Water supports life on our planet. We depend on it. We also make increasing demands on water resources to produce food, crops, energy and other commodities. It is also a scarce resource is many parts of the world where people suffer from droughts or lack of accessible fresh water.
Earth Hour launched in Sydney in 2007 with backing from the city’s mayor. Inspired by this, San Francisco held "Lights Out" a few moths later. By 2008 there was participation from all continents with many landmark buildings around the world turning off non-essential lighting including the Sydney Opera House and the Empire State Building and participation has continued to increase year on year. In 2009, The United Nations observed Earth Hour at its Headquarters in New York and at other UN facilities around the world including the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) offices in Nairobi, Kenya.
Communications can serve many purposes - such as providing directions, marketing a product or promoting a brand. It is said that every picture is worth a thousand words and they certainly can be powerful emotionally as well as imparting information.
In the USA at the end of January, the Senate approved construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to transport oil from the Canadian tar sands to the Gulf coast. While the House of Representatives has already approved a version of the bill, President Obama has said he will veto it. Now the Environmental Protection Agency has informed to the State Department that the pipeline would cause a significant increase in carbon emissions.
Carbon Visuals will be displaying an exhibition of images and film at a fringe event of Clerkenwell Design Week hosted by energy and low-carbon services consultancy XCO2 Energy. Included will be images showing energy efficiency and actual volumes of CO2 of London’s public buildings.
In many organisations, the first concerted effort towards managing carbon is the calculation of an annual carbon footprint. An annual baseline is established but in subsequent years, the accuracy of these calculations is often improved.
One consequence of these changes is that the carbon footprint being reported can increase. This is a challenging moment for a company - especially for people charged with reducing emissions.
Back in Spring 2011 we had a call from Colorado. This was followed by an email with a brochure attached. The brochure 'Carbon in our daily lives' included estimated but detailed emission figures associated with the everyday activities of Aspen residents.
Typical figures were given for emissions associated with a heated driveway, a large pond circulation pump, skiing, a health club visit and a bluefin tuna suchi
Mistakes are easily made, especially with abstract data. Visuals can sometimes bring new insights - even to those most familiar with the figures; and the integrity of communications can be aided by a fresh pair of eyes.
The people charged with driving down emissions are often specialists with expertise in engineering, systems and measurements. But when it involves getting other people to change, the way forward can be less than obvious. Something more than data is needed.