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PSR Monitor

September 29, 2020

Peace and Security

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Some good news, for a change: nearly 50 ratifications for the Nuclear Ban Treaty

PSR is a Partner Organization in ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. ICAN received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for its work leading to the adoption in July, 2017 of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). 122 nations adopted the treaty that day, and to date, 84 of them have signed the TPNW. The treaty stipulates that 90 days after the 50th nation ratifies the treaty, it will enter into force. On September 21, Malta became the 45th nation to ratify the treaty. ICAN expects at least five additional ratifications before the end of 2020, and once the TPNW enters into force, the legal status of nuclear weapons will change. It will be a moment that PSR and all the other 570 partner organizations have been looking forward to.

But it is important to realize that the treaty does not directly impact nations (including all nine nuclear-armed countries) that are not yet "party to" the TPNW. So what will be the significance of entry into force when it occurs?  To answer that question and keep you in-the-know, ICAN staff developed a briefing paper, which we have reproduced in full for you.

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Oct 2 graphic

October 2: UN Hosts High-level Meeting favoring total elimination of nuclear weapons

In order to commemorate the annual International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, the UN General Assembly will hold a virtual high-level plenary meeting on Friday, October 2nd, from 10:00am – 6:00pm (EDT). The intent of the October 2nd meeting is to increase public awareness about the threat posed by nuclear weapons to all of humanity and how their total elimination is necessary. The event will be virtual with all statements pre-recorded. Statements will be heard during the Opening from the President of the General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, and UN Secretary-General General António Guterres. Statements will take place from 10:20am – 1:00pm (EDT) and 3:00pm – 6:00pm (EDT). The event can be viewed on UNTV (

For more information on the UNs’ International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (traditionally observed Sept. 26), see PSR’s blog.

Environment & Health

Philadelphia skyline

PSR helps win key delay against Proposed LNG export facility

PSR's health voice helped win a key delay in the proposal to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility on the Delaware River, just south of Philadelphia.

PSR chapters and individual health professionals in key states joined the PSR national office in urging the governors of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware to oppose the proposed export terminal as a threat to public health and safety and the climate.

The governors, acting as the Delaware River Basin Commission, voted to postpone a decision on the project until they can review recently submitted data and documents.

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PSR Climate Ambassadors

PSR Climate Ambassadors making their voices heard

PSR Climate Ambassadors are making the connection between climate change, health impacts and catastrophic events like the western wildfires and gulf coast hurricanes, and calling for clean energy solutions.

Here are just a few of their recent media hits:

Learn more about our PSR Climate Ambassadors program and consider joining this special advocacy effort. If you have any questions contact Antonia Herzog.

Dusty Horwitt

Welcome, Dusty Horwitt!

PSR is delighted to announce that Dusty Horwitt has joined our team as a consultant to research and write two reports on dangerous chemicals used in oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracking.

Horwitt, an attorney, has deep knowledge of these chemicals. He worked as Senior Counsel at the Partnership for Policy Integrity, where he led an investigation of EPA's regulation of oil and gas chemicals and authored the organization's reports on the use of "secret" or undisclosed fracking chemicals in Ohio and Pennsylvania. PSR assisted in editing and rolling out those reports.

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Fracking Methane Flare

EPA Rolls Back Methane Restrictions

In a move that endangers health and the climate, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) moved to roll back important regulations on methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) pollution from the oil and gas industry. The new regulations were published in the Federal Register and took effect immediately.

Days later, on September 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit temporarily suspended the rollback while a federal court weighs a longer-term freeze.

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Smart meter

Webinar: The Hidden Value of a Healthy Home

An Environment & Health webinar, pairing the health voice of Maureen McCue, M.D. with Ali Al-Asady, an Arizona realtor who promotes green construction and energy efficiency. Join us Wednesday, October 28th at 12:30 pm.

Doctor and child

Sign on Letter to your Patients: Climate Crisis is a Health Emergency

Health professionals: Please join your medical colleagues in signing this letter to patients, reminding them about the health impacts of climate change and encouraging them to support leaders who prioritize health, listen to health experts and climate scientists, and implement policies that aim to solve the climate crisis.

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Election 2020

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Voting Resources

Election Day is less than two months away, and early voting and ballot requests begin even sooner! With our country's ongoing public health and environmental crises, your voice is more important than ever. Visit the PSR website for resources on registering to vote, requesting an absentee ballot, election volunteering, and more.

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PSR Actions

Tell Your Senators: Vote YES on emergency legislation to fund the USPS!

In the news

Consider climate change as you head to the polls
Lisa Doggett, MD, Texas PSR, Austin American-Statesman - Sep 25


What world will he get?
Claire Richards, PhD, RN, PSR Climate Ambassador, The Spokesman-Review - Sep 24


Consider climate change when you vote
Mary Ellen O'Connell, MSN, PSR Climate Ambassador, The Morning Call - Sep 24


Colorado health professionals: The oil and gas industry needs to take a step back
Velma L. Campbell, MD, MPH, FAAFP; Cory D. Carroll, MD, PSR Colorado; Karen K. Dike, RN, MSN; Jan Douglas, MD, Colorado Newsline - Sep 23


Herd-immunity protest brings goats to the Governor's Mansion
WCTV - Sep 23
Coverage of PSR Florida protest urging a stronger response to COVID in Florida


Newsom orders 2035 phaseout of gas-powered vehicles, calls for fracking ban
Los Angeles Times - Sep 23
Quotes Martha Dina Arguëllo, PSR-Los Angeles


The Ban Treaty Has Fundamentally Changed the Game
Better Place: Talking International Law - Sep 22
Interview with Tilman Ruff, MD, of IPPNW & ICAN


Judges Grill EPA Over Trading Scheme to Meet Ozone Air Limits
Bloomberg Environment - Sep 22
Coverage of lawsuit against EPA joined by PSR


Symptoms of warmer planet create health effects
Bashyam Iyengar, MD, PSR Climate Ambassador, Florida Times-Union - Sep 18


Oregon prison system faces COVID challenges during wildfire evacuations
KGW8 - Sep 18
Quotes Ann Turner, MD, Oregon PSR


Critics Call For Shutdown, Safety Review Of Weymouth Compressor After Emergency Shutdown
Earthwhile (WBUR) - Sep 16
Quotes Greater Boston PSR member Regina LaRocque, MD


Podcast: Dr. Robert M. Gould on Western Wildfires & Health Impact
Sojourner Truth with Margaret Prescod - Sept 16
Podcast interview with PSR's Robert Gould, MD (segment starts at 2:43)


Radio Interview with Liberty Potter
The Fallon Forum - Sept 14
Interview with PSR Nuclear Weapons Abolition summer intern Liberty Potter on hypersonic weapons (segment starts at 26:47)


A fracking threat we can't afford
Mark Ruffalo and PSR New York's Kathleen Nolan, MD, New York Daily News - Sep 10


First U.S. Small Nuclear Reactor Design Is Approved
Scientific American - Sep 9
Mentions Oregon PSR report


DOH Does Not Take Concerns From Physicians and Community Seriously
Public Herald - Sep 7
Quotes Ned Ketyer, MD, PSR Pennsylvania


Safety Setback to Limit Oil Lines Passes
LA Progressive - Sep 6
Quotes Martha Dina Argüello, PSR-Los Angeles


Miami-Dade mayor: Don't let your guard down over Labor Day
Associated Press - Sep 4
Quotes PSR Florida's Ron Saff, MD


Green groups press for climate focus at presidential debates
Politico - Sep 3
Coverage of letter signed by PSR and partner groups


Florida Physicians Argue Against Herd Immunity, For Face Masks
WCJB (ABC News) - Sep 2
News clip featuring PSR Florida President Howard Kessler, MD


Estimates Show Herd Immunity With COVID-19 Deadly
WMFE 90.7 - Sep 2
Quotes PSR Florida's Howard Kessler, MD


Fracking Company Has Made It Rain Toxic Water Upon New Mexico Without Penalty
Truthout - Sep 2
Mentions PSR's Fracking Compendium


Renewable energy allows our planet a healthy future
Molly Hammersmith, PSR Climate Ambassador, The Columbus Dispatch - Aug 31


Conservation groups say state regulators are allowing power plant developers to avoid carbon fees
The Oregonian - Aug 30
Quotes Damon Motz-Storey, Oregon PSR


What Climate Change Does to the Human Body
Neelu Tummala, MD, PSR Climate Ambassador, Scientific American - Aug 29


Following Months Of Less Traffic, LA City Council Votes To Encourage Businesses To Provide More Remote Work Options
CBS Los Angeles - Aug 27
Cites air pollution data from PSR-Los Angeles


Past Spending Has Not Bought Us Security. This Must Change.
Gwen DuBois, MD, PSR Chesapeake, Morning Consult - Aug 20


Our Moral Awakening in the Long Shadow of the Bomb
Robert Dodge, MD, PSR Board Member, and Vincint J. Intondi, Common Dreams - Aug 9


Climate Change Efforts will Help Economy
Mary Ellen O'Connell, MSN, PSR Climate Ambassador, The Morning Call - Aug 8


Bruce G. Blair, acclaimed expert on the risks of nuclear war, dies at 72
Zia Mian and Frank von Hippel, Princeton University News - Jul 21

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