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PSR Monitor

March 29, 2022

Peace and Security

Helicopter in Ukraine Photo: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine / CC BY-SA 2.0

Is nuclear deterrence "keeping the peace"? Ask the Ukrainians.

For decades, American "international security experts" have explained that the nuclear-armed nations retain nuclear weapons "to keep the peace." On February 24, President Vladimir Putin proved that this is a false narrative, launching a war and precipitating a humanitarian catastrophe. PSR has condemned Putin's invasion of Ukraine, called for immediate withdrawal of troops and an end to nuclear saber-rattling. So have the United Nations, multiple international health federations including International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), twelve Nobel Peace Laureates, the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Back from the Brink, atomic bomb survivors and countless others. The threat of escalation to nuclear weaponry is real and has been vocalized. In this historic moment, we must redouble our efforts to end this war and to decisively end the threat of nuclear war.

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Edgar Lopez of Nuclear Free SchoolsPhoto: Fukuhara/Shadows for Peace

The Kids Are Alright: Youth Orgs Centered on Nuclear Disarmament Activism and Beyond

We all know the youth are our future. And if Gen Z is any indication of what the future holds, we might be alright too.

With the power of the internet and social media, Generation “Z” has taken activism by storm. Youth organizations centered on social justice activism and advocacy are popping up left and right, a sign that the youth are fed up with the current systems of injustice, and are ready to make some serious changes. If you’re interested in learning more about what Gen Z is up to in their spare time — and supporting this work — check out the list here!

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War in Ukraine - event flyer

War in Ukraine, Nuclear Weapons and Why We Need to Abolish Them: A Back from the Brink Virtual Open House

Thursday, March 31 at 8:00 pm EDT

National PSR and PSR chapters have been working across the country in support of the Back from the Brink (BftB) campaign advocating for a world free of nuclear weapons and common sense US nuclear weapons policies that will make the world safer, healthier and more just. This one hour Zoom discussion will provide an opportunity learn the latest on how the Ukraine war is impacting BftB’s work. We'll share updates about Back from the Brink's strategies and priorities, and provide folks with specific actions they can take at this moment, in their communities. We are delighted that nuclear weapons expert and disarmament advocate, Zia Mian, Co-Director of Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security, will be joining us. 

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Environment & Health

Air pollution from smokestack

PSR Testifies before U.S. EPA

Climate Ambassadors Dr. Alan Lockwood and Dr. Janis Petzel, board members Dr. Mike Martin and  Dr. Todd Sack, and E&H Director Barb Gottlieb all testified at a virtual EPA hearing on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. EPA's rulemaking would restore the legal finding, overturned by the Trump administration, that it is "appropriate and necessary" to regulate mercury and air toxics under the Clean Air Act. This would re-enable EPA to regulate mercury and other pollutants emitted by power plants. Read several of our speakers' testimony here.

Gas burner

Gas Stove Health Threats Training

The Environment & Health program launched our new webinar-based training, "Cooking With Gas: Health Harms from Gas Stoves." This training, which exposes the harmful air pollutants produced by gas stoves and what you can do to reduce your risk, received rave reviews from participants. Sessions are being scheduled around the nation. If you were unable to attend, you can find the recording here. If you would like to schedule a Health Harms from Gas Stoves training for your organization, medical society, or PSR chapter, please contact Zach Williams (

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Diagram of indoor air pollution in kitchen

PSR Calls for Gas Stoves Hearing

PSR is joining with allies to ask Congress to hold a hearing on health harms from gas stoves. Gas stoves emit health-harming pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide, that can exacerbate pre-existing respiratory illnesses and cause asthma in children. By calling for a congressional hearing, we hope to highlight the health and safety issues posed by gas stove pollution and explore actions the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission could take to protect public health. Read the letter here. Individual health professionals are invited to add their names to the letter here.

Upcoming Events

2022 CA Legislative Review
Wed. Mar. 30, 7:00 - 8:30 pm PDT
Policy experts will review 2022 CA legislative efforts related to environmental health and the climate crisis. Hosted by San Francisco Bay Area PSR. Register

War in Ukraine, Nuclear Weapons and Why We Need to Abolish Them: A Back from the Brink Virtual Open House
Thu. Mar. 31, 8:00 pm EDT
One hour Zoom discussion from Back to the Brink. Learn the latest on how the Ukraine war is impacting BftB's work, updates about strategies and priorities, and actions you can take in your community. Special guest Zia Mian, Co-Director of Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security. Register

Greater Boston PSR Monthly Meeting
Mon. Apr. 4, 7:00 pm EDT
Greater Boston PSR Monthly Meeting — open to all. Please contact Anna Baker at for Zoom information.

Examining Carbon Capture Through a Public Health & Environmental Justice Lens
Fri. Apr. 8, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm EDT
Panel presentation + discussion to explore Carbon Capture & Sequestration – The promise, health hazards, and costs. Co-Sponsored by PSR and the Science & Environmental Health Network. Register

Connecting the Dots: Air Pollution, Climate and Health
Sat. Apr. 9, 9:00 am - Noon EDT
Designed for health professionals seeking in-depth understanding of the health sequelae of air pollution driven climate change, clinical tools to recognize and address these sequelae, and recommendations for future advocacy in the clinic and in the community. This activity has been approved for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Register

Climate Change and Health: Indicators and Pathways
Fri. Apr. 15, Noon - 4:30 pm EDT
PSR Pennsylvania online conference focusing on climate and weather impacts on mental health and wellbeing, the built environment and populations of concern, and social and health inequities. Register

Ukraine & Nuclear Weapons: Finding a Way Forward
Mon. Apr. 18, Noon - 1:00 pm EDT
Zoom discussion presented by PSR Maine and Veterans for Peace, featuring Peter Wilk, Martin Fleck, Jasmine Owens, and Ken Mayers. Register

Symposium on Rocky Flats: Impacts on the Environment and Health
Sat. Apr. 23, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm MDT
Virtual event with in-person option (Superior, CO)
PSR Colorado symposium spanning topics ranging from the history of Rocky Flats, contamination issues still plaguing the area, legal issues, critical analyses of epidemiological studies, and effects of radiation on the genome and epigenome. The Colorado Medical Society designates this live activity for a maximum of 6.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Register

Building Electrification: Climate, Health, Equity
Wed. Apr. 27, 6:00 pm PT / 9:00 pm ET
Fossil fuel ("natural" gas) appliances harm climate and health. Learn how to protect your family and advocate for all-electric homes. Hosted by SF Bay PSR and co-sponsored by PSR National, RMI, Climate Health Now, and Local Clean Energy Alliance. Register

PA Health Check Up – Cooking with Gas: Health Harms from Gas Stoves
Fri. May 13, 1:00 – 2:00 pm EDT
This training exposes the harmful air pollutants produced by gas stoves, their negative impacts on the human body, the exacerbated impacts on vulnerable populations, and how health professionals can help their patients reduce their risk. CME credit will be offered: this activity is approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Register

PSR Actions

Support Ceasefire in Ukraine


In the news

War in Ukraine highlights clear need to abolish nuclear weapons
Scott Allan Baker, chair of WNCPSR, Asheville Citizen-Times - Mar 27


Olympia doctors want indoor gas use discontinued
The Jolt News - Mar 23
Coverage of Washington PSR physicians speaking at an Olympia city council meeting


L.A. needs clean energy. Hydrogen could be the answer — or gas industry greenwashing
Los Angeles Times - Mar 21
Quotes Martha Dina Argüello of PSR-Los Angeles


Ukraine and the Global Color Line
Mari Faines and Jasmine Owens, PSR, and Raeghn Draper, Beyond the BombInkstick Media - Mar 18


Support peace by eliminating nuclear weapons
Bangor Daily News - Mar 18
Mentions PSR Maine


The only way to guarantee nuclear weapons are never used
Ira Helfand, MD, Barry Levy, MD and Matt Bivens, MD, PSR, CNN - Mar 17


Physicians and the Health Consequences of War
JAMA Forum - Mar 17
Mentions PSR and IPPNW


Group appeals dismissal of lawsuit over Boulder building Rocky Mountain Greenway
Colorado Hometown Weekly - Mar 17
Coverage of PSR Colorado lawsuit


Boston doctor, addressing Russians, warns against nuclear war and 'end of civilization'
Boston Globe - Mar 16
Article on James Muller, MD, IPPNW


Climate Anxiety: Addressing the Psychological Effects of Global Warming
Between the Lines - Mar 16
Radio interview with PSR Board Member Lise Van Susteren, MD


Unmute Yourself - Ukraine
Ploughshares - Mar 16
Recording of event on Ukraine featuring panelist Mari Faines, PSR's Director of Communications and Outreach


How a nuclear disaster in Ukraine could bring the war to our doorstep in a moment's notice
Tova Fuller, MD, MPH and Michael Martin, MD, San Francisco Chronicle - March 15


No, Ukraine Was Not Wrong to Give Up Its Nukes
Matt Bivens, MD, PSR Board Member, Common Dreams - Mar 15


What to know about the threat of nuclear war
On Point with Meghna Chakrabarti (WBUR) - March 14
Radio interview with PSR Board Member Ira Helfand, MD


Protesters in Amherst rally for peace — and an end to nuclear weapons
Amherst Bulletin - Mar 14
Quotes PSR Board Member Ira Helfand, MD


Critics want Clean Energy Fund program frozen
Portland Tribune - Mar 14
Mentions Oregon PSR


The Winter War Ghost Haunts Putin's War Today
David P. Barash PhD, Psychology Today - Mar 11


California Legislators Call for More Stringent Requirements for Oil and Gas
Legal Planet (Berkeley Law) - Mar 10
Mentions PSR-Los Angeles


Nuclear regulators to reconsider environmental impact of Point Beach license extension [subscription required]
Wisconsin State Journal - Mar 10
Quotes PSR Wisconsin's Hannah Mortensen


The Black Community Has Always Sought a World Free From Nuclear Weapons
Mari Faines, PSR Director of Communications and Outreach, Mar 9 - Outrider


Over 200 groups call on Biden to use the Defense Production Act to help Ukraine by accelerating the clean energy transition - Mar 9
Letter signed by several PSR chapters


With prayers, sunflowers, and each other, hundreds gather at a Ukrainian church in Bridgeport
The Philadelphia Inquirer - Mar 6
Coverage of event co-sponsored by PSR Pennsylvania


Physicians for Social Responsibility discuss nuclear confrontations at Springfield Rotary Club
WWLP - Mar 4
Coverage of presentation by PSR's Ira Helfand, MD


Reducing the risks of nuclear war to humanity
Ira Helfand, MD, PSR Board Member, Patricia Lewis and Andy Haines, The Lancet - Mar 4


Mass. doctor keeps crusading for peace in a time of war
Boston Globe - Mar 3
Article featuring Greater Boston PSR & IPPNW members Drs. Jim Muller, Ira Helfand, John Pastore and Joe Hodgkin


How can we fight—here, now—to stop war and avoid nuclear catastrophe?
The Real News - Mar 2
Recording and transcript of event featuring PSR's Ira Helfand, MD


Ukraine Would Be Even Less Safe With Nuclear Weapons
David Barash, PhD, The Daily Beast - Mar 2


Open letter from civil society organizations regarding the situation in Ukraine
Pressenza - Mar 2
Letter signed by Oregon PSR


Russian Invaders, and Ukraine's Civilian Toll
Barry S. Levy, MD, PSR member, The New York Times - Mar 1


'A Perilous Moment': Groups Warn Putin Invasion Escalates Risk of Nuclear War
Common Dreams - Feb 25
Quotes PSR's statement condemning the invasion of Ukraine


Physicians for Social Responsibility Condemns the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
PSR Statement - Feb 24


Letter to the Editor on Ukraine and nuclear weapons
Barbara Warren, MD, PSR Arizona president, Arizona Daily Star - Feb 24


Any US Military Involvement in Ukraine Needs Congressional Approval
The Nation - Feb 23
Mentions PSR


Nuclear War Risk Rises as Tension Mounts Between Nuclear Superpowers over Ukraine
Democracy Now - Feb 23
Interview with Ira Helfand, MD


Gas stoves might pose risks to both our planet and health
Hub (Johns Hopkins University) - Feb 22
Cites PSR's gas stoves report


War in Eastern Europe: On the Brink of a Humanitarian Disaster
IPPNW - Feb 19
Webinar with Olga Mironova, MD, Linda Pentz Gunter, Ira Helfand, MD, and Barry Levy, MD, MPH


Editorial: PFAS should not be used in hydraulic fracturing
The Denver Post - Feb 18
Cites PSR's fracking chemicals in Colorado report

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