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Antony Turner talk

Making Greenhouse Gases Visible

Antony Turner BWPeter’s story is the most important story in the world. Antony wants to add pictures, which help stories come alive.

The atmosphere is an ocean of air, weighing 5,140 trillion tonnes. Carbon dioxide and other gases are invisible. His work involves turning numbers into pictures, and mass (tonnes of carbon dioxide) into volume, displayed as spheres and cubes in context.

Argh! A blog post can’t possibly convey the pictures and videos he’s showing. We are emitting 80 million tonnes of CO2 every day, equivalent to filling the UN skyscraper in New York 7 times over in 4 seconds, or a sheet of 80gsm paper wrapping the planet. A tonne of potatoes next to a cube of emissions. An hour’s worth of TV production as columns of CO2. The annual carbon footprints of public buildings in Exeter, displayed on Google Earth, colour-coded by totals, height dependent on building efficiency – wow!

PS. Get the visualisation of public buildings here. Get Google Earth here. The Met Office column clearly shows the irony of using supercomputers to research climate change.

Antony Turner biography

Antony Turner BW

Antony Turner BWAntony Turner is co-founder of Carbon Visuals, a company that turns carbon footprint data into engaging images and films.  He believes that a core reason for human society’s indifference to the climate challenge is that greenhouse gases are invisible.

After a career spent launching engineering technologies he helped set up the Business & Sustainability programme in 2000 at Schumacher College, which he managed for five years.

In 2003 he set up CarbonSense to help people and organisations understand climate change and take a more proactive role in moving to a low-carbon future.  He has lectured at major universities and worked with a wide range of organisations including BT, TNT, Honda Formula One and HM Treasury.

Antony lives by the sea in Devon and believes most tough questions in life can be answered by asking “what would nature do?”

News about Antony Turner

Visualising the UN Ozone Celebrations

Antony Turner feature

TEDxExeter 2012 alumnus Antony Turner continues to be at the forefront of communicating environmental issues through his work with Carbon Visuals. Now they are turning their attention to ozone as well as carbon dioxide.

Today, 16th September, is International Ozone Day. Thirty years ago the first images of the ozone hole created a media storm, and helped convert the framework Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer into concrete targets in the Montreal Protocol. UNEP asked Carbon Visuals to create a digital campaign to communicate and celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Convention.

Carbon Visuals described their approach: “Our view was that few people have an intuitive sense of what the ozone hole is like, where it is, how much ozone there is, or how deep the atmosphere is. So we have created a selection of visual images, animations and web-tools that help everyone from policymakers to children better understand these things.”

Find out more, play with, and watch their productions: UN ozone celebrations, Ozone interactives and The Ozone Song.

[Update/PS: The TEDxExeter Storyteller has written in the Church Times about the Vienna Convention as a model for climate negotiations.]