Website Maps US Economy and its Environmental Impacts

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Economy Map 2.0 Helps Citizens and Policymakers Identify Leverage Points for Change

Today, TRUTHstudio announced the release of Economy Map 2.0, an online, interactive, visual map of the United States economy and its environmental and human health impacts. This innovative software allows anyone to explore and understand the flow of goods, services, and environmental impacts among major industrial sectors.

Economy Map simultaneously displays the impacts of all 480 major industry sectors in the United States economy from three perspectives: direct impacts (generated by each sector); intermediate (direct and upstream) impacts; and final consumption impacts (in response to consumer or government demand). These perspectives help users to identify which sectors may be candidates for regulation, voluntary partnerships, or green purchasing approaches.

“I started with a simple question,” said Economy Map’s creator, Jason Pearson. “What knowledge and power would we gain if we could see the whole US economy and its environmental impacts, all at once? Now, it is now possible for anyone to make sense of the entire economy and its impacts. Citizens, policymakers, businesspeople, educators, students, and consumers alike can gain knowledge about our complex economy, and with that knowledge exercise power to make positive changes for the future.”

Economy Map 2.0 displays the entire economy in one of three visual formats: as a network of flows, as a grid of sectors, and as a series of bar graphs showing the top 20 sectors contributing to different environmental and human health impacts. In each view, it is possible to see, at a glance, which sectors are responsible for the most direct or indirect impacts. Some sectors, like power generation and agriculture, are the most significant direct contributors to a range of impacts, from global warming to human health to ocean acidification. Other sectors, like apparel and restaurants, are the most significant indirect causes of these same impacts.

The new version of Economy Map builds on an earlier beta version that was launched in December, 2010. It uses data from the widely respected Comprehensive Environmental Database Archive (CEDA), based on public information collected by the US Department of Commerce, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and other government sources. Economy Map is a research project initiated by TRUTHstudio in the public interest.

TRUTHstudio is a consultancy that provides research, analysis, strategy, visualization, and communication support to organizations working in the public interest. TRUTHstudio was founded in December, 2009 by Jason Pearson, former President and CEO of the non-profit sustainability institute, GreenBlue. TRUTHstudio uses systems thinking to provide a framework for understanding complexity, and design thinking to develop strategic approaches for engaging that complexity. For more information, go to http://www.truthstudio.com.

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Jason Pearson
TRUTHstudio
202-642-2336
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