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Old Jan 7th 2020, 02:51 PM
Tom Palven Tom Palven is offline
Cranky Curmudgeon
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2,058
Default Re: Factfulness by Hans Rosling

Here is an excerpt, p. 141, that demonstrates what Rosling meant by "factfulness."

He begins with a quote:

"The forecasts show that it is China, India, and other emerging countries that are increasing their carbon dioxide emissions at a speed that will cause dangerous climate change. In fact, China already emits more CO2 than the USA, and India emits more than Germany."

This outspoken statement came from an environment minister from a European country who was part of a panel discussing climate change at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, 2007. He made his attribution of blame in a neutral tone of voice, as if he were stating a self-evident fact. Had he been watching the faces of the Chinese and Indian panel members he would have realized that his view was not self-evident at all. The Chinese expert looked angry but continued to stare straight ahead. The Indian expert, in contrast, could not sit still. He waved his arm and could barely wait for the moderator's signal that he could speak.

H stood up. There was a short silence while he looked into the face of each panel member. His elegant dark blue turban and expensive-looking dark gray suit, and his manner of behaving in his moment of outrage, confirmed his status as a lead expert at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. He made a sweeping gesture toward the panel members from the rich nations and then said loudly and accusingly, "It was you, the richest nations, that put us in this delicate situation. You have been burning increasing amounts of coal and oil for more than a century. You and only you pushed us to the brink of climate change." Then he suddenly changed posture, put his palms together in an Indian greeting, bowed, and almost whispered in a very kind voice, "But we forgive you because you did not know what you were doing. We should never blame someone retrospectively for something that they were unaware of." Then he straightened up and delivered his final remark as a judge giving his verdict, emphasizing each word by slowly moving his raised index finger. "But from now on we count carbon dioxide emissions per person."

Later, on page 215, Rosling shows with facts, figures, and graphs, that developed countries including the US, Sweden, and Canada currently emit much more carbon dioxide per person than do China or India.
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