Tag archives for COP17

Mr Statistics and the Swedish emissions

The statistics guru Hans Rosling asks why we report our economy every three months, but emissions only once a year. Foto: Stefan Nilsson.

The global climate summit COP17 in Durban continues, and during these meetings there is certainly a lot of talking about numbers and statistics. How much carbon do we emit now? How many tons can we emit in the future?
Soon Sweden will publish its official national emission statistics for 2010. Unofficial data point towards increasing emissions. But the truth is we don’t really know until we get these statistics. And even when we get them, we won’t know where our emissions are heading this year.

This isn’t good, says the Swedish international health professor and statistician  Hans Rosling, who has become famous as the man who turns dry statistics into a show. His presentations have rapidly become very popular for showing statistics “with the drama and urgency of a sportscaster”, as TED Talks puts it.

But there is something that makes mr Rosling see red. During the big annual climate forum Klimatforum last week, organised by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, he had an important question: How come both private companies and states make detailed economic reports every three months, but look at something as crucial for human survival as carbon dioxide emissions only once a year? Read more » >>

Remember global warming? Maybe poems, climate walks and flash mob dances can help


Flash mob dance in one of Stockholm's shopping centres, to make people aware of the climate summit taking place in South Africa right now. Photo: Emma Arvida Byström.

The UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa, has begun and although the expectations on its outcome have been put down to a minimum, these international negotiations provide the biggest arena for taking global action against the warming of our atmosphere.
Sweden has sent a 47 person delegation, headed by our new environment minister Lena Ek.

But in many ways climate change is a half forgotten subject, between headlines about the economic crisis and the weather. The attention in Sweden is nowhere near the massive interest that the climate meeting in Copenhagen got two years ago. But newspapers are nevertheless being dotted with articles about the meeting and debates about what should be done. And climate activists do their best to draw attention to the meeting by using different spectacular methods (more about that further down this text). Read more » >>