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Public Health and Medicine in an Age of Energy Scarcity

August 9, 2011

peak-healthcare-medCindy Parker and I, the Post Carbon Institute’s two Health Fellows, have partnered as co-editors with Jeremy Hess at Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control, and Howard Frumkin, Dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health, on a Special Theme Issue on peak petroleum and health in the leading public health journal, the American Journal of Public Health.

The e-publications were posted the week of July 21, 2011 and abstracts are available on the First Look section of the journal’s website and on PubMed. Formal publication is expected for September 2011. The series of eight peer-reviewed articles include an overview of the topic (Schwartz et al. Public Health and Medicine in an Age of Energy Scarcity), and articles on peak petroleum and health care (Hess et al. Public Health and Medicine in an Age of Energy Scarcity), public health and local health departments (Barnett et al. Petroleum Scarcity and Public Health), built environment (Kaza et al. Peak Oil, Urban Form, and Public Health), war and conflict (Klare et al. The Public Health Implications of Resource Wars), agriculture and food systems (Neff et al. Peak Oil, Food Systems, and Public Health), communication (Nisbet et al.Framing Peak Petroleum as a Public Health Problem), and global health (Winch et al. Peak Oil and Health in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.

The public health community is developing heightened concern about peak oil and health, and the Special Theme Issue attests to this, highlighting the complex connections, potential large impacts on health, and general lack of understanding and preparation for more expensive oil.

Brian S. Schwartz, MD, MS