Friday 15 October 2010

Cool map of Africa vs other countries, plus a few others

Information Is Beautiful

The True Size Of Africa
Posted: 14 Oct 2010 10:08 AM PDT
The True Size Of Africa
Brilliant infographic from Kai Krause (perhaps the Kai Krause?) to combat rampant 'immappancy'
(Now corrected for map projection errors by marauding carto-nerds – thanks Manuela Schmidt)
I would perhaps twin it with these:
True Size Of USA

True Size Of Antartica

True Size Of Australia
(Credits: USA – unknown, Antartica – NASA, Australia – unknown)

Thursday 7 October 2010

Act now or face trillions in climate asset losses, UNPRI-backed report tells long-term investors

New UNEP Finance Initiative report says long-term institutional investors could see trillions wiped off their assets unless they force companies, regulators and asset managers to reduce the impact of climate change.

Useful reminder of the real systemic risk pension funds need to be looking at.

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Great little climate chart

Tired of obscure tables of temperature anomalies and confusing maps of summer sea ice volumes?

Here's a simple chart that ordinary Americans can relate to - the proportion of record highs to record lows at individual US weather stations since the 1950s.

2009 National Center for Atmospheric Research study of 1,800 weather stations in the 48 contiguous United States over the past six decades (see Record high temperatures far outpace record lows across U.S.

Tuesday 5 October 2010

What a kafuffle about the withdrawn 10:10 videos!

I must admit I found the videos pretty dark and whacko.

It did make me think about the seriousness of it all (so it met their objective to that extent), but for the life of me I couldn't figure out the logic. If I'd been advising them I'd have suggested road-testing it on small audiences first to see if people reacted the way they hoped they would. I can't believe they did this; could have saved a lot of hassle.

The over-riding take-away isn't about how serious climate is, but about the people who have the power to press that red button - the video ends up being a reinforcer of the mad idea that uncompromising idiots/eco-fascists have taken it upon themselves to decide that climate change is real and tell us what to do or else. I felt I could be a victim myself if I didn't toe a particular line about what needed to be done, despite what I thought.

The video ends up being more an 
advert against climate change campaigners; and all the loony blogs have lapped it up, frequently using the term eco-fascists. It is, unfortunately, a brave effort that ends up as an own goal. 

Of course you can never be sure about viral media - if it's so outrageous that millions look at it, and end up arguing its merits, then it won't matter how it's seen: what will matter is that millions started arguing about something they've been ignoring.

Against that idea I've just been re-reading the Hartwell paper on "a new direction for climate policy". They may be right - let's stop saying "fix climate change" to the world at large; it's just too complex. Let's use the need to fix climate change as an impetus to say "let's fix cheap, clean energy for everyone in the world", and other more concrete projects that people can understand and relate to.