Sunday, 10 July 2011
Beware of Fairfax newspapers bearing data
I took this photo on Thursday - it's from the Financial Review, and it show CO2 output per capita. Australia is the yellow bar third from the top.
I scratched my head for a few moments and wondered how they produced this result.
Then I looked in the bottom left hand corner of the graph - it says "Source OECD".
Aha - you see, the OECD only has 34 member countries, whereas there are around 215 recognised countries worldwide. By using a limited dataset, they've made Australia's CO2 output look really bad.
If you look at all countries on a per head basis, Australia is 12th.
If you look at all countries on a total output basis, Australia is 16th.
I wonder why Fairfax chose to represent the data in the way they did? Hmmm....
Badly proofread by Boy on a bike at Sunday, July 10, 2011