No One Gives a Fuck About Climate Change

Why is the #1 Image on Google for “Climate Change Chart” a Cartoon?

Screenshot 2017-06-05 13.16.40

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

Screenshot 2017-06-05 12.37.25

Google’s #1 result for “CO2 tracker”

NASA: "Last Measurement April 2017"

NASA CO2 Chart: “Last Measurement April 2017”

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 Winner:

Screenshot 2017-06-05 13.38.41

@Keeling_Curve on Twitter is the best place to track CO2 right now

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:

Coinbase, gorgeous!

Screenshot 2017-06-05 12.29.25

Bitcoin eye candy from Coinbase

99bitcoins.com tags historic events! Bitcoincharts.com showcases beautiful visualizations of daily price ranges.

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.

Join Us

Join 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”.

The wonderful Matthew Eshed is co-founder of Impossible Labs and we have lots of conversations like these.

Any good, smart, level headed parts of this post are 100% thanks to Katie and Matthew. All fucks  attributed to me.

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Tito Jankowski lives in San Francisco. He's a public speaker, biotech hacker, and post-hydrocarbon expert. He is the co-founder of Impossible Labs, expediting the post-hydrocarbon economy through partnerships between startups and Fortune 500 corporations. Find him on LinkedIn. Email Tito at blog@titojankowski.comPublic PGP key. PGP Fingerprint: 5A4F 4C5C E8B7 20C3 2867 9100 C56C 881F 13AE 02D7 EFF Guide to PGP Security

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10 thoughts on “No One Gives a Fuck About Climate Change

  1. You are using a bad search engine. Part of the problem with your results is the Google Bubble — you’ve obviously read a lot of XKCD, and they think you want more. Imagine what graphics you’d see if you had the Google search history of a climate-change denier.

    Here’s what I get with Duckduckgo: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=climate+change+chart&t=h_&iax=1&ia=images

    Your point is nonetheless right on. I’m all for more measurement, more data, and better presentation. Getting people to care about climate change is a big freaking deal, and I’m totally down with more public stats. NOAA should publish banner graphics like this. Under another administration, perhaps. But, tick tock!

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