Tag: health

An inconvenient truth

I watched Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth last night and, I must say, it was very good. Hopefully it will serve as a wake up call to those who dismiss climate change as a myth. Unfortunately though, I think those who watch it will do so because they have an interest in this area and those who don’t believe in climate change will never watch it.

Some interesting facts which came out of the movie – for instance Al debunks the notion that scientists disagree about climate change. He pointed out that in a study of over 900 scientific papers on global warming (a randomised selection of 10% of all scientific papers published in the area in the last 10 years) not one scientific paper came out against global warming.

Whereas the same study looked at over 600 newspaper reports on global warming and 53% of them came out against climate change.

In the same way that the tobacco industry tried to tell us that smoking is not bad for our health, it looks like the petroleum industry is now trying to debunk global warming and right now, it is winning the PR war.

Gapminder.org's incredible data visualisation

One of the revelations for me of the Le Web 3 conference was hearing Prof. Hans Rosling‘s presentation.

Everyone I spoke to mentioned his talk as being the highpoint of the event.

I checked out Gapminder.org, the site he mentioned where you can access all the data he presented and it is incredible. The interactive charts there are astounding.

Here is a screenshot of Ireland’s health versus its wealth from 1960 to 2003. Notice how Ireland’s health fails to improve from 1994 onwards despite significant growth in wealth.

Chart of Ireland's health vs wealth from 1960 to 2003

The two countries at the top of the healthcare leagues (as measured here by % childcare survival to age 5) are Sweden and Singapore.

An early, less polished version of the presentation Prof Rosling gave at Le Web (the one he gave at the TED conference) is available here.