Physicians For Social Responsibility
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PSR Monitor

January 30, 2024

Nuclear Weapons Abolition

Rocky Flats - click to read more

PSR leads lawsuit against proposed Rocky Flats trail

Physicians for Social Responsibility, together with PSR Colorado and four other Colorado environmental organizations, have initiated legal proceedings against U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, and four federal bodies. The lawsuit, filed in the federal district court of the District of Columbia, seeks to stop the construction of an 8-mile recreational pathway in the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, citing plutonium contamination nearby.

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Bill Nye with Doomsday ClockPhoto courtesy Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Doomsday Clock remains perilously close to midnight

On January 23, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that the  iconic "Doomsday Clock" would remain this year at 90 seconds to midnight, the closest the clock has ever been to midnight since its introduction in 1947. On hand for the announcement, special presenter Bill Nye said, "We could be facing catastrophe unless we better manage the technologies we’ve created. It’s time to act." Bulletin spokespersons cited "an unprecedented level of danger" and urged us to "take this statement as a stark warning and respond urgently, as if today were the most dangerous moment in modern history."

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Environment & Health

Lady Justice statue - click to read more

PSR Joins Amicus Brief on Vital Supreme Court Case

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments recently in an all-important case where PSR is party to an amicus ("friend of the court") brief.

The case, known as Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, threatens to strip essential powers from executive branch agencies like Health and Human Services, EPA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others.

Under a Supreme Court case decided in 1984, administrative agencies, with their deep subject matter expertise, decide how to interpret and implement ambiguous elements of laws passed by Congress. Now, the Loper case proposes to remove that power from the executive branch.

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Carbon Monoxide Detector

PSR Leads Health Professional Push for New Carbon Monoxide Safety Standards

PSR National mobilized over 100 health professionals to urge the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to adopt newly proposed carbon monoxide (CO) safety standards for residential furnaces and boilers. CO is a dangerous air pollutant that causes over 100,000 emergency room visits, over 14,000 hospitalizations, and over 400 deaths every year. The CPSC’s proposed safety standards would help prevent CO emissions in our homes and warn us earlier when leaks do occur. PSR is also recommending the CPSC strengthen these new standards by aligning alarm thresholds for ambient CO concentrations with CDC guidelines related to CO exposure. Read the full letter below, and thank you to all who signed on.

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Group meeting with Rep. Stanton - click to take action

Tell President Biden: Clean air now!

President Biden’s administration needs to finalize crucial solutions for pollution now! We’re awaiting final rules from the EPA on particulate matter, carbon emissions from power plants, pollution from cars and trucks, and more. All too often, the oil and gas industry’s greed outweighs public health and environmental justice, while climate change continues to worsen. Now is the time to make sure our health voice is heard by the EPA. We’re doing everything we can to make that happen. Earlier this month, representatives from National PSR and PSR-PA met with Members of Congress to advocate on behalf of these EPA standards. Now we're asking you to join us in letting President Biden know that we want clean air standards finalized ASAP.

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Graphic of doctor and air pollution - click to learn more

Join us in Washington DC!

PSR is proud to join the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health as a partner in their 2024 Annual Meeting: From the Clinic to the Capitol, which will be held in person and virtually on February 11-13. This coalition-based event will give health professionals the opportunity to learn from one another, form collaborations, and generate new ideas to propel this movement forward. You’ll hear about our movement’s priorities through panels about taking on the oil and gas industry, promoting environmental justice, and passing critical policy just to name a few. This is particularly important in 2024, a pivotal year for climate action and civic engagement. If you are a health professional, learn more and register here.

Earth in Hands

Despite Partisan Politics, Concern for the Climate Is on the Rise

As natural disasters and unpredictable extreme weather patterns increase in both frequency and intensity, more and more Americans are growing concerned about climate change. According to the recently released 2023 Yale Climate Opinion Maps report, in both red and blue states, two thirds of Americans think that the President and Congress should prioritize developing clean energy. Additionally, more people now think that global warming will harm them personally, including 46% of folks surveyed in Georgia, up from 35% in 2010. While the specific percentage increase varies from red and blue states, the fact remains that Americans are concerned about climate change and are looking to their local, state, and federal governments to act.

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PSR Partners

2024 Bernard Lowd Award for Social Responsibility

Nominations Open for the Bernard Lown Award for Social Responsibility

The Lown Institute, established by the late Dr. Bernard Lown, a leader of Physicians for Social Responsibility, annually presents the Bernard Lown Award for Social Responsibility. This honor recognizes a clinician, 45 or younger, who demonstrates bold leadership in social justice, environmentalism, global peace, or other significant humanitarian efforts, in memory of Dr. Lown.


Cardiologist and PSR co-founder Dr. Lown was an influential physician-activist who is known for his advocacy work in health equity, climate change, and nuclear abolition. In addition to his work with PSR, he was also a co-founder of PSR's international affiliate, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985; Dr. Lown accepted the prize on IPPNW's behalf. He is credited with numerous advancements in cardiology, including developing the first safe and effective defibrillator.


Nominations for the Lown Award will be accepted through tomorrow, Wednesday, January 31. Submit a candidate for consideration here.


   Submit a Nomination  

Upcoming Events

Greater Boston PSR February Monthly Meeting
Mon. Feb. 5, 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST
Contact Executive Director Anna Linakis via for questions or to request the Zoom link.

Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health 2024 Annual Meeting
Sun. Feb. 11 - Tue. Feb. 13
This coalition-based event will give health professionals the opportunity to learn from one another, form collaborations, and generate new ideas to propel this movement forward. CME/CE available. Register

Food Security, Sustainability, & Health
Mon. Feb. 26, 7:00 - 8:00 pm CST
Dr. Matt McCurdy provides a wonderful talk on the connections between healthy eating, a plant-based diet, and decreasing greenhouse gases produced by the agricultural industry. Sponsored by Texas PSR. CME credit available/CNE credit pending. Register

PSR Actions

Tell Congress: Defend the Arctic!


Tell President Biden and EPA: Finalize standards to protect health!

In the news

It's 90 Seconds to Midnight and We Never Give Up Push for a Nuclear-Free World
Robert Dodge, MD, PSR Board Member, Common Dreams - Jan 24


Nuclear deterrence is the existential threat, not the nuclear ban treaty
Ivana Nikolić Hughes; Xanthe Hall; Ira Helfand, MD, PSR Past President; Mays Smithwick, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - Jan 22


What Surgical Errors Teach Us About Nuclear Policy
Matt Bivens, MD, former PSR Board Member, TruthDig - Jan 19
Mentions PSR


Centering Health in a Just Transition – Paving Way for Health-based Climate Actions in Global Climate Negotiations
Laalitha Surapaneni, MD, MPH, PSR Board Member; and Shweta Narayan, Health Care Without Harm, PLOS Global Public Health - Jan 17


Researchers find disturbing connection between serious childhood illnesses: 'Studies … provide irrefutable evidence'
Yahoo! News - Jan 14
Cites PSR's fracking Compendium


'Black snow': sugarcane burning makes our lives hell, Florida locals say
The Guardian - Jan 13
Mentions PSR Florida


The Democrat, the Fracking Executive and the Deal They Struck. Can It Work? [subscription required]
The Wall Street Journal - Jan 12
Quotes PSR Pennsylvania's Ned Ketyer, MD


Rocky Flats lawsuit
Boulder Weekly - Jan 10
Coverage of PSR lawsuit


Environmental and public health advocates file lawsuit Monday to halt work on Rocky Flats trail
Denver 7 ABC - Jan 9
Coverage of PSR lawsuit quoting PSR Colorado's Deborah Segaloff, PhD


Colorado activists sue feds to block proposed trail near former nukes facility
Missoula Current - Jan 9
Coverage of PSR lawsuit, quoting PSR Colorado's Deborah Segaloff, PhD


Advocates sue to block trail through Rocky Flats, citing 'plutonium plume'
Fox 31 Denver - Jan 8
Coverage of PSR lawsuit


Colorado environmental groups file federal lawsuit to halt Rocky Flats trail
The Denver Post - Jan 8
Coverage of PSR lawsuit


Meat industry's dubious claims of sustainability at COP28
Michael J. Martin, MD, PSR Board Member, San Jose Mercury News - Dec 26


Building Decarbonization Policy Must Center Housing and Health Equity
Clean Technica - Dec 26
Quotes PSR-Los Angeles' Edgar Barrazza


Environmental groups pressure Gov. Shapiro on fracking regulations
Allegheny Front - Dec 18
Quotes PSR Pennsylvania's Laura Dagley, RN


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