I woke up with a breakthrough!
After slogging and struggling with trying to see correlations in my data, I realised I have been going about this all wrong. The whole idea behind this project is interconnection, so allowing the divisions of nations to cause problems with displaying data is part of the problem. It makes considerably more sense to look at worldwide totals over a period of time to see if there are parallel degradations in human health and the natural environment. I was trying to see correlations by looking at just the current situation, but that was never going to show any decline, just what the most recent data shows; a static representation.
Of course, this would happen after I had submitted the thesis, but there is always time to improve on a digital artefact.
My latest data viz, before this breakthrough. Still not good enough.