Methane by the kilo

December 22, 2009

A few folks wondered what difference it would make to express yesterday’s graph by the kilo.  So, I’ve knocked something up based on some (very) rough estimates of boneless meat yields of the animals we are likely to eat.


Low-emission meat means we’re cookin’ with gas

December 22, 2009

Published in Crikey.

The world leaders let us down in Copenhagen.  So, (as usual) if we want the job done right, we’ve got to do it ourselves.  One place to start may be to substitute high-emission meat with low-emission meat on the dinner table.

Some animals do a lot more burping and farting than others.  To give you a feel for who’s who in the zoo, here’s a chart:

Is it really getting hotter down here?

December 22, 2009

Published in Crikey.

Last week the World Meteorological Organisation announced that 2009 is shaping up to be Australia’s third hottest year on record (since 1910). That got me  wondering what the rest of the top 10 were, so just in case you were wondering too, here they are:

I know that’s not graph pr0n, so for aficionados of the chart, here’s the complete set with a decade long moving average.  Things do seem to be hotting up down under.

Source: Bureau of Meteorology – Time Series Data

Stats don’t lie, Tony Abbot has no chance of being PM

December 10, 2009

Did the Libs choose the wrong man for the job?

If history is anything to go by, Australians prefer their PM’s to have a last name that starts with F or H, not A.

We also like our PM’s to have been born in September or August (like Joe Hockey) but never in November (Tony’s birthday is 4 November 1957).

Source:  National Archives of Australia

Lies, damned lies and boat arrivals

November 26, 2009

Published in Crikey

Kevin Rudd yesterday was asked about the number of illegal boat people arrivals in Australia since his pre-election commitment to “turn back the boats”.

He answered the question with statistics that I have graphed for your viewing pleasure.  They seem at odds with the graph I published last week until you realise that Rudd has been somewhat selective with the statistics he cited.

Source: Hansard Proof 25 November 2009

For ease of reference, here’s my graph from last week:

Effort versus reward for politicians

November 25, 2009

Published in Crikey

Just in case Malcolm Turbull is wondering whether the grass is greener elsewhere, I’ve compiled a handy reckoner of effort versus reward for politicians.

This chart compares the number of parliamentary sitting days for each lower house (House of Reps in Australia, House of Commons in the UK, etc) with the current base salary for a member of that house.

The UK, Irish, NZ and South African parliaments are clearly to be avoided, but how about the US or West Australia (well any Australian State except Tasmania, really)?

Sitting Day data is sourced from Horne, N, Parliamentary sitting days and hours 2008, Parliamentary Library, 19 November 2009.

Salary data is compiled from a survey of the various parliamentary websites and Parliamentary allowances, salaries of office and entitlements, Parliamentary Library, 1 October 2009.

What the rich people are reading

November 24, 2009

Published in Crikey

Ever wondered how much money the bloke next to you on the bus is earning? A quick glance at what he is reading might give you a clue.

The percentage of the readership of each of Australia’s major print publications has been graphed for your viewing pleasure. I’ve also included the relevant datapoint for Australia as a whole.

*Data compiled from a survey of the online demographics information provided by each print publication as at 20 November 2009.

Immigration detention and Boat Arrivals Mashup

November 19, 2009

A few folks have asked me to show other arrival types on the same graph as yesterday’s, so here ’tis.

This is a mashup of the data from yesterday with data on immigration detention related to visa overstays and arrivals by air.

There are other causes of detention (including fishing vessels and visa cancellation) which I have not included on the chart so as not to make it too confusing.  The full data set for the detention set is current only until the 2007-08 year and is available from here.

Boat People: the real data

November 18, 2009

Published in Crikey.

There’s a lot of rhetoric about boat people at the moment.  Here are the facts on the number of people arriving by boat since 1989.

Data from 2001–02 onwards includes arrivals at both excised and non-excised places.

2008–09 figures include crew members and the 5 people killed following an explosion on board a boat on 16 April, but do not include the 2 men found drifting in an esky in the Torres Strait on 17 January 2009, or the 4 people found on Deliverance Island with no sign of a boat on 29 April 2009.

2009–10 figures include the 12 people who died during the boat sinking of 1 November 2009, but do not include the asylum seekers on board the Oceanic Viking intercepted in Indonesian waters.

Source: Phillips and Spinks, Boat arrivals in Australia since 1976, Parliamentary Library, last updated 18 November 2009: accessed 19 November 2009.