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June 27, 2023

Nuclear Weapons Abolition

Daniel Ellsberg at the 2018 PSR Visionary Leaders Awards

PSR Tribute to Our Dearly Departed Colleague, Daniel Ellsberg

Physicians for Social Responsibility celebrates the life of our esteemed colleague, Daniel Ellsberg, who passed away on June 16. Of course, Ellsberg gained most fame as the whistleblower who supplied the top-secret Pentagon Papers to the Washington Post and other newspapers in 1971. He risked a 115-year prison sentence and hastened the end of the humanitarian debacle of the Vietnam War. Since then, Ellsberg has lectured, written, and protested about wrongful U.S. military interventions, emphasized the urgent need for patriotic whistleblowing, and particularly highlighted the risk of nuclear war. Ellsberg, himself a former nuclear war planner, steadfastly advocated for nuclear weapons abolition.

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Rep. John Garamendi

Congress Begins its Yearly National Defense Authorization Slog

On Wednesday, June 21 the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) held a 14-hour marathon session to markup the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This process begins when President Biden introduced his budget request for FY2024. From there, the HASC and Senate Armed Services Committees (SASC) prepare legislation that will then receive amendments to the bill, which are considered, debated and voted upon during these “markup” sessions.

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Movie graphic

In July: Hollywood takes on "the father of the atomic bomb"

This summer, highbrow director Christopher Nolan and an all-star cast will shine their Hollywood spotlight on “the father of the atomic bomb.” Nolan’s latest film, Oppenheimer, premieres on July 21. During World War II, J. Robert Oppenheimer directed the super-secret Manhattan Project that created the three atomic bombs that ushered in the Nuclear Era. The film event will provide a teachable moment for a new generation to grapple with nuclear realities.

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Orlando at the Capitol

Welcome Orlando, the Nuclear Weapons Abolition Program's New Summer Intern!

PSR’s Nuclear Weapons Abolition program is pleased to share that we’ve hired an intrepid new intern for the summer. Meet Orlando, joining us all the way from the United Kingdom. Already, he has dived head first into the internship, joining PSR’s Jasmine Owens in a leadership summit hosted by Foreign Policy for America, which included lobbying Members of Congress on the Hill — all within the first two days of starting at PSR!

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Environment & Health

Next Gen Ambassador Savita Potarazu discusses her project. Watch the ambassadors' videos here.

PSR Graduates Its Second Cohort of Next Generation Climate Ambassadors

PSR recently graduated its second cohort of “Next-Generation Climate Ambassadors”: 33 young and emerging health professionals from 16 states. In this semester-long program, Ambassadors completed PSR-directed advocacy actions, attended trainings and meetings, and took part in local climate adaptation and mitigation projects, ranging from curriculum development to policy and legislative work, community gardening initiatives, organizing a climate and health day at the MA statehouse, reducing healthcare waste, running a Climate Action Party, and working with an indigenous collective in AZ. You can view the Ambassadors’ colorful, impactful videos about their projects here.

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Gas stove range - click to read PSR's amicus brief

PSR Files Amicus Brief in Gas Stove Lawsuit

Arguing that the prohibition of gas infrastructure in new buildings protects human health, PSR has filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit of California Restaurant Association v City of Berkeley.

PSR and the American Thoracic Society filed the brief after the Restaurant Association won a judgment overturning Berkeley's ordinance banning gas infrastructure in new buildings. The association argued that the ban would interfere with its members' businesses. Berkeley has appealed that decision to the district court.

Noting that "It is now indisputable that methane gas-powered building appliances are a leading source of indoor air pollution," the brief argues that appliances like gas stoves degrade indoor air quality, threaten public health, and impose disproportionate harm on vulnerable communities, low-income communities and communities of color.

   Read the brief  
Capitol dome

Investing in Pennsylvania: How the IRA Benefits Our State and Our Health

Join PSR-PA, PSR National, PennEnvironment, and the Mayor of Scranton, PA on Wednesday, June 28 at 4:00 pm ET to learn how the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) can benefit you! From tax credits for purchasing a heat pump or upgrading your household wiring to electric school buses, there’s something for everyone to gain as a result of the IRA. Our expert panelists have you covered: We will discuss health, environmental, and economic benefits of a number of climate-smart initiatives that were included in this history-making bill. Register here to join us!

Gas stove

Hydrogen in Your Kitchen?

Your local utility may have a surprise in store for you: hydrogen gas, mixed with methane (fracked or “natural”) gas, to burn in your stove, furnace, or other gas-powered appliances. Yet this methane-hydrogen blend is problematic for a host of reasons: hydrogen's likely source from, of all things, fracked gas; its reliance on the false solution of carbon capture and sequestration, supposedly to reduce its climate impacts; and the danger of fires and explosions.

Want to learn more? Join a PSR webinar. You have two options: July 13, organized by Washington State PSR, here or July 19, organized by Pennsylvania PSR, here.

Upcoming Events

Investing in Pennsylvania: How the IRA Benefits Our State and Our Health?
Wed. Jun. 28, 4:00 - 5:00 pm EDT
Webinar on the Inflation Reduction Act hosted by PSR and PSR Pennsylvania. Features Mayor Paige Cognetti of Scranton, PA illustrating how the IRA can benefit local communities — including yours — and individual residents. Register

Beat the Heat: How to help protect your patients from heat illness in the Texas summer
Wed. Jul. 12, 7:00 - 8:00 pm CDT
CME webinar on preventing heat illness sponsored by Texas PSR. Register

My Green Doctor - Cooking With Gas: Health Harms from Gas Stoves
Wed. Jul. 13 at Noon, 1:00 pm, or 2:00 pm ET
My Green Doctor is partnering with PSR to provide MGD members with a free, CME-accredited webinar on the health impacts of gas stoves. Three time slots offered. Register

Hydrogen + Health: Webinar on Hydrogen Blending
Thu. Jul. 13, 9:00 pm EDT
Washington PSR hosts this webinar on the dangers of hydrogen blending in home appliances. Register

Greater Boston PSR July Monthly Meeting
Mon. Jul. 17 @ 5:00 - 7:00 pm EDT
Boston Nature Center (In the Gazebo), 500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan, MA
Join us in person to socialize & learn about Greater Boston PSR. RSVP requested by not mandatory to:

Hydrogen Blending in Buildings: Bad for Health, Bad for Climate
Wed. Jul. 19, 6:00 pm EDT
Join PSR PA to learn more about hydrogen as part of our deep commitment to protect the planet and all who live here from the existential dangers of climate change. Register

March for Medicare for All: Single Payer Picnic!
Sat. Jul. 22, Noon - 4:00 pm PDT
Hazel Dell Community Park, 2300 NE 68th St, Vancouver, WA
Please join Oregon PSR for an afternoon in the park!

Commercial Induction Cooking Workshop – CHECK Program
Thu. Aug. 3, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm EDT
Chatham University Eden Hall Campus, 6035 Ridge Rd, Gibsonia, PA
Are you interested in decarbonizing your building by converting your commercial kitchen to induction cooking equipment? Join PSR Pennsylvania for this in-person workshop! Register

From Hiroshima to Hope 2023
Sun. Aug. 6, 6:00 pm PDT
Green Lake, Seattle, WA
Seattle's annual lantern-floating peace ceremony, co-sponsored by Washington PSR.

Lanterns for Peace 2023
Sun. Aug. 6, 6:30 - 8:00 pm CDT
Tenney Park, 1414 E. Johnson St., Madison, WI
Join PSR Wisconsin for this family friendly event to commemorate the lives lost in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

More events

In the news

50 Groups Petition to End California’s Dirty Biomass Loophole
Center for Biological Diversity - Jun 20
Quotes PSR Sacramento's Goli Sahba, MD


What can we do about gun violence?
Alan Peterson, MD, PSR Member, LNP - Jun 20


Historical peace ship to visit Maine
Bangor Daily News - Jun 19
Article on Golden Rule visit to the Maine coast, co-sponsored by PSR Maine


Transport: 'More trains, not more planes and lanes'
Seattle Times - Jun 16
Letter to the Editor mentioning Washington PSR


The Battle to Keep Coal Out of Oakland Heats Up
Sierra Club San Francisco Bay - Jun 14
Mentions SF Bay PSR


UCLA Law Clinic Files Amicus Brief Seeking Review of Decision in Berkeley Gas Case
Legal Planet - Jun 13
Mentions PSR


Satellites, drones join fight against air pollution in Pennsylvania
Bay Journal - Jun 12
Quotes PSR Pennsylvania's Christina Digiulio


New York Protects 'the Birds and the Bees' with Nation-Leading Legislation
NRDC - Jun 9
Mentions PSR New York


Advocates remain skeptical after state announces final cleanup plan for Santa Susana Field Lab
NBC Los Angeles - Jun 8
Quotes PSR Los Angeles President Robert Dodge, MD


State to consider environmentalists' petition about PFAS in fracking
The Santa Fe New Mexican - Jun 7
Mentions PSR


Boston neurologist earns national award for health justice leadership
Lown Institute - Jun 7
Altaf Saadi, MD, former PSR Intern, received the Bernard Lown Award


Press the Button
Press the Button - Jun 6
Podcast interview with Jasmine Owens, Associate Director, PSR Nuclear Weapons Abolition Program


Environmental groups seek results of Pitt cancer studies
Observer-Reporter - Jun 3
Mentions PSR Pennsylvania


How data is helping California invest in overburdened communities
Spectrum News 1 - May 31
Mentions PSR-Los Angeles


Q&A: The 'Perfect, Polite Protester' Reflects on Her Sit-in to Stop a Gas Compressor Outside Boston
Inside Climate News - May 27
Mentions Greater Boston PSR


Downstream Radioactivity: What on Earth Is Coming Out of the Pipes?
TruthDig - May 26
Recording of event featuring PSR Pennsylvania's Tammy Murphy and Christina DiGiulio


WildEarth Guardians calls on New Mexico to ban toxic forever chemical use by the oil and gas industry
WildEarth Guardians - May 25
Cites PSR's fracking chemicals in New Mexico report.


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