Why data on carbon is sexy

Measuring carbon is sexy because: there’s nothing else – and only measuring can get us where we need to go.

There have been massive developments in technology to reduce carbon emissions – but the problem is that nobody has a good idea how much any of them can work.

People in general are very poor at understanding scale anyway – recognising that a 100m wind turbine can make 10,000 x as much power as a 1m wind turbine. A 1m wind turbine is still large enough to upset your neighbours, and the power it will generate compared to a 100m turbine is nearly useless.

The only way this can be clear is by measuring and knowing and understanding how it can all work.

What technologies are there which can help get us there?

Why data carbon?

In order to reduce carbon emissions, we have to manage them better, that is not an original statement

It is more or less impossible to reduce carbon emissions any other way – we can try to persuade people to drive less but it looks unlikely to work.

Managing carbon emissions is already very advanced – but it needs to be more advanced in order to succeed – and we’ll need plenty of IT tools in order to do it.

Data needs to be gathered, moved, analysed, processed, communicated – and then we need to get better at communicating it – not just giving people information, but making the information part of their lives – like the way Fiat did with their Eco:drive.

A bit like losing weight. The first and most difficult step to losing weight is deciding that you want to lose weight. Then starting to think about it every time you eat – how much are you going to eat and when. Then measuring and seeing very little progress. Then realising how far you need to change your daily habits in order to lose weight. And finally, seeing slow progess. Perhaps we need to do it like that.

All of the technology developments are very industry specific – different approaches in different places. Perhaps there is some best practise which can be shared from one to another.



Using data technology to better manage carbon

In order for us to make best use of our existing hydrocarbons, and manage the emissions, takes a lot of measuring. We need to understand what data we are gathering and how we are calculating it.

This website will cover all the new technology – and applications of the technology to get that done.


There is an environmental philosophy underlying this – that we can’t do much more by simply shouting at people for releasing too much carbon inefficiently – we need to measure it – and once we can measure it, then we can bring in a various measures (regulatory, tax, encouragement, social schemes) to do it. Other people can have the discussions about the regulation, tax, and gather the data itself – we’re here to talk about the technology.