[open-visualisation] Antw.: [open-energy] Carbon emissions data?

Gregor Aisch gka at vis4.net
Wed Dec 7 07:42:17 UTC 2011

Did you guys all see the CO2 supply chain data? We really should do something with it...


"Nations report and assume responsibility for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels that are burned within their sovereign terrritory. However, both fossil fuels and consumer goods manufactured with fossil energy are commonly transported internationally.

 In this way, nations where fossil fuel resources are extracted or where the goods made with fossil energy are consumed may benefit from (and yet disclaim) emissions that occur elsewhere."

----- Reply message -----
Von: "Dirk Heine" <dirk.heine at emle.eu>
An: "Open Energy Visualization and Data project" <open-energy at lists.okfn.org>
Cc: "open visualistion" <open-visualisation at lists.okfn.org>
Betreff: [open-energy] Carbon emissions data?
Datum: Mi., Dez. 7, 2011 03:18
I think this is a great idea. And I think it is also pretty relevant, because: 

In discussions with people on climate change, on often hears the following two types of statements: 

"Do your bit for the environment!" OR "Every bit helps!""I already do my part against climate change. It is true that I have not switched to renewable energy but I switch my light off when I leave the room and I use jute bags for shopping." OR "It is true that I like flying a lot but I do not use a car". 
A visualisation might potentially address the following: 
To 1: It put into relation the amount that a typical consumer emits in excess of the per-capita amount that is sustainable with all these small actions. So it could for example show that I as a French person emit about 7 tonnes while about 1 tonne would be sustainable (so I am 6 tonnes overweight) while all these small actions where one often says "every bit helps" contribute only a few grams to reducing my carbon bottomline (or "obesity" or whatever one might call it). The app could thus help people comprehend that not "Every bit helps" but "Every BIG helps". 
To 2: If a consumer has learned the first message, he might be interested in how things then measure up. And visually it might be nice to learn then that switching off the light is really nothing but a gesture and that even completely avoiding to drive around with my middle-class car for a year would still be completely offset by a single roundtrip flight of me from Paris to Rio (2.2 times). I.e. this app could help one find out what really helps. 

So the user could take home the nice message: It really does not matter at all how many plastic bags I consume, I should not even think about it, but what really matters is X. 
IN SHORT: A visualisation such as what you seem to suggest could help one both realise that big, not small, steps are needed and to identify which actions have real leverage. 

I would definitely be interested in contributing.

On Tue, Dec 6, 2011 at 1:29 PM, Jonathan Gray <jonathan.gray at okfn.org> wrote:

This is interesting:


Makes me wonder whether we could do something similar using bubbles to

indicate relative quantities of different things?

I'd love to be able to explore this by having a playful interface to

show rough equivalencies. E.g. a 100km car journey is equivalent to

boiling a kettle X times, etc.


Jonathan Gray

Community Coordinator

The Open Knowledge Foundation




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