2023 was a challenging and beautiful year in which we were able to accomplish so much thanks to the dedication of our members, staff and allies. We are forever grateful to all of you who make our work possible through your time, donations, and knowledge.
Read on to learn about just some of the many things we were able to do this year.
Our healthy climate program brings the voice of medicine and public health to halting the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure and championing clean energy solutions. Our key campaigns include:
- Healthy buildings: Along with partners, we succeeded in passing a package of building resilience laws to protect people from extreme heat and improve indoor air quality, including strengthening building codes in new construction and expanding access to energy efficient heating and cooling to protect Oregonians from increasingly extreme weather from climate change.
- Stopping oil and gas infrastructure: We are working with partners to stop dangerous and climate-harming oil and gas storage and pipelines. These projects include TC Energy’s plan to expand GTN Xpress, a 1400 mile fracked gas pipeline that runs through Oregon, and shutting down Zenith Energy, an oil by rail company that ships crude oil through Portland whose operations pose great risks to the health and safety of our neighborhoods. Additionally, we are working to hold our elected officials accountable by spreading awareness of the Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub, which stores 90% of all liquid fuel in Oregon and is at risk of releasing nearly 200 million gallons of oil into the river in Portland during a major earthquake.
- Zero waste and the Covanta incinerator: We are organizing for a just transition to zero waste by working to stop dirty waste incineration just outside Salem. This year we successfully pushed for legislation to expand monitoring of the extremely toxic pollutants from the materials Covanta burns.
- Stopping hydrogen blending: We are working to stop utilities from blending hydrogen into methane to heat homes. Hydrogen mixing is expensive to consumers, and would create a serious obstacle to decarbonization in buildings if allowed to proceed because most hydrogen is derived from methane or coal, which are major sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
Our peace program organizes health professionals to reframe war, militarism, violence, and racism as interconnected public health crises. Working with community partners, we promote systemic change that prioritizes health, justice, and peace.We continue to bring the voice of medicine and public health to peace issues. This year has included:
- Calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. A massive public health catastrophe is unfolding in Gaza, and war causes an enormous amount of death and disability, destroying lives, families, communities, cultures, and the natural and built environment. The long-standing conflict cannot be solved militarily, and there needs to be an earnest diplomatic process that allows for the full equality, freedom, dignity, and safety of everyone in the region.
- Coordinating the annual Hiroshima and Nagasaki memorial event in Portland.
- Sent over 100 postcards to Japan asking three Mayors and the Japanese Consulate in Portland that they stop the dumping of radioactive water into the ocean.
- Welcoming a renowned researcher on radiation exposure. Dr. Masao Tomonaga came to Portland in partnership with Oregon PSR and OHSU’s School of Medicine. He spoke about his family's experience in Nagasaki when the bomb dropped; his groundbreaking research into the immediate and long term health impacts of radiation exposure; and his advocacy to prevent nuclear war and end the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Please consider donating to Oregon PSR this year so that we can continue the important work of addressing the greatest threats to human health by ending the nuclear threat, protecting our climate, promoting peace, and advancing justice. Our board has generously agreed to match your donations up to $15,000. We rely upon and greatly appreciate your support, and all that you are doing to make our world a better and healthier place for everyone.