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Tom Toro on Environmentalists’ Favorite Cartoon

It’s a case of life imitating art, or more specifically, life imitating a cartoon. A while back, Tom Toro published a cartoon in The New Yorker that exquisitely captures this sentiment, that our obsession with wealth continues to suffocate the will to ensure a livable planet.

That cartoon was published in 2012. Since then, it has snowballed from an inset on a page of a magazine into a viral summation of our current climate moment in 2021. Environmental champions like Greta Thunberg, Leonardo DiCaprio and Senator Bernie Sanders have all shared it on social media.

Inside Hook interviews Tom Toro about the origin and embrace of his cartoon.

The only thing that I remember adjusting is I initially had it [read], “Yes, the planet got destroyed, but for a beautiful moment in time we created a lot of money for shareholders,” and I changed that to “value.” That was the one edit that I did. I think that “value” is funnier because it’s more of a corporate, vague term.

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