Sunday Jan 29, 2023

What’s Going On in This Graph? | Feb. 2, 2022 – The New York Times


The clean energy revolution is replacing oil and gas with new global commodities: the minerals and metals needed in electric car batteries, solar panels and other forms of renewable energy. Plus, more and more of the technology we buy, from smartphones and laptops to home appliances and toys, are built with these natural resources.

Places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, which produces two-thirds of the world’s supply of cobalt used in batteries, for example, are stepping into the kinds of roles once played by Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich nations. And a race between China and the United States to secure metal and mineral supplies could have far-reaching implications for the shared goal of protecting the planet.

How will the world obtain sufficient quantities of these key metals to make the products we depend on?

On Wednesday, Feb. 2, we will moderate your responses live online. By Friday morning, Feb. 4, we will provide the “Reveal” — the graphs’ free online link, additional questions, shout outs for student headlines and Stat Nuggets.

1. After looking closely at the map above (or at this full-size image), answer these four questions:

  • What do you notice?

  • What do you wonder?

The questions are intended to build on one another, so try to answer them in order.

2. Next, join the conversation online by clicking on the comment button and posting in the box. (Teachers of students younger than 13 are welcome to post their students’ responses.)

3. Below the response box, there is an option to click on “Email me when my comment is published.” This sends the link to your response which you can share with your teacher.

4. After you have posted, read what others have said, then respond to someone else by posting a comment. Use the “Reply” button to address that student directly.

On Wednesday, Feb. 2, teachers from our collaborator, the American Statistical Association, will facilitate this discussion from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time.

5. By Friday morning, Feb. 4, we will reveal more information about the graph, including a free link to the article that includes this graph, at the bottom of this post. We encourage you to post additional comments based on the article, possibly using statistical terms defined in the Stat Nuggets.

We’ll post more information here on Thursday afternoon. Stay tuned!


See all graphs in this series or collections of 60 of our favorite graphs, 28 graphs that teach about inequality and 24 graphs about climate change.

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