The Beast That Ate the Earth
Environment cartoon book
Versions of many of the environmental cartoons on this site can be found in my book, The Beast That Ate the Earth.
I’ve been drawing cartoons on environmental matters since the early 1970s.
The book was published in 2004 and contains about a hundred cartoons in black and white.
The book is available through Amazon.
Such as at:
The green man.
The concept of the green man stretches back to antiquity, and is usually depicted as a head covered in leaves and foliage.
In this cartoon version, the green man is depicted as a tree, where the only evidence of a human link is the man’s legs protruding below the tree’s foliage and forming the tree trunk.
Cartoon reference number: a761
An urban landscape with no trees or grass except on a traffic roundabout.
A person in a passing car is saying to their children “Look kids – the countryside!”
A cartoon about sprawling urban development, green spaces, the concrete jungle, nature being squeezed out, urbanisation, urbanization, city gardens,
Cartoon reference number: a760
An environmental cartoon about air pollution
Showing a man using breathing apparatus to breathe fresh air in a polluted atmosphere. The oxygen cylinder contains a plant that is generating oxygen
Part of the idea behind the cartoon is to convey the concept that plants are the lungs of the world, liberating oxygen from carbon dioxide via photosynthesis.
A cartoon about clear air, atmospheric pollution and toxic chemicals, smoke and smog
Original version created: 1991
Cartoon reference number: env071b
Tree of life cartoon
The tree of life being cut down using a chainsaw
An environment cartoon showing the tree of life, with a man cutting the tree down with a chainsaw
The metaphorical tree of life in the cartoon has depictions of different types of animal and bird in its branches
Original version drawn: 1991
Cartoon reference number: a440
Man shooting animals and birds in the tree of life – cartoon
An illustration showing the tree of life, with a man standing on an uppermost branch killing all of the wildlife in the tree.
The bones of the creatures are scattered under the tree
This drawing was created with dip pen and ink on paper and then scanned into the computer. Colour washes and other modifications were added digitallly
Cartoon reference number: a439
An illustration or cartoon about the green vote
A cartoon about the vote for environmental political parties and parties that have an environmental agenda
The cartoon shows a leaf from a tree falling into a ballot box, representing the green vote.
An illustration about democracy, the green movement, the green party, elections, ballots, ballot boxes.
Cartoon reference number: a406
Easter Island statues cartoon.
The are no trees on Easter Island
Easter Island (Rapa Nui) is famous for its statues known as moai.
Easter Island is often cited as a warning of the cultural and environmental dangers of overexploitation, as the people cut down all of the trees, making the land uninhabitable. There’s a chapter about it in the book “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive” by Jared Diamond.
A cartoon about deforestation, resource depletion and over-exploitation.
Cartoon reference number: a362
Cartoon – what we see in Rorschach tests or inkblot tests
Cartoon showing how people’s preoccupations change at different times in history
A person in the late 1960s seeing a nuclear bomb’s mushroom cloud in a Rorschach test – and a person in more recent times seeing a tree in the same Rorschach test
A cartoon about social, political and cultural preoccupations.
In the 1960s it was nuclear war, now it’s the environment.
A cartoon about environmentalism, green awareness, cnd, nuclear threat.
This cartoon first appeared in BBC Knowledge magazine.
Cartoon reference number: a334
A cartoon about house names. Turning Oak Cottage into Primrose Cottage
Chopping down an oak tree in a garden means that the house name needs to be changed from Oak Cottage.
There’s a primrose in the garden, so the house name is changed to Primrose Cottage.
A humorous illustration about garden trees, felling trees, chopping down trees, garden flowers, wild flowers in the garden, natural gardens, tree stump in garden.
Cartoon reference number: a214
See my book of gardening cartoons here.
Christmas gardening cartoon.
A cartoon showing a keen gardener receiving a Christmas present – a “grow-your-own” oak tree. In other words, an acorn.
A joke about men’s hobbies and pass-times, planting trees, re-establishing woodland, conservation, green Christmas presents.
Cartoon reference number: a206
See my book of gardening cartoons here.
Environmental illustration showing the tree of life being tended and watered by a person.
Artwork showing the tree of life being looked after by humans.
This is a positive image to encourage people to take care of the planet.
It’s a change from the environmental images which depict the human race destroying the environment.
An environmental cartoon about ecology, species interdependence, symbiosis, caring for the planet.
An image for earth day.
Cartoon reference number: a041
Endangered species list cartoon
There are two ways to get off the endangered species list – become more common or become extinct
A cartoon about extinction, habitat depletion, wildlife in danger, conservation, scarcity
Original version created: 1991
Cartoon reference number: env240
Carbon offsetting cartoon and rewinding cartoon
The commercialisation of ethical activities
A cartoon about planting trees to offset carbon use as a commercial enterprise. The cartoon is about the privatisation and exploitation of environmentally directed enterprises.
It is also about rewilding, the practice of returning the environment to a pre-agricultural semi-wild and natural state.
A cartoon about carbon footprints, carbon trading, carbon offsetting, rewilding, wilding, planting trees
Original version of cartoon drawn: 2004
Cartoon reference number: env2309b
Environmental cartoon about deforestation
Lumberjacks observing environmental destruction after felling trees
One of the lumberjacks is saying to the other lumberjack “It’s only now that we’ve chopped down all of the trees that we can see the damage we’ve done”
An alternative caption may be “You can’t see the wood for the lack of trees.”
The point of the cartoon is that you can’t appreciate the environmental damage you’re doing until you’ve done it.
A cartoon about forest clearance, rainforests, habitat destruction, logging
Forest clearance cartoon
Loggers discovering new species as they advance into the forest, thus claiming that they are increasing the number of species on earth rather than depleting them
A cartoon about species depletion, statistics, statistical manipulation, deforestation, extinction, logging, land acquisition
Cartoon reference number: env081
Greenpeace cartoon – Greenpeace taking direct action to save the rainforest
Cartoon showing a Greenpeace inflatable boat buzzing a bulldozer that is bulldozing and destroying the rainforest, just as Greenpeace famously buzz the whaling ships
A cartoon about direct action in environmental campaigning.
An illustration about forest clearance, logging, tree felling
A lumberjack with a chainsaw cutting down a tree, explaining that it’s okay because the chainsaw runs on biofuel. A cartoon that illustrates the way that biofuel is promoted and packaged as eco-friendly or environmentally friendly, when in fact it isn’t
A cartoon about tree felling, deforestation, chainsaws, biodiesel,alternative fuel sources,ecology, ecological sustainability, environmentally sustainable energy use.
Cartoon reference number: env055
Environmental cartoon: pollution cartoon.
How to breathe clean air in a polluted atmosphere (by using oxygen generated by trees and other plants.
A cartoon about pollution, clear air, trees as lungs of the world.
See another version of this cartoon
Original concept: 1991
Cartoon reference number: env071
Cartoon: the tree of knowledge reading a book, and discovering that paper is made from trees
A cartoon about the saying ‘ignorance is bliss’
A cartoon about the acquisition of knowledge and its possible unsettling consequences
The cartoon can be interpreted as being about the fact that humans are aware of their own mortality due to their level of awareness
Cartoon reference: env118
Cartoon drawn: 1991
Cartoon showing a tree as lungs.
The cartoon uses the fact that lungs have a similar structure and appearance to trees, at least at the level of cartoon art.
In the cartoon the branches of trees are likened to the bronchial tubes in lungs, with the windpipe as the tree’s trunk.