HIDING BEHIND THE SCREEN: Conventions in Embodied Energy and CO2 Research
Authors: Alcorn, Andrew
What we often see on screen when we look up data is a set of end figures. Hiding behind the numbers in
environmental databases are decisions taken by the researcher that may significantly affect the results.
For the user of environmental information databases it is often difficult, if not impossible, to discover what
these decisions are. Because of the newness of environmental research, many of these decisions, that
may be philosophical or political in nature, do not have well-established precedents. For the researcher
and builder of the database, how is it practical to convey the decisions, protocols and conventions
employed to the next user of the information? This paper gives examples of anomalies in embodied
energy and embodied CO2 research and argues for consistency.