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PSR Monitor

November 29, 2023

Environment & Health

Series of U.S. maps showing effects of climate change by region (temperature, precipitation, sea level)

Three New Assessments Find Huge Climate Impacts

Three important reports on climate change were issued recently — and the news isn't good. The fifth "National Climate Assessment" found that the U.S. is experiencing huge impacts and huge expenses due to climate change — and every part of the country is feeling the effects. Almost simultaneously, the prestigious "Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change" released its eighth update, which showed that globally, more people are getting sick and dying from droughts, food insecurity, extreme heat, and other disastrous climate effects. And a few days later, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that summer 2023 was the hottest ever recorded. Read more about all three reports — and also about signs of hope.

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Cover image from PSR's Fracking Chemicals in Pennsylvania report

PSR's PFAS Report Put to Immediate Use

As soon as PSR released our report documenting the use of toxic PFAS chemicals in Pennsylvania oil and gas operations, six state-based organizations sent the report to policymakers asking them to ban the use of PFAS and to “fully disclose the use of chemicals in the extraction of oil and gas including during hydraulic fracturing, drilling, and other stages or methods of extraction.” The groups, which included PSR Pennsylvania, raised these demands to the governor, leading figures in the state Senate and House of Representatives, and several state administrative agencies. In the last few weeks, environmental and health advocates have engaged the governor in a lively debate about how to regulate fracking in Pennsylvania. Supporting this kind of proactive and persistent coalition is precisely why we write these reports. See the groups' letter here.

Sign reading "Warning: Carbon Dioxide Pipeline"Photo: Jeffre Beall / CC BY 4.0

Rural Landowners in Midwest Foil Massive CO2 Pipeline Project

Think we can’t fight against the corporate energy giants and win? Think again. A coalition of rural landowners in the Midwest, convened by an intrepid retired academic, just blocked the Navigator CO2 carbon dioxide pipeline. This massive project would have pumped carbon dioxide 1,300 miles across South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois before storing it underground. It was intended to be part of the pseudo-fix known as "carbon capture and storage." But the more people learned about the dangers of CO2 pipelines, the more they were able to persuade their local town councils to oppose them. Read this inspiring story as told by Inside Climate News.

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Capitol Dome close up

Updated status on critical government funding

After several months of negotiations, Congress is still in the throes of the appropriations process, though luckily we have avoided a government shutdown once again. Funding deadlines for our agencies and other critical government functions now extend into the new year. This gives us more time to advocate for equitable spending for our health and environment! PSR has made our positions clear in partnership with dozens of national leaders in our movement by submitting letters to the House of Representatives on nearly every appropriations bill that they’ve considered. Read through the letters and our policy positions here.

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COP28 logo

Make your voice heard at the United Nations Climate Change Conference

Health leaders across the globe are calling on decision makers to put health first and to prioritize a rapid and just transition away from fossil fuels. The deadline to sign an important letter heading to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP28, is tomorrow! The intrinsic connection between health and worsening climate change is undeniable. We know fossil fuels and the industries that profit from their use are responsible for this damage. The health perspective is crucial in the battle to phase out fossil fuels so add your name today!

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Building Pollution Report cover image

PSR Briefs Federal Agencies and Congressional Groups on Building Pollution

Three federal agencies and congressional groups were briefed regarding a new report co-authored by PSR National, Sierra Club, and WEACT for Environmental Justice titled The Outdoor Pollution is Coming From Inside the House. Staff members of the Electrification Caucus, the Department of Energy’s Energy and Environmental Justice Working Group, and the EPA Office of Air and Radiation were told about the dangerous concentrations of air pollutants being produced by buildings, their impacts on human health and disproportionate impact on vulnerable and environmental justice communities, and the policy options available to decrease pollution and increase health outcomes.

   Read the Report   
Family at a holiday meal with air pollution in the air above them

The Holiday Season: Corporate Greed Harms Our Health Around the Dinner Table

With holiday season in full swing, kitchens around the country are filled with family, laughter, and good food. Unfortunately, they are also filled with dangerous air pollution from our gas appliances that harms our and our family’s health while fossil fuel companies line their pockets. It is a known fact that gas appliances like gas stoves produce harmful air pollutants like nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter when in use, and even leak methane and benzene into our homes while turned off. Fossil fuel companies work incredibly hard to make sure that any progress towards healthier, electric homes is shoved off the table, using the same tactics used by Big Tobacco decades ago. To protect your and your family’s health this holiday season while enjoying your favorite meals, visit PSR National’s "Health Harms from Gas Stoves" webpage to learn what you can do to reduce your and your family’s exposure to pollutants.

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Protest sign reading "Climate Justice Now!"

PSR National Welcomes A New Cohort of Next Generation Climate and Health Ambassadors

PSR National is thrilled to announce that the Fall 2023 Next Generation Climate and Health Ambassadors program has begun! We have welcomed 31 healthcare professionals with diverse backgrounds, such as students studying medicine, public health, and environmental health, and newly practicing doctors. We've held our first training session where we explored the intersections of climate change, environmental justice, and nuclear weapons abolition. It is essential that young and emerging health care professionals are equipped with the tools they need to advocate for their local communities early in their career as climate change threatens health especially amongst children, low income people, and the elderly.

Nuclear Weapons Abolition

200 Elected Officials Urge President Biden to Get Serious About Nuclear Disarmament.

Over 200 local elected officials urge Biden to eliminate nuclear weapons

A total of 218 mayors, city councilors, county and municipal officials and state legislators from around the USA delivered a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to fulfill his campaign promise and act decisively and urgently to confront the existential threat to humanity posed by nuclear weapons. The Back from the Brink letter specifically urges the president to send an observer delegation to the 2nd Meeting of States Parties to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) now underway at the United Nations,  and to initiate negotiations with all nuclear weapons states toward a verifiable, timebound agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons from the planet.

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Our Struggles for Justice Are Connected.

Intersectional Justice

Why should communities across the environmental, peace and justice movements care about nuclear disarmament? Ultimately, the nuclear weapons industry works in opposition to a plethora of progressive causes. From its impacts on environmental sustainability to its neo-colonial tendencies, the nuclear weapons industry harms us all. This new PSR resource argues that the peace and justice community is stronger united, and that those within and without the nuclear disarmament community should take the time to engage with a range of causes.

   Read the Report   

Health Heroes Awards

Tina Cordova speaking at the Health Heroes Awards

Tina Cordova and the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium

On November 3 in Washington, DC, Physicians for Social Responsibility bestowed a Health Hero Award upon Tina Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium. In her acceptance speech, Cordova spoke about what Downwinders have experienced and the current debate in Congress over extending and expanding coverage in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA).

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Drs. Barbara Sharp & Todd Sack
Cathey Falvo, MD



Michael Martin, MD, MPH and Jeannee Marin, RN, MPH
John W. Rachow, MD, PhD



Ellen J. Ferranti, MD
Mark and Susan Vossler



Robert M. Gould, MD
Alan and Anne Lockwood
Marjaneh Moini, MD
David E. Drake, DO
Alexis Strongin
Lynn Ringenberg, MD
Ronald Saff
Elaine Scarry



Dr. Art Milholland & Dr. Luann Mostello
Steve and Janice McKee
Barbara H. Warren, MD, MPH
Metropolitan Group

Upcoming Events

Greater Boston PSR December Monthly Meeting
Mon. Dec. 4, 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST
GBPSR's monthly meeting — Open to All. Contact Executive Director Anna Linakis for questions or to request the Zoom link via:

Climate Change and Health Webinar
Tue. Dec. 5, 6:00 - 7:00 pm EST
PSR Maine hosts this webinar featuring Sage Canchola-Welch, principal and founder of Sunstone Strategies. Sage will discuss the health and climate benefits of pollution-free homes, available incentives to upgrade homes to clean energy technologies, equitable policy solutions and the latest results from polling about messages that resonate with the public. Register

PSR Actions

Make your voice heard at the United Nations Climate Change Conference


URGENT: Call Speaker Mike Johnson TODAY to support justice for nuclear affected communities

In the news

Meet three therapists who are helping Marylanders cope with their climate anxiety
Maryland Matters - Nov 27
Interview with PSR Board Member Lise Van Susteren, MD


Iowans with connections to Israel and Palestine share reactions to temporary cease-fire
We Are Iowa - Nov 24
Quotes Washington PSR member Maria Reveiz


Unmasking Secret Fracking Chemicals
Living on Earth - Nov 24
Radio segment citing PSR's fracking chemicals in Pennsylvania report


Hydrogen for heating is gaining steam. Is it safe?
E&E News - Nov 20
Quotes PSR's Barbara Gottlieb


Aiuto, questo Stato ha trovato tonnellate di "sostanze chimiche segrete"
Esquire Italia (Italian) - Nov 19
Coverage of PSR's fracking chemicals in Pennsylvania report


Stop open burning of sugar cane fields in Palm Beach County
Howard Kessler, MD, President of PSR Florida, The Palm Beach Post - Nov 15


Farmers, academics, advocates urge Biden, Xi to calm US-China tensions
The Hill - Nov 13
Coverage of letter signed by PSR


Want to get rid of your gas stove? Here's how to do it in NYC.
Gothamist - Nov 12
PSR's Zach Williams, MPH explains the health benefits of switching to electric appliances.


Study Finds Heavy Presence of PFAS in Fracking Chemicals - Nov 7
Coverage of PSR's fracking chemicals in Pennsylvania report


Pennsylvania's fracking boom is hurting its oldest residents
Grist - Nov 6
Quotes PSR Pennsylvania President Ned Ketyer, MD


Gas stoves are poisoning us; how the industry hid the danger
Michael J. Martin, MD, MPH, The San Jose Mercury News - Nov 4


Shapiro Orders New Controls on the Oil and Gas Industry in Pennsylvania, Targeting Methane Emissions and Drilling Chemicals
Inside Climate News - Nov 3
Cites PSR's fracking chemicals in Pennsylvania report


Health Versus Wealth Raised During Well Setback Debate
Gant News - Nov 2
Quotes PSR Pennsylvania President Ned Ketyer, MD


Healthy Homes this Holiday Season
Sierra Club Angeles Chapter - Nov 1
Cites building pollution report co-authored with PSR


EPA to Fund Studies of Toxic 'Forever Chemicals' in Agriculture
Inside Climate News - Oct 30
Cites PSR's PFAS report


A new report compiles years of data about the health risks associated with fracking
Allegheny Front - Oct 27
Coverage of PSR's fracking Compendium


Land Use Board of Appeals upholds Portland's right to limit fossil fuel storage
Street Roots - Oct 26
Mentions PSR Oregon


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