Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

Earth: A story of a Sick Mother with Smart Children

by | Nov 23, 2022 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

 

 

As we grow up, we become more aware of the sacrifices our parents and family make for us to live a decent life. As early as our teenage years, we dream of the day we’ll be able to reward them for what they’ve done. How many times have we heard someone saying: “I want to work as hard as possible so that one day I can afford to buy my mother a house”. Unfortunately, not all dreams are realized, some people find it very difficult to face life on their own. They end up adding a burden on their family as they grow up, instead of it being the other way around. Those are the people who couldn’t afford a decent job or were unfortunate on the financial front. Let’s try to project this onto the relation between mother earth and it’s children, the human kind. Will the less fortunate be the source of the burden too ? Yet more importantly, will those who make it to the financial heavens reward their mother ? To answer those questions, we need to consult two visualizations. The first one in red below, shows the amount of CO2 emitted per capita from different selected countries. At the first glance, we might assume that the industrious countries are the ones responsible for the greater share of air pollution. Hence, the industrious nature of a country is directly proportional to its contribution in polluting the atmosphere. Yet if we look closely, we can see that china which is much more industrious than Canada for example, releases much less carbon dioxide than the latter (477.6 vs 136.5). This hints towards further investigation. What has lead me towards the correlation between financial well being and pollution across various countries is the idea derived by the clinical psychologist and Harvard professor, Dr. Jordan Peterson, who thinks that solving the global warming crisis requires improving the overall quality of life for human beings so that they would have the capacity to contribute towards a healthier environment. Putting this into practice via the second visualization which measures the human capital index ( The Index measures which countries are best in mobilizing the economic and professional potential of its citizens.) we can see that the results of a more developed economic circumstances have a negative effect on the environmental well being of a country when comparing it with visualization (1) (HCI and CO2 emissions are inversely proportional). This contradicts the notion pushed forward by Dr. Peterson; yet, calls for action towards cultivating this potential of economic abundance and educational excellence into repaying mother earth by enhancing its environmental health.

To conclude, I believe that a mother never improves her life conditions on the expense of her children’s well being. Nevertheless, we as human beings, especially the more fortunate should start investing our fortunes towards a better global environment and repay earth for all the resources it has provided us with. On the other hand, trying to blame the less fortunate countries for the responsibilities of the more privileged/capable countries isn’t the way forward.

 

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