Blog Archives

Geo-medicine: Mapping our pollution exposures

My latest post on The Atlantic’s Cities website explores geo-medicine, a new field that uses GIS mapping to correlate environmental conditions to health risks like heart attacks and cancer. There’s even a free app that allows you to map the types of toxic exposures in everyplace you’ve ever lived and correlate them to the likelihood of developing cancer or dying of a heart attack.

Beyond charting the potential for your own personal doomsday, however, geo-medicine has many other applications: It can allow doctors to zoom in on a patient’s life to create a geographically enhanced medical history. Or it can zoom out to give public health officials, city planners and activists detail-rich insights on how to improve the well-being of entire communities.

Check out my story and let me know what you think!


Sustainabilty Roundup: The Fate of Chesapeake Restoration, the Climate Bill + Garbage Islands

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its draft cleanup plan for the Chesapeake Bay yesterday, triggering the start of a 60 day comment period.

With the Climate bill back in the Senate limelight, there have been a flurry of stories assessing its fate. Here are a couple: The New York Times gives the latest play by play. This Reuters‘ story out of Paris warns U.S. energy bills will double in the future if Congress doesn’t pass legislation that starts to wean the country off of dwindling and increasingly expensive fossil fuels.

The EPA  is moving ahead on plans to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Greenpeace is turning the screws to Newsweek. It wants to know how much money the magazine makes from running ads for Big Oil‘s largest lobbying group.

NPR’s Morning Edition has a story on how dust particles floating in the air are bad for your health.  Meanwhile, Reuters reports on new research suggesting that extremes of temperature and heavy air pollution lead to heartatacks.

The New York Times has an article and slide show on the islands of garbage foating around the planet’s oceans.