major bookstores.