We’ve seen LEGO bricks used to build tons of unexpected creations – from wheelchairs to chandeliers. But everyone’s favorite toy brick can also be used to teach – Hans Rosling, a Swedish doctor and Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute, has done just that. His simple demonstration uses LEGO bricks to explain the current and future state of population growth and climate change, showing us where we are and where we’re going.
Using a handful of LEGO DUPLO bricks to represent the population distribution on the planet, along with discs from a game of Othello to represent child mortality rates and carbon emissions, Rosling puts together a quick picture of the state of things on the planet. He shows us that the http://inhabitat.com/world-population-to-hit-7-billion-people-this-week/population of the world, just within his lifetime, has increased by around 4 billion people, and that most of that new population has fallen between the poorest and the richest parts of the world, in terms of economic prosperity. That economic gap has also widened, with the poorest staying just about as poor as they had been, but the rich getting richer.
His demonstration also shows that the poorest countries have by far the highest child mortality rates, while producing very little carbon. In contrast, the richest countries have very low child mortality rates, and produce about as much carbon as the rest of the world combined. These may be complicated issues, but when demonstrated in LEGO, they becomes as plain as day.