sustainable healthcare media analysis
Environmental Health News

Code Green: Burnout, climate change and equity

Welcome to summer. Let's step back and take in a year's worth of sustainable healthcare coverage in one sweep.


The above graph shows the 1,553 stories, each represented by a dot, published since last June that our software picked up.

  • X-axis: Number of media outlets publishing the story
  • Y-axis: Count of social media posts sharing that story
  • Colors represent thematic clusters.

Note that both axes are logarithmic.

Focus this week on the upper right quadrant: Stories that proved popular by media editors and social media users alike.

  • They got seen and shared, and they drove conversations.

Three main themes dominated the most widely read and shared stories:

  1. Staff burnout & shortages (red dots)
  2. Climate change (purple)
  3. Healthcare inequity (teal)

Stay abreast of sustainable healthcare coverage

Get our Code Green newsletter in your inbox - FREE!

A bi-weekly newsletter for people who care about reimagining health care, sustainably.
Better than coffee.

Staff burnout & climate change

sustainable healthcare coverage climate change

The big red dot, with some 27,000 media shares, is a Texas Tribune article from August about Texas' acute healthcare worker shortage amid staff burnout and a Covid-19 surge. It wasn't just Texas: Quite a few red dots representing stories focused on staffing sit in this most popular quadrant.

What we find encouraging is the number of purple dots in that quadrant, representing stories focused on climate change – such as this piece from ABC News national correspondent Chris Conte on doctors incorporating climate change into their practices.

It's going to become a more frequent topic for healthcare globally, with reports just this week of more than 1,000 people hospitalized in Iraq as dust storms ravaged the Middle East.

Inequity in healthcare

healthcare equity coverage

Equally heartening is the plethora of teal in the graph's upper quadrant. Each of those represents a story on inequity in health care, such as this Stateline piece from September on how pandemic health inequities highlight the need for better obesity prevention.

Stay with us on that last point, as Environmental Health Sciences will be hosting a conference this fall on obesogens – hormone hijacking compounds in medical and consumer products that alter our body chemistry and contribute to obesity.

Overall, we'd say the coverage trend suggests the media and public are moving on from the intense focus on PPE and Covid we've seen in the healthcare sustainability space since the pandemic hit.

A look at the year in sustainable healthcare coverage shows public moving beyond PPE and Covid.

Brooklyn Hughes Roemer: How your lifestyle can impact environmental sustainability

Individual actions may seem small — but you are mistaken if you believe that makes them insignificant. Our choices matter more than ever.
Sunrise in the woods

Get our Good News newsletter

Get the best positive, solutions-oriented stories we've seen on the intersection of our health and environment, FREE every Tuesday in your inbox. Subscribe here today. Keep the change tomorrow.

Hanna Saltzman: It has never been more urgent and important for local governments to step up as climate leaders

In a devastating blow to children’s health, the court ruled that, regardless of the Clean Air Act, the EPA does not have broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Extreme lightning adds more wildfires to historic season in Alaska

An unusual spate of lightning has ignited more than 50 new wildfires in Alaska, worsening air quality, spurring communities to prepare to evacuate and exacerbating an already historic fire season in the state.

Derrick Z. Jackson: Children will suffer the consequences of recent Supreme Court rulings

It appears to be of no concern to the Supreme Court’s 6-3 ultraconservative majority how children are collateral damage in its monumental rulings to close the 2021-22 term.

Keep reading...Show less

Sharon Y Eubanks: I led the US lawsuit against big tobacco for its harmful lies. Big oil is next

A legal tipping point may be soon approaching for fossil fuel companies and the spin masters that work for them. As with our case against tobacco, too many lives will be lost before these cases are resolved. But accountability is coming soon, and the implications will be vast.

California released a bold climate plan, but critics say it will harm vulnerable communities and undermine its goals

Environmental justice and climate advocacy groups say the draft plan relies too heavily on carbon capture and could increase pollution in low-income neighborhoods.

In agriculture, a perennial problem with grains

Some researchers say Kernza will make the food system more sustainable; others doubt it will ever produce enough grain.
From our Newsroom
summer reading list

Our annual summer reading list, 2022 edition

Happy 4th of July! Here's some summer reading picks from our staff.

environmental injustice

Centering biodiversity and social justice in overhauling the global food system

“The food system is the single largest economic sector causing the transgressing of planetary boundaries.”

Global Warming: Why the problem is worse – and solutions simpler – than you thought

Global Warming: Why the problem is worse – and solutions simpler – than you thought

Noted ecologist John Harte offers a fresh take on the dire topic of climate change.

Colorado fracking

Colorado is the first state to ban PFAS in oil and gas extraction

The toxic “forever chemicals” are used in fracking wells across the country.

gun control

Peter Dykstra: Gun and climate change delusions

Millions here suffer from twin hallucinations: Guns don’t cause our mass shootings, and the climate isn’t changing.

Op-ed: An engine for social justice leads the way to change

Engine for social justice leads to change

Virginia Organizing's 27-year history as a role model for The Daily Climate

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.