Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Climate change responsibility is conventionally discussed in terms of national emissions or emissions per capita. But that is a very one-dimensional view, as it ignores crucial factors such as historical emissions – most of which are still in the air – and the international trade both in fossil fuels and goods produced using those fuels.

To give a more nuanced picture, Kiln, a partnership of Guardian writer Duncan Clark and developer Robin Houston developed this interactive map in 2012, which provides a unique perspective on the globe. Watch the animated intro or click on the topics and see for yourself where the chips fall. Adding shading lets you compare two datasets to see how they relate – so you can see clearly how poorest countries have the fastest growing populations but the lowest emissions

Kiln set out to "map where the carbon is taken out of the ground in the form of oil, coal and gas, where it gets burned and where the resulting goods and services are consumed, plus cumulative emissions from the last 150 years and one view of potential future emissions in the form of each country’s estimated stocks of fossil fuel." The result is a unique and poignant representation of the factors underlying what a recent IPCC report has characterized as an impending catastrophe.


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