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

Brazil’s Great Recession – Unemployment

Brazil’s Great Recession – Unemployment

Unemployment is highly dependent on economic activity; in fact, growth and unemployment can be thought of as two sides of the same coin: when economic activity is high, more production happens overall, and more people are needed to produce the higher amount of goods and services. And when economic activity is low, firms cut jobs and unemployment rises. Brazil experienced a severe economic crisis from mid-2014 onward. The cause of the crisis was mainly due to the 2014 commodity price shock, which negatively affected Brazil’s exports and reduced the entrance of foreign capital into the economy. The manufacturing industry which constitutes one-fifth of Brazil’s GDP, was mainly impacted by the economic crisis (export decline).During the economic crisis, high unemployment rates were reported throughout the country, and there was widespread uncertainty regarding Brazil’s economic future. Employees in the manufacturing sector mainly were being laid off. For example, In Sao Bernando, a city in Brazil famous for manufacturing, 32% of the labor forces lost their jobs after major players such as Ford pulled out of doing business in Brazil. A trend of losing huge manufacturing agencies was witnessed throughout the country and continued for many years after the crisis; further increasing the unemployment rate.Till today Brazil is still recovering from the 2014 recession specially after the setback that Covid imposed on the recovery process.

The solution revolves around increasing Brazil’s overall competitiveness in the manufacturing industry. This can be achieved by making certain industrialized areas in Brazil more habitable for the manufacturing industry. This can be achieved by lowering tax rates in these areas, building more roads and offering facility services for pledged investors. Hence, increasing job vacancies.

Solutions

  • Decreasing corporate tax rates in areas fit for industrial applications
  • Facilitating foreign companies’ set-up process by building more roads in inhabited areas and providing facility services to future investors
  • Provide additional benefits and services to current investors

Recommendations

  • Utilizing the agriculture and oil resources
  • Focus on talent development, innovation and education with special emphasis on elementary education, science and technology disciplines
GDP & Education: An Overlooked Factor.

GDP & Education: An Overlooked Factor.

The gross domestic product ‘GDP’ is the total market value of goods and services produced by a country’s economy during a specific period, when it comes to calculating it, economists consider consumption, investment, government spending and net exports. But there’s a hidden factor that’s common yet overlooked, what is it?

Education is the most important and ironically overlooked factor when it comes to GDP, as Malcolm X describes it: “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

Governments should acknowledge that spending more on education is a crucial and beneficial factor that affects all aspects of Life, it is the basic building block of a nation, the best investment to develop a healthy, prosperous and equitable society, therefore I firmly believe that governments should invest a higher proportion of money to improve the quality of education, which aligns with the sustainable development goal number 4 of the UN by 2030, and through this project, I proved that there’s a relationship between improving education and boosting GDP, to convince greedy politicians.

Are we Sufficiently using Clean Energy? Global Warming is still on the Rise!

Are we Sufficiently using Clean Energy? Global Warming is still on the Rise!

Year after Year, temperatures rise across the world with an increase in the overall emissions of CO2 and other gases correlated with global warming. Sea levels are at risk of rising, climate change is on the rise, increased risks of droughts and floods and threats to biodiversity. All this as a consequence of global warming and finally putting people’s lives at risk and the survival of the world. Although we have a solution available, we are not efficiently relying on it neither optimizing its use. SDG 7 requires a world responsibility towards providing accessible and clean energy sources, one of our key responsibilities is to ensure that we reach this goal adequately by the year 2030.

“Amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is 50% more than the 1900s.” 

“Temperatures increasing yearly, and summers getting hotter.” 

These are words repeated by people over and over, but are we reacting?

The following shows the rise in temperatures.

Global Warming:

The root problem!

Global warming was identified as a global issue during the 1980s, during the year 1988 world hottest summers were recorded. Since then, hotter summers have been recorded, increasing temperatures are still being recorded along continuous increase in CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable energy was first explored in 1927 through wind turbines, although such resources are available, they are still not used adequately to encounter the rising temperatures issue. Renewable energy resources are available, but their usage is not improving.

Renewable Energy:

Are we sufficiently using them?
  • World resources institute states that renewable energy resources emit 50g or less of CO2 emissions per KWh over their lifetime, compared to about 1000g CO2/KWh for coal and 475g CO2/KWh for natural gas.

Renewable and clean energy resources such as solar power, wind power, hydro power or nuclear power are highly available and further resources could be developed. Current resources are not efficiently used along with no clear plans or transition to more clean energy resources. On the other hand, not all countries or people have appropriate access to clean energy resource neither the resources or accommodations required to develop them.

The infrastructure and development of renewable energy is highly costly, but costs for using such energy on the long-term are cheaper, current fossil fuel prices are set to be cheaper as the pollution consequences and carbon-fee are not interpreted into the pricing strategy of gases and fossil fuels. Governments and Organizations are avoiding the transition due to its high costs but at the cost of polluting and putting high risks on our environment our health and survival of earth.

 

A clear rise in CO2 emissions accompanied by a decrease of renewable energy consumption is shown and identified by world development indicators.

Actions Required:

  • Optimizing usage of currently available clean energy resources and services.
  • Increase the availability of clean energy sources and reliance on them across different sectors and industries.
  • Raise Awareness on the problem “that we have the resources and capabilities needed to reduce global warming” but we are not efficiently using them.
  • Raise Awareness about the risks and effects of global warming along with the quick rate it is happening at.

Governments and World organizations planning strategies to increase the use of renewable enerygy and conducting awareness campaigns to influence the public and future image.

If we don’t protect our environment and nature, we can’t protect ourselves. Floods, drought, higher rates of contamination, increased health risks and the slow death of our planet are the cost of using cheaper resources.

 

Climate Denial Era – Levant Countries

Climate Denial Era – Levant Countries

IPSOS Update once mentioned in their monthly issue ‘What Worries the World – October 2022’ that climate change was ranked seventh in their list of 18 worries, as one in five say climate change is one of the biggest issues affecting their country. The United Nations secretary during the 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which took place in the Sharm el-Sheikh, concluded by saying ‘Our planet is in the emergency room, we need to drastically reduce emissions now, and that’s why I am pushing so hard for a climate solidarity pact’. Also, climate change will drive 32-132 million more people into extreme poverty, in the next decade, estimates the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

All the above alarming reports and red titles made me re-think the direction the world is heading, is it acceptable to see climate change not being in the top 5 worries? What’s more compelling is the fact that industrial and developing countries are the ones that worry the less about it, and much more severe impacts are in store if they fail to halve greenhouse gas emissions this decade and immediately scale up adaptation; is it a welcome to the climate denial era?

This event is already impacting every corner of the world, and as a Lebanese citizen, I decided to tackle this topic in my country and its neighborhoods, the Levant countries; Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon, in hope of pushing for climate solidarity in this area.

To dig deep into the subject, I evaluated potential factors that could lead to climate change such as CO2 emissions from electricity, heat production, and manufacturing industries (in kilotons (kt)), percentage of nuclear energy used, percentage of combustible renewables and waste, electric power consumption (kWh per capita), and greenhouse gas emissions in metric tons. It was found that:

  • On average, CO2 emissions have increased by 116.16% in the Levant region (from 1990 to 2020)
  • On average, Nitrous Oxide emissions in the energy sector have increased by 82.24% in the Levant (from 1990 to 2020)
  • On average, combustible renewables energy and waste (percentage of total energy) have decreased by 96.08% in the Levant (from 1990 to 2020)

The results showed that Iraq is the country with the highest CO2 emission, 174,560 kt in 2020, whereas Jordan is the last country to issue CO2 with 24,630 kt in 2020.

Also, Nitrous Oxide emission in the energy sector is significantly increasing in the region, especially in Iraq which marked a 79.60% increase between 1990 and 2020. Nitrous Oxide is almost 300 times as potent as CO2, and it depletes the stratospheric ozone layer. It is worth mentioning that Agriculture is the biggest contributor to nitrous oxide emissions, therefore, it is suggested to use low-nitrogen fuels for tractors.

An increase in the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases produces climate change by trapping heat, and they also contribute to respiratory from air pollution. From 1990 to 2019, the total warming effect from greenhouse gases added by humans to the Levant atmosphere increased by 5640 thousand metric tons of CO2 equivalent (-1,219 in 1990 to reach +4,421 in 2019). Lebanon scored the highest increase (between 1990 and 2019) reaching 8,087 thousand metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.

 

Electric power consumption has almost doubled, CO2 emissions (from manufacturing industries, construction, heat production, and electricity), a significant decrease in combustible renewable energies and wastes, and an escalation in greenhouse gas emissions, all factors are heavily affecting the environment in the Levant region.

It is time to unify and take efficient actions toward limiting climate change and global warming in our beloved region.

Relying more on making power on-site with renewables and other climate-friendly energy resources such as installing rooftop solar panels and solar water heating, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ‘Without renewables, there can be no future’ – Invest in renewable energy technology a global public good – meaning available to all; technologies such as battery storage systems allow energy from renewables, like solar and wind, to be stored and released when people or businesses need power. Also, Levant countries in the agriculture industry should use legume crops or pastures in the rotation instead of nitrogen fertilizer. From human perception, we should plant more trees as they absorb carbon dioxide, go paperless, and save electricity and water.

Food Insecurity: Children in Lebanon

Food Insecurity: Children in Lebanon

With the current economic situatation, the Lebanese GDP had decrease from around $50 billion in 2018 o around $20 Billion in 2021. Further, the Lebanese pound had lost around 85% of its value. These two factors together resulted in a significant reduction in consumers purchasing power, which in turn has worsen the food insecurity situation in Lebanon.

One of the indicators used by UN to assess the criticalness of the food insecurity in a country is the percentage of population that are facing undernourishment. Ideally, the percentage should be zero (as part of UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals). As we can see in the graph below, starting 2012, the percentage have been growing fast comparing to the world rank that was decreasing. Further, the percentage was very high compared to North American and Europe. Unfortunately, due to the economic crisis, we notice that the percentage became around 11%, which is even higher than the world rate.

Another indicator is the percentage of population facing severe food insecurity, which means do not have access to enough food. As we can see in the graph below, the percentage had grown from around 4% in 2018 to around 10% of the population in 2020, which is 10 times higher than the percentage of people in North American, and almost 6 times greater than the percentage of people in Europe.

According to Unicef, Children are among the most who are suffering because of this. according to Unicef survey, 53% of Lebanese children had to skip 1 meal a day, 90% of children do not meet the standards for minimum meal frequency, and around 7% of children were found to be stunted.

The goal tp solve this is part of UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals as part of the second goal: End hunger, and it adresses it through 3 key pillars:

2.1 By 2030, ensure access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food.

2.2 By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age.

2.3 By 2030, double the agricultural productivity

This can be achieved by building a sustainable and resilient agriculture sector. To achieve that two things are needed.

First, we need to enhance productivity in the agriculture sector. this can be done through using advanced sensing and analytics. For example, sensors can be used to gather a wide range of data points (e.g., weather, land yield, production output) to manage in real time, and take optimized soltutions.

Second, we need to manage quality, and optimize operations. This can be done through microsegmentation of farms. For example, today, Software solutions can identify areas with a below-average yield and help adjust fertilizing and watering accordingly.

To ensure the solution will work, we will take Ethiopia as a case study. Ethiopia had performed a similar transformative strategy, according to Mckinsey & Company, and which was by the company as a benchmark for Lebanon. In the Last graph, we can see that clearly that the agriculture sector had grown from around 4 to 20B in 2013 after the strategies were implemented.

However, implementing these strategies is not possible without government intervention especially due to the high investment needed for similar technologies to be used. Therefore, the Lebanese government should invest to promote these technologies, and it also promote this ideology among farmers, and train them, for this strategy to succeed.

 

 

 

 

 

Mortality caused by unintentional poisoning in Africa

Mortality caused by unintentional poisoning in Africa

The mortality rate in Africa countries is very high compared to other countries worldwide. One cause of the mortality rate is the unintentional poisoning especially children. Because of the high poverty rate, low access to water, and high literacy rate, people are not much aware of the importance of hygenie and sanitation. This is causing a high mortality rate due to the unsafe water, sanitation and lack of hygiene. There is lot of unintentional poisoning cases in Africa compared to other countries in different continents. The problem is very serious and needs immediate response since its contribution to the overall mortality rate is high.

A response of the addressed problem is curing the poisoned case; however, the capacity in hospitals is low as the number of beds per 1000 persons is very low. Therefore, we are looking forward to solve the root problem and not only react to it. So, a good solution for the addressed problem is to increase awareness of how to avoid poisoning especially at home by the government, or related parties.

The awarness should takle these three aspects:

-How to clean food (vegetables, fruits) at home

-Filtering water with basic tools

-Right way of taking a medicine and storing it

-Right way to use chemicals or detergents and keep them away from children

More than 90% of poisoning cases are occurring at home. Therefore, starting to spread awareness of how to avoid getting poisoned at home might reduce the unintentional poisoning that is causing death. Thus, we are decreasing the mortality rate.

It’s true that we want to solve the problem from its base; however, we should also know how to provide good care and treatment for a poisoned case. This should be teached to people as first aid sessions to be eligible to approach a case and prevent the deterioration of his health or death.