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PSR Monitor

December 26, 2023

Environment & Health

Induction cooktop - click to read more

Environment & Health moves the needle on energy policy!

In 2023, the Environment & Health team's strategic highlighting of the health effects of energy choices helped to change policies across the nation. Read about our work on building decarbonization, federal agency rulemaking, and fracking.

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COP28 group - click to read morePhoto: COP28 / Mahmoud Khaled, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

COP28: Cup half-full or half-empty?

Delegates at the United Nations COP28 climate talks adopted a "historic" statement urging nations around the world to transition away from fossil fuels. It is the first time a COP conference has actually cited fossil fuels as causing climate change. But did the conference call on the world to end the use of fossil fuels? Not really.

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Colorado forest - click to take action

Tell the Forest Service: No carbon dumping on our lands!

Carbon capture and storage is a false solution proposed by the most-polluting industries — one that only prolongs our dependence on fossil fuels. The United States Forest Service has suggested our national forests and grasslands are the right places to inject captured carbon into the earth. Not only is this dangerous for our environment, climate and health, but it sets a dangerous precedent that opens the door for further exploitation of our natural resources. Our public lands should be protected from corporate greed, NOT used as a dumping ground for climate-damaging industrial carbon. Write your comment today!

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Nuclear Weapons Abolition

Bella with Youth4TPNW at UN - click to read more

Nuclear Weapons Abolition Program's 2023 Year in Review

World events brought more salience to PSR's ongoing struggle to lower the risk of nuclear war, achieve justice for nuclear-affected communities, and stop the theft of public resources by the military industrial complex. PSR's Nuclear Weapons Abolition Program aided local activists commemorating the Hiroshima and Nagasaki anniversaries, brought Downwinders to Washington, DC to fight for expanding the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, convened a panel to explore the health harms of uranium mining, worked with Back from the Brink to secure cosponsorships on legislation supporting the nuclear ban treaty, and for those who flocked to the cinema to see Oppenheimer, our chapters provided vital parts of the Manhattan Project story that were missing from the film.

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Activists holding letters spellin out #nuclearbanPhoto credit: Darren Ornitz, ICAN

At the UN, ratifiers of the Ban Treaty reject nuclear deterrence, push for treaty universalization

From November 27 to December 1, representatives from the 69 "states parties" (a.k.a. ratifying nations) to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) met at the United Nations in New York for the second Meeting of States Parties to the treaty. Sixteen PSR members, along with colleagues from International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), Back from the Brink, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and other allied organizations were among the 700 civil society registrants participating in the meeting. The official joint Declaration challenged nuclear deterrence theory, advocated for justice for nuclear-affected communities, and urged nuclear-armed countries to cease wasting precious resources on the chimera of nuclear weapons "security." PSR representatives share their impressions here.

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Activists from the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium - click to read morePhoto courtesy Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium

House leaders deny justice to radiation exposure victims, but the struggle continues

This year, PSR and allied organizations in the "RECA Working Group" have been fighting to expand and extend health benefits to impacted communities from U.S. nuclear weapons development and testing. We won a significant, bipartisan victory when the U.S. Senate — on July 27 — voted 61 to 37 for an amendment to greatly expand the reach and impact of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). But House leaders stripped these provisions from the budget. Although the RECA expansion did not survive House-Senate conference this year, PSR and allied groups will redouble our efforts to provide justice for impacted communities before the RECA program expires altogether in May, 2024.

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Make a gift by midnight on December 31, and it will be TRIPLE matched, up to $50,000. You can have 3X the impact on helping PSR address the existential threats of nuclear war and climate change.

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Upcoming Events

Greater Boston PSR January Monthly Meeting
Mon. Jan. 8, 7:00 pm EST
GBPSR's monthly meeting - Open to All. Contact Executive Director Anna Linakis to request the Zoom link:

Our Climate Crisis and Nuclear War
Sun. Jan. 14, 10:00 - 11:30 am EST
YPFP Tokyo and IPPNW will host a global webinar following COP28 and 2MSP and offer pathways to bring these dual issues together. Featuring former PSR president Dr. Ira Helfand. Register

The Public Health Crisis of Gun Violence
Wed. Jan. 17, Noon EST
PSR Pennsylvania webinar featuring an expert panel speaking on the role of healthcare providers in addressing the public health crisis of gun violence. CE credit available. Register

PSR PA Environmental Health Conference
Tue. Jan. 23 - Fri. Jan. 26
Save the date for PSR Pennsylvania's Environmental Health Conference. More details and registration coming soon.

Greening Your Medical Practice
Mon. Jan. 29, 7:00 pm CST
Join Texas PSR to learn how to reduce the environmental impact of your practice, saving money and the climate. Presented by PSR Member Dr. Todd Sack. CME credit available/CNE credit pending. Register

PSR Actions

Protect our forests, no carbon dumping!

In the news

Ohio will measure forever chemicals in rivers, but DeWine says factories are up to the feds
Cincinnati Enquirer - Dec 13
Cites PSR's Fracking Chemicals in Ohio report


Who does Senator Yaw represent?
The Lock Haven Express - Dec 12
Letter to the editor citing PSR's fracking Compendium


Northampton City Council on verge of accepting resolution denouncing nuclear war
The Reminder - Dec 12
Quotes PSR Past President Ira Helfand, MD


300+ Groups Appeal to US at COP28: End All Support of LNG
Common Dreams - Dec 8
Mentions PSR


US Life Expectancy Still Lags: What Doctors Can Do Today
Medscape - Dec 5
Quotes Stephen Bezruchka, MD, MPH of Washington PSR


Policy Hearing Focuses on Minimizing Risk and Harm in Development of PA’s Hydrogen Infrastructure
Pennsylvania Senate Democrats - Dec 5
Testimony from Tammy Murphy, Advocacy Director, PSR Pennsylvania


Nuclear Abolitionists Occupy New York
Robert Dodge, MD, Common Dreams - Dec 4


Groups urge WA to warn about gas-burning health effects
Public News Service - Dec 4
Quotes Washington PSR's Mark Vossler, MD


70,000+ Healthcare Workers to Biden: Stop 'Malignant Growth' of LNG
Common Dreams - Dec 4
Quotes Greater Boston PSR's Regina LaRocque, MD, MPH


Labor unions are still giving Democrats climate headaches
Politico - Dec 4
Quotes Alex Jasset, Energy Justice Director, PSR-Los Angeles


Open Letter: The World Needs A Transformational Outcome, Not More Voluntary Pledges
Oil Change International - Dec 1
Letter signed by PSR National and several chapters


The Future of Nuclear Disarmament Lies with the Younger Generation
In Depth News - Dec 1
Statement signed by PSR chapters


We must act to curb black lung disease
Robert Little, MD, PSR Pennsylvania Board Member, Patriot-News - Nov 28


Pennsylvania lawmakers look for hydrogen models after hub announcement
StateImpact Pennsylvania (NPR) - Nov 22
Quotes PSR Pennsylvania's Environment & Health Education Director Linnea Bond


Amid Chemical Industry Misinformation, Advocates Push for Governor Hochul to Stand Up for Pollinators, Public Health
NRDC - Nov 15
Quotes PSR New York President Kathleen Nolan, MD, MSL


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