You may not know this, but there is a celebrity data geek who isn’t named Nate Silver. This other famous statistician is a rock star in the global health and development world. He captivates audiences with innovative presentations that illuminate abstract facts and figures. Last year, Time magazine called Hans Rosling one of the 100 most influential people in the world, writing:
His 2006 TED talk, in which he animated statistics to tell the story of socio-economic development, has been viewed over 3.8 million times and translated into dozens of languages. His subsequent talks have moved millions of people worldwide to see themselves and our planet in new ways by showing how our actions affect our health and wealth and one another across space and time.
How does he do it? Well, here is is showing 200 years of progress in four minutes.
Here he uses green boxes to explain socio-economic demographic trends.
Watch this and you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the washing machine.
The Guardian recently published a piece on Rosling, including a new video of his fact-driven artistry. Here’s the description:
Laying out toy bricks and a handful of counters on the table, he shows in 3-D how the dynamics of global population, child mortality and carbon emissions have changed over the past 50 years – and how the world might look by the end of the century.
After watching that Guardian video and several of the others, you’ll notice that Rosling speaks offhandedly about the importance of “green energy.” This piqued my curiosity. What else has he said about energy? I googled around and found this interesting interview, in which he said:
We need to be able to see the energy supply for human activity from each source and how it changes over time. The people who are now involved in producing solar and wind produce very nice reports on how production increase each year. Many get the impression that we have 10, 20, 30% of our energy from solar and wind. But even with fast growth from almost zero solar and wind it is nothing yet. The news reports mostly neglect to explain the difference in percentage growth of solar and wind energy and their percent of total energy supply.
*Headline inspired by this blog post.