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.
How do you sell low or zero carbon products and services? As more and more companies are putting serious effort into developing products and services for the low-carbon future they face a communications challenge with consumers or B2B customers. How do you get across the benefits of low-carbon in a way that works?
Now there is a solution... an augmented reality app that reveals actual volumes of CO2 through a smart-phone or tablet screen
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.
There is a clear aim for leaders this December at Lima. But the reality is that this is a shared challenge. Every person, company, organisation on this planet needs to see this challenge and relate world emissions, to temperature rises and their own potential to contribute to the solution
The opportunity to create a film to show the world’s CO2 emissions in real-time has been a long-held dream. We wondered if this was the moment when we were approached by WBCSD to make a film to show the necessity of Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS).
Our film would have to clearly articulate the role of CCS in keeping global warming below 2° C threshold, as well as showing that renewables, though growing fast, are not growing as fast as global energy demand. We would also need an introduction to the scale of the problem in terms of global fossil fuel usage and of course carbon emissions!
Some offices organise a sweepstake for the World Cup. However, perhaps predictably (unlike the semi-final on Tuesday) we got interested in the associated emissions of this occasion. We started to think – what would the carbon story of a global event like this look like? Luckily we could turn to FIFA's own comprehensive calculations document to find out.
When the President of the USA spoke directly about the EPA proposed carbon reduction target of 30% for USA power stations we knew this was the start of an important consultation process.
Almost simultaneously that the EPA was announcing its Carbon Reduction Plan, Aaron Selverston of Green Biz contacted us about a piece he was writing highlighting the evolving and vital role of carbon visualisation in supporting environmental priorities at this time.
We have teamed up with technical consultants ERG to show, at a White House event, how environmental data can inspire and influence change.
Five years on, our far-fetched idea of forming a business to visualise carbon emissions and other invisible stuff is developing at a pace. What gives me real satisfaction is that the range of clients is so extensive – campaigners, universities and corporations. Each has a story to tell – and the narratives speak of both challenge and opportunity.
We are delighted that our real time video New York City’s Carbon Emissions has been included as a winner in The Best American Infographics 2013. The video is featured as one of just 10 interactive infographics.
Carbon Visuals received another trophy last month in the Information is Beautiful Awards in London. The Silver Prize was given in the Motion Interactive category for ourNew York City Emission video.
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
This is the strap-line on the feature about our visuals in the current edition of Conservation magazine published by The University of Washington. Rather than a play on words there is a depth to this phrase that is about a pivotal point in each person’s comprehension of climate change.
Human induced climate change is claimed to be the greatest challenge of the 21st century. But man-made carbon emissions continue to rise - the 400ppm carbon milestone causes barely a ripple. I am intrigued as to why, in society at large, there is little grass roots support, no loud and clear call for action to address this issue.
400 parts per million. Why is the figure in the news? Can we help people make 400 ppm meaningful for themselves by showing what it looks like?
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.
The number and mixture of comments that we have received since releasing the New York Emissions film through You Tube, Twitter and email has been really useful as a means of assessing its impact. And generally aiding us in best understanding how visuals can really help.