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UCL Energy Institute Blog


Blogs by staff & students of the UCL Energy Institute


Trust, but verify!

By Harsha P T Kansara, on 5 March 2013

Trust, but verify

It all seems to be happening all at once, global warming, climate change, emit, emission, emissions! Where do you begin, better yet – what information do you believe? Are there ethics involved in the analysis of the data collected to prove or disprove climate change? Here are a few tools/games that I have personally come across that I would recommend to our readers… and their children.

What’s the measure of Climate Change?

Isolating climate change as a single measureable item is a tall order. Surrounding this issue are the numerous periphery influences, which become weaker but are STILL included. The power of measured data (unmeasured data aside) if translated well, may be used for basic analysis leading to an array of fun uses. A pioneer in this category is Hans Rosling, a statistician that uses his health database to expand out into CO2 emissions.

Rosling talks through most of his lectures accompanied with a very long pole – pointing out various statistics and creating a sense of animation around historical events as he sprawls over a projected image of his tool – Gapminder. The tool, which is downloadable, gives the user a unique experience in analysing the data set. Gapminder is free to download. My personal favourite are his TED lectures – a series that have become amongst the most popular on the Technology Entertainment Design-related video site.




For a TED video on Rosling: Stats that reshape world view: http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen.html


Fate of the World


“What’s all the fuss? I’ll be long gone by then!”  Yes, possibly. Will your children still be around though?

If you think they might be, how about entertaining them with a computer game that mixes climate change and geo-politics – Fate of the World. Exactly what is says – it is 50% gloom and 50% doom – either way it’s fun to make decisions and follow these through with realistic outcomes.  The game can be downloaded for a small fee, children can be entertained for hours working through present-day issues. I can see some A grades in Geography/Science classes!

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Tia Kansara

Doctoral Researcher

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