Climate Visualizations That Really Stick

Climate Visualizations That Really Stick
Reading Time: < 1 minute

Remember when I said we should make Drake drag around a balloon the size of a blimp to illustrate his carbon emissions, to see, in living bling, his invisible carbon footprint? Of course you don’t, because it was a muddy and vague visual. Barry Saxifrage has conveyed this idea so much more brilliantly by visualizing our unseeable emissions with a very seeable metaphor: straws . And, well, it induces shock and straw. Saxifrage examines the disconnect between how Canadians want to see ourselves ( climate leaders! ) and what we really are ( climate laggards! ) by going deep on trying to represent the average Canadian vehicle’s carbon emissions with straws. He uses two plastic straws to represent each gram of CO₂. In so doing, he can quickly visually articulate our emissions. When driving, we emit the equivalent of 15 straws every second, or 400 straws per kilometer. Yes, 400 straws EVERY KILOMETER. (Note: he’s using plastic pollution to convey our overall climate pollution. See handy and frightening chart below.) Canada has the dubious distinction of driving the world’s dirtiest cars and trucks , with the U.S. coming in a very close second. (Readers in other parts of the […]

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