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

Sustainable Development Against the Quest for Power: A Case Study of the EU and China

Sustainable Development Against the Quest for Power: A Case Study of the EU and China

Imagine the little Smurf village we all grew up with, the precious community of tiny blue creatures, each distinguished by a special trait. Some of these traits are arguably better than others. Indeed, the village could maybe do without Brainy Smurf’s long lectures, and some Smurfs may find affinity in being spared of some of Jokey Smurf’s exploding presents. These collective peculiarities however have always been directed at the best interest of the village, all under the fatherly supervision of our beloved Papa Smurf. That being said, an entity lying deep inside the forest constantly threatens our friendly family, and even though Gargamel is only one person, his size and abilities pose a serious concern to the village as a whole.

Now imagine a group of little countries united for the best interest of their people, constantly working on nullifying their negative impact on nature by investing into renewable energies in an effort to ditch such polluting sources as combustible fuels. Their effort is met with success, however the quest for power seems to be a bigger concern for an entity lying thousands of miles away. An entity whose size exceeds that of all our little countries combined: Enter the conflict of power and sustainability between the EU and China.

Since my mother’s middle school years, otherwise known as the early 80s, the EU, represented by France and Belgium witnessed a considerable increase in alternative and nuclear energy use, offset by a similarly acute decline in fossil fuel energy consumption. One can hardly say the same about China.

To put it into perspective, instead of listing numbers, we will ask for the help of another icon, Mr Pac man, at the bottom of the dashboard. Watch how he increasingly consumes our little Smurfs as years go by (applicable from 1990 to 2020), soon enough, his mouth will have closed entirely and our tiny blue friends will be a thing of the past.

What to do then? Surely we cannot let this happen! Well, the best way to stop this direction of development is to make its products worthless. How so? Here are a a few options:

  • Impose tariffs on Chinese goods to offset their traditionally lower prices and drive them out of the market
  • Incentivize multinational companies through subsidies to bring operations outsourced to China back to countries compliant with SDG goals
  • Raise awareness about the issue through media campaigns highlighting the harm caused by China’s quest for power to the international community

Such measures coupled with other sanctions have been successful in putting enough pressure on various entities to induce them into making a change, with plenty of examples to refer to.

We call upon the governments who have the longer term in mind to come together along with their people and recommend that they apply the measures above so that our Smurfs can be saved from the fearsome grip of Gargamel the evil wizard.

Sustainable Horizons: Pioneering Change for a Greener Tomorrow

Sustainable Horizons: Pioneering Change for a Greener Tomorrow

Can you imagine our amazing Lebanese moderate climate that we have all loved turning into an exceptionally scorching or freezing weather condition?


Climate change has become a global concern, with impacts felt across all nations and regions. It messes up countries’ economies and comes with big costs now and in the future, affecting people, communities, and nations deeply.


This change is directly related to human actions and interventions. Only 5 countries represent the global major emitters and are mainly contributing to this effect through Greenhouse Gas Emissions.


It’s important to highlight that what’s even more concerning is the lack of substantial strategies and significant efforts by these nations to diminish their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and, in turn, global warming. China, in particular, demonstrates a noticeable upward trajectory in GHG emissions.


Can we control and minimize these green house gas emissions ? Can we prevent our climate change and have a more sustainable environment ? 


CO2 , CH4 and N2O are major gases contributing to Global Warming as per below chart:

Hence, investigating the sources of these gases and identifying the most influential source contributor will unveil the underlying issue, offering a solid foundation from which to initiate efforts aimed at reducing their presence and subsequent impact

Data reveals that bad agricultural practices are major source of NO2 emissions in major emitters whereas Energy generation is the major source of Methane in this group except for India and Japan.

A central concept is that fuel usage stands as the primary driver of CO2 emissions. To delve deeper, we will analyze the predominant form of fuel consumption in each country by examining the average percentage distribution across various sources. Solid Fuel is major source in China and India, Liquid Fuel is major source in Japan and USA whereas Gaseous Fuel is major source in Russia.

Where is the fuel mainly used?

Powering the World : Exposing the insatiable hunger for energy in the captivating domains of electricity and heat production.

Potential Solution


Hence, the solution lies squarely in human actions and interventions. Opting for organic farming, free from chemical inputs, can significantly reduce harmful gas emissions. Additionally, a shift to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind will substantially decrease greenhouse gas emissions, contributing further to a sustainable future and climate protection. As an example, Brazil that generates around 46 % of its energy from renewable sources generates GHG emissions that constitute just 5 % of China’s and 7 % of USA emissions.

It is not fair that only around 25 % of the globe area is the major source of GHG emissions, climate change and environmental degradation. We must transition towards more sustainable actions and behaviors to ensure a more resilient future for our planet.



The urgent need for a global sustainability committee is evident, and the starting point is the creation of the “Major Emitters” group. This committee aims to be a central force guiding worldwide sustainable initiatives, encouraging collaboration among nations to address environmental challenges and cultivate a resilient global ecosystem. The Major Emitters entity is positioned to lead this effort, uniting influential contributors and paving the way for collective action in the pursuit of a sustainable future.




Renewable energy production: Earth saver.

Air Pollution and Carbon Dioxide emissions:

“Most air pollution comes from energy use and production,” says John Walke, director of the Clean Air Project which is part of the Climate and Clean Energy program at the National Resources Defense Council. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that each year, air pollution is the major cause of the death of nearly seven million people on Earth. Air pollution has several causes such as:

  • Burning fossil fuels
  • Industrial emissions
  • Wildfires
  • CO2 and other greenhouse gases emissions

According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, it is estimated that deaths due to the devastated air quality will continue to rise till 2100 and the economic value of the health benefits was estimated to be between $50 and $380 for each ton of carbon dioxide emitted.

Ever since the industrial revolution, there was an outbreak of industries in all fields ranging from mechanical production to electrical to technical. All these productions relied mostly on heavy machinery that in fact, combusted energy sources (such as fuel, oil, diesel…) and in a complex series of chemical reactions, released gases.  One of those gases is Carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 by itself is not bad because it is a needed chemical in nature. However, CO2 levels in the air have been increasing drastically to the point that they have become one of the major sources in air pollution, according to MDPI.

Carbon Dioxide from electricity production:

According to the World Nuclear Association, almost 40% of the energy-related CO2 emissions are due to burning of the fossil fuels for electricity production. Because a huge part of electricity production depends on burning fuels, there will be a mass of CO2 emitted to the air. This in turn leads to high CO2 emissions, especially from the countries that depend completely on burning fuels to produce electricity. The visuals below demonstrate and prove that the regions that had the highest CO2 emissions from electricity and heat production in 2014 tended to have the highest air pollution rates. The Carbon dioxide emission rates were highest in the middle east, east Africa and east Asia compared to the low numbers of North America and Europe. The same former countries had the highest air pollution rates (PM2.5) compared to the latter. Therefore, we can conclude that the higher the dependency on fuel combustion for energy production, the higher the CO2 emission rates, the higher the air pollution rates. On the long run, this can have devastating effects on the nature, climate and humans.

What can be done?

After governments realized the devastating effects of the gaseous emissions on the air quality and on humans in general, several attempts were done, such as awareness programs among the youth, restrictive laws and advertising. However, these attempts tackled the tip of the iceberg of the problem. A solution is needed to solve the problem deep from within the roots, to prevent it from happening in the first place. Producing energy from renewables could be a potential solution. The most common renewable power technologies are through Solar, wind, biogas, geothermal, low-impact hydroelectricity and biomass. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, generating energy from renewable sources reduces air pollution, diversifies energy supply and creates economic development.

To reduce the gaseous emissions and air pollution, several countries tried to develop their technological and scientific knowledge of renewable energy production as saw a promise in using renewables, that could one day, be substituted for fuel combustion to produce energy. In fact, developed countries such as USA and the EU countries took serious initiatives to use renewable energy production. The below figures show that countries that increased their electrical energy production from renewable sources over the time period of 2005-2014 had the least air pollution rates in 2014. The EU countries and North America had the highest dependency on using renewables to produce electricity compared to the middle east, east Africa and east Asia and the former regions in turn had air pollution rates that are much lower.

Renewable energy production, therefore, is a clean energy source that can reduce Carbon dioxide emissions and in turn lead to a better, sustainable and a healthy planet that has a rich and high air quality.

CO2 emissions from electricity and renewable sources in Australia

CO2 emissions from electricity and renewable sources in Australia

THE 17 GOALS: Affordable and clean energy in australia:


CO2 emissions is one of the hottest topics nowadays especially in Australia where they are suffering from the high emission of CO2. CO2 leads to many problems in the atmosphere warms the planet, causing climate change.

In the last 30 years the emission of CO2 in Australia has been increasing significantly, that line chart here shows the trend of consecutive increase over the years.

Energy-related CO2 emissions is increasing by years This is abundantly seen when we examine emissions from energy generation in Australia. We can see here that the CO2 emission increase significantly as more electricity is generated where more than 30% increase in the CO2 emission generated from the electricity production.

The coal in Australia plays an important role in it economy and that what made Australia so rich, the high availability of that natural resource.

It’s well known that the coal is used worldwide for electricity production, as Australia is one the richest country in coal resources them energy-related carbon emissions from coal resources have risen to arrive to a maximum of 84% which was primarily due to rising energy consumption in Australia.

The CO2 emission from electricity and heat production followed an incremental trend until 2001 where it started to fluctuate that is caused as we can see to the decrease in the electricity production from coal sources here a new line shows up that stated to going upward but at very shy way that is the electricity production from renewable sources.

the renewable energy consumption in Australia is 10.13% of total final energy consumption at the end of 2019 which is considered very low considering Australia as a developed country only a small portion of that 10.13 is used to produce electricity as we can see in 2014 9.32% is the renewable energy consumption of total final energy consumption only 7.5% of that is used to produce electricity.

So, what are the barriers for Australia for not up taking renewable energy?


Some consumers and companies may be unaware that installing solar panels might help them save money and hence fail to analyze the potential. They may also lack a reliable installation and are unsure how to locate an appropriate provider.

The cost of capital

For many individuals, the initial capital expenditure of solar panels is a substantial barrier to realizing the financial benefits of free power.


People may be aware that installing solar panels is a good idea, but they may have other priorities that must be addressed first.

Renewable is the future!

Renewable is the future!



Electricity is essential for reducing poverty, boosting the economy, and raising living standards. Therefore, a crucial social and economic indicator is the proportion of the population who have access to electricity.

Over the past few decades, the proportion of people with access to electricity has been rising gradually on a global scale. Around 71% of people worldwide had access in 1990; by 2016, 87% of people had access. This indicates that in 2016, 13% of the world’s population lacked access to electricity.

High-income nations or those considered developed by the UN are presumed to have 100% electrification as of the year they were classified as such. While most nations are on an improving trend, a few are still seriously trailing. Significant access expansion will continue to be a difficult task for several nations over the coming decades, particularly in Africa due to the poverty level.

Find below a map representing the electricity around the world.


Modern society depends on reliable and affordable energy services to function smoothly and to develop equitability. Intensive development patterns have historically relied on inexpensive and energy-dense fossil fuels such as nuclear energy which increased through the years. On comparison, the electricity from renewable energy was very low and wasn’t used effectively.

The best way to tackle the problem and to follow the SDG 7  is to use more renewable energy and this can be done through:

  • By making investments in neighbourhood infrastructure to create accessible energy services, you can guarantee that all workers and their families have access to a dependable and inexpensive supply of energy.
  • Ensure that all your operational electricity needs are met by renewable energy.
  • Ipa
  • Companies have the chance to invest in and train women to become renewable energy entrepreneurs because women often consume most of the energy at the household level.