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PSR Monitor

May 26, 2020

Peace and Security

Nuclear Test

PSR condemns any US nuclear weapons testing

In the midst of a pandemic and a call for a global ceasefire, the Trump administration has reportedly floated the idea of returning to nuclear weapons testing. As a community of health professionals that promotes nuclear weapons abolition, PSR is deeply disturbed by this news. Combined with recent reports regarding the administration's eagerness to outspend China and Russia on nuclear weapons, and the recent decision to leave another arms control treaty—Open Skies—the Trump administration is displaying a reckless Wild West attitude toward nuclear weapons.

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Nick Perron-Giroux

While working with PSR's Nuclear Weapons Abolition Program, PSR intern Nicolas-Francois Perron-Giroux (pictured here in Berlin as an exchange student), has explored the legality of nuclear weapons. Since March, Nick has carried out his internship remotely from Quebec.

Are nuclear weapons legal or not? PSR's intern strives to find the answers.

"Some experts argue that nuclear weapons are already illegal under international law. Meanwhile, the United States—with 1,750 deployed nuclear weapons—and eight other nuclear-armed nations unequivocally consider them legal. Adopted in 2017, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is an initiative to build a comprehensive legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons. As a PSR Spring 2020 intern, one of my main projects was to look at the various debates about different aspects of the legality of nuclear weapons. I have researched and written reports on Nuclear-Weapon-Free zones, the production/possession, testing, disposal, use of nuclear weapons, and also at defense alliances like NATO. These aim to help the reader understand the legal frameworks surrounding these questions on nuclear weapons."

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No New Pentagon Spending

Covid-19 Relief Should Help Citizens, Not Defense Contractors

Last month, PSR joined over 60 other organizations urging Congress against providing additional funding to the Pentagon in future Covid-19 relief bills. We are happy to say that in response, the recent stimulus bill which passed in the House—"The Heroes Act"—contains no new funds for the Pentagon, unlike earlier stimulus measures. Citizen pressure on Congress made that victory possible. But it can’t stop here. As we continue to confront the pandemic crisis, we must make sure that we put the health of the people before the bottom line of military contractors.

Now we need your help to move this effort forward in the Senate.

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Environment & Health

Gas Stoves Cover cropped

Gas Stoves Release Dangerous Levels of Indoor Pollution, Report Finds

A new report, co-authored by PSR, documents dangerous levels of indoor air pollution from gas stoves. The report presents scientific evidence that gas stoves release several hazardous pollutants, notably nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide, and that levels of nitrogen dioxide in your kitchen can easily reach levels that exceed EPA's air quality standards for outdoor air.

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PSR Climate Ambassadors

PSR Climate Ambassadors making their voices heard

Our PSR Climate Ambassadors are successfully getting their voices heard on climate, clean energy and health issues across the country. Here are some recent examples:

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

My Green Doctor

Prescribe "Nature Therapy"

This Month My Green Doctor program offers a short guide to "ecotherapy", including advice for patients and eight ideas for your practice. It recommends also that you tell patients about your community's rules for "safe distancing" outdoors.

My Green Doctor is a free donor and membership benefit from Physicians for Social Responsibility. It helps you as a clinician save money by guiding your office to adopt wise environmental practices. It also encourages you to share these ideas with your patients as a means of slowing the momentum of climate change and preparing for its threats to health. Ask your office manager to register and please share this with your colleagues.

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PSR Actions

Tell Your Senators: Help Citizens, Not Defense Contractors


Tell Congress: Stop Fossil Fuel Bailouts during the COVID-19 Pandemic!


Stop EPA from undercutting science!


Tell your senators to support the Global Ceasefire

In the news

Cooking with gas: bad for the planet, and bad for your health
The Fifth Estate - May 21
Coverage of the new report on gas stoves co-authored by PSR


Stout Report Shows Costs, Racial Disparities in Baltimore City Evictions
Baltimore Post-Examiner - May 18
Quotes Dr. Alison Kraemer of Chesapeake PSR


LA Councilman Seeks to Reward Telecommuting, Working at Home
NBC Los Angeles - May 12
Councilman David Ryu cites PSR-Los Angeles on air pollution-related illness


Gas stoves can generate unsafe levels of indoor air pollution
Vox - May 11
Coverage of the new report on gas stoves co-authored by PSR


Carbon-tax bill before Congress comes with an unacceptable trade-off
Barbara Warren, MD, PSR Arizona, Arizona Daily Star - May 9


Federal Investment for Public Health—or for Endless Wars?
Cornelia van der Ziel, Greater Boston PSR, Common Dreams - May 7


Gas Stoves are Making People Sicker and Exposing Children to a Higher Risk for Asthma, Study Claims
The Science Times - May 6
Quotes Robert Gould, MD, PSR Board Member


We must save lives at risk from COVID, new nuclear arms race
Peter Wilk, MD, PSR Board Member, Portland Press Herald - May 6


What the coronavirus can teach us about nuclear weapons
Responsible Statecraft - May 6
Quotes Ira Helfand, MD, PSR Board Member


Yet another study concludes that gas stoves are really bad for kids' health
Treehugger - May 5
Coverage of the new report on gas stoves co-authored by PSR


Approving new fracking projects in the middle of a pandemic? Bad idea.
Amanda Millstein, MD, San Francisco PSR & Robert Dodge, MD, PSR-Los Angeles, Urban Resilience Project - Apr 29


Gas Appliances Pollute Indoor and Outdoor Air, Study Shows
NRDC - Apr 29
Coverage of the new report on gas stoves co-authored by PSR


JPNC Housing & Development discusses building electrification
Jamaica Plain Gazette - Apr 24
Quotes Andee Krasner of Greater Boston PSR


Rolling back environmental protections will worsen COVID-19 pandemic
Janis Petzel, MD, PSR Climate Ambassador Bangor Daily News - Apr 13

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