I read recently this article on the BBC News website. I thought the map they used (below) to show the areas of Britain with the largest domestic carbon footprints was a little uninspiring.
The colour scale was unclear with no explanation as to why the numbers jump around (the interval changes from 1 to 2) and appears to, for example, ignore the values that fall between 24 to 26 tonnes per household. Southern England is too red in the sense that it is hard to distinguish between areas with the highest emissions. I also feel that a more useful variable to plot is whether areas are increasing or decreasing their domestic carbon emissions. I understand why people are keen to highlight, for example, that David Cameron’s constituency is one of the top 40 most polluting, but it presents a static picture. It may be that he has heavily invested in household energy efficiency programs and dramatically reduced emissions compared to a few years ago- equally the constituency’s emissions could be increasing because he has avoided potentially unpopular environmental policies.
In response to my comments above I have logged on to the Guardian Data Blog to get hold of the UK Carbon Emissions by Local Authority Data they have published. In order to represent both total emissions and improvement between 2005 and 2007 I have generic for ciprodex