How does the climate crisis affect human health, and which communities are most impacted? This was the central question asked by the People's Climate Movement when they approached PSR chapters to present the Climate, Health, and Equity Town Hall, a webinar focusing on the health impacts of climate change, which people are on the front lines of the crisis, and what can be done about it. Our Healthy Climate Program Director Damon Motz-Storey was joined by PSR Los Angeles Executive Director Martha Argüello, Dr. Maureen McCue of Iowa PSR, and Barb Gottlieb, Program Director of the Environment & Health Program at PSR's national office in Washington, D.C.Read more
Please save the date and plan to join us on Tuesday, August 6th, 6:00 - 7:00 PM at the Japanese American Historical Plaza (NW Naito Parkway and Couch Street on the Portland waterfront) for the annual Portland-area Hiroshima and Nagasaki memorial event. This year's event, The Unequal Impacts of Nuclear Weapons, will explore the disproportionate impacts that nuclear weapons have on women, children, indigenous communities, and communities of color.Read more
Oregon PSR Advisory Board Member Martin Donohoe, MD, FACP is the host of Prescription for Justice, a cable access television show that explores many of the issues that Oregon PSR works on. His latest episodes deal with immigration, history, imperialism, incarceration, and human rights, and features guest Matthew Anderson, MD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and co-editor, Social Medicine.Read more
On June 25th, 2019, the Port of Vancouver Commission passed a strong policy statement affirming that the Port “will not pursue new bulk fossil fuel terminals.” The resolution and policy statement acknowledge the importance of renewable energy in the Port’s operations and future development. The Port passed this policy on the same day that the largest wind turbine shipment in the region’s history is being unloaded.
“The Port chooses not to pursue new bulk fossil fuel terminals on Port owned industrial property,” said Don Orange, Port Commissioner, during a motion to amend the resolution.
Oregon House Votes to Urge Congress to Lead Global Effort to Prevent Nuclear War
On Monday, June 24th, 2019, Oregon’s House of Representatives voted to approve Senate Joint Memorial 5 (SJM 5), which urges congress to lead a global effort to reduce the threat of nuclear war, making it the second state in the nation after California to pass such legislation in both chambers. New Jersey's Assembly has also passed a similar bill. The bill passed the Oregon Senate on May 20th.Read more
Oregon PSR Position Paper on House Bill 2020 (Carbon Cap & Trade, or "Oregon Climate Action Program")
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
Position Paper on House Bill 2020 - Carbon “Cap and Invest” in Oregon
June 14th, 2019
For years, state lawmakers have been debating a carbon cap-and-trade program to put a limit on Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions and create a market-based mechanism to incentivize emissions reductions and generate money for clean energy technology and job training. In the 2019 legislative session, this program has been placed into House Bill 2020, which would establish the Oregon Climate Action Program and direct a newly established Carbon Policy Office to implement this cap-and-trade system with specific parameters.Read more
This column was written by Oregon PSR program assistant Madison Arnold-Scerbo, and was originally published in Street Roots. Interested in learning more about Hanford or how to go on one of these tours yourself? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About 74,000 people died when the United States deployed a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki in 1945. Thousands more died and suffered health consequences over the following decades.
Thousands of people continue to face negative health consequences from the intentional releases of radiation and atomic waste from nuclear tests during the Cold War in the United States.
At least 120 Hanford workers in and around the tank farms have been exposed to toxic vapors since January 2015. This exposure can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, decrease in lung capacity, toxic encephalopathy and cancer.
But you won’t learn any of these facts by attending a tour of the Hanford nuclear facility near Richland, Wash., the most polluted place in the Western Hemisphere. I know, because I attended two of these tours. I sat through eight hours of romanticization of nuclear weapons and patriotic indoctrination. Both tours I attended, Clean Up and B Reactor, provide a misleading and one-sided view one of the darkest periods of our history.Read more
Oregon PSR staff has been working to support Oregon House Bill 2007, which would help to protect our communities from the unacceptable threats to our health posed by diesel pollution. Now, we need your support to make sure that HB 2007, commonly referred to as “the Diesel Bill,” passes in this legislative session.Diesel pollution and inhalation presents serious health threats to all of us living and working in Oregon. According to the Oregon DEQ, residents of 23 Oregon counties, representing 92 percent of the state’s population, are exposed to diesel particulate matter that increases health risks.
We strongly encourage our members, especially those living outside of the Multnomah County area, to take action and call your state lawmakers today.Read more
For the past seven years, we have had the immense privilege of working alongside Regna Merritt, who has built and directed the Healthy Climate Program at Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. Not only has Regna amassed the formidable group of over 100 health professionals and public health advocates that comprise our Healthy Climate Action Team, but she has also been a recognized leader in numerous coalitions that have won major victories in preventing new fossil fuel infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest and in preserving a healthy climate.
So it is with tremendous gratitude that we share the news that Regna is retiring from our staff at the end of June. Before you despair, please note that this is a transition, not an ending. We are thrilled that Regna has agreed to join the Oregon PSR Advisory Board and volunteer with us after a long and much-deserved vacation.
Photo above: Regna Merritt (left) celebrates the denial of the Tesoro oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver, WA (Image: The Columbian)Read more