I am flabbergasted by what I have seen this morning. Dumbfounded and amazed and awed, really. Let me explain.
Today I received an email from friend and colleague Jason Pearson. Jason is someone who is interested in design, sustainability, and in understanding the relationships between the ways we live and the impacts of our ways of living on our world.
In his email, Jason told me that he had launched something he calls Economy Map 2.0. You must immediately go and understand this project, and see his work in progress – it is definitely in a beta phase, and I will explain – here: www.economymap.org.
In my very, very humble opinion, the maps are much more useful, and cooler to see and experience, online (using the “launch” button) than they are if you download them (the “download” button). Try both if you’d like, but I think the online version is currently superior, as Jason says on the site.
Here is what Jason says about his project:
“Economy Map 2.0: An Overview
What if we could see the whole US industrial economy – and its environmental and human health impacts – all at once? See it. Understand it. Explore it. Economy Map provides knowledge of how industrial activities and economic forces affect the health of people and planet… giving us the power to effectively advocate for change. Economy Map is an interactive visual map of the United States economy and its environmental and human health impacts. It provides a way to dynamically explore and understand the sources and flow of goods, services, and environmental impacts among major industrial sectors.”
“Economy Map shows environmental impacts from three perspectives. Direct impacts are those generated directly by the activities of a sector. Sectors with high direct impacts offer opportunities for direct regulation by government to encourage technology improvement or substitution. Intermediate impacts include a sector’s direct impacts and the upstream impacts of its purchased goods/services. Sectors with high intermediate impacts offer opportunities for supply chain engagement. Final consumption impacts are the portion of total (direct and upstream) impacts generated in response to consumer and government demand. Sectors with high final consumption impacts offer opportunities for informed purchasing. In Economy Map, the shape of a sector communicates its environmental profile.”
Here is what one of the maps looks like – this one maps freshwater sedimentation.
Jason is using data that is older. But the data is complete enough to enable him to make these incredible maps. He and his colleagues will update the data as they can, making the maps ever more useful as the site develops.
Jason, this is completely astonishing. Folks, take some time with this. Look at the videos, and then look at the maps.
And then, perhaps, take action.