Why is the #1 Image on Google for “Climate Change Chart” a Cartoon?
That’s right, the #1 image result for ‘climate change chart’ is “Earth Temperature Timeline” from XKCD, which though awesome and accurate, nonetheless, is a cartoon:
So where do I go to track CO2 levels in our atmosphere? I wanted to find out. What I found out is: no one gives a fuck about climate change. How do I know this? Because if people gave a fuck, there would be nice websites tracking the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The results of my search were abysmal. Take Google’s #1 result for “co2 tracker”, co2.earth
HAHAHAHA, are you freaking KIDDING ME??? Am I browsing Alta Vista on an Apple II in 1995?
But at least it’s updated every day or two…
The #1 result for “climate change chart” is from NASA. NASA’s “Latest Measurement” is freaking 2 months old…April 2017…WHAT? Barely interactive, a little widget squeezed into a corner.
The best I found was @Keeling_Curve on Twitter, piping fresh hot data right out of scientific measurement spots atop Mauna Loa in Hawaii. @Keeling_Curve’s profile references a data page from Scripps that scientists scramble to update within about 24 hours, though Scripps’ data looks embedded in a machine-unreadable PNG format :\
These charts are all pretty sad.
Compare to Bitcoin Charts
While atmospheric CO2 has been measured since 1956, Bitcoin has been around for only 8 years. But Google has bitcoin charts for dayyyyyyyss. They’re beautiful, they’re useful, they’re interesting:
Climate Change Needs a Beautiful Chart and Tracker
In conclusion, no one really gives a fuck about climate change. If they did, there would be a reasonable tracker, charter, and map of historic events that was easily discoverable with a simple Google Search.
So it’s your opportunity to give a fuck…even for someone with just some basic HTML and CSS skills. Seize this opportunity!
Who will build the world’s first Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide tracker to:
- #1 on Google for “climate change chart”
- updated daily
- visualize intra-day minute-by-minute data
- call out interesting historical data points
- bootstrap-powered / beautiful
Hit me up in the comments if you want to work together on building this.
3 8 of us working on github making this real!! Join in! https://gitter.im/giving-a-fuck-about-climate-change/Lobby
About this post:
Katie Patrick has an awesome online course on “How to Save the World” on how to apply data, behavior change and game design techniques to your cause for the epic win. Katie says to “make sure to include the concept of disclosure, which is that just making measurement data public naturally catalyzes change without requiring heavy handed legislation. The numbers just naturally effect us to move in the right direction”.
Any good, smart, level headed parts of this post are 100% thanks to Katie and Matthew. All fucks attributed to me.