Congressman Blumenauer References our Testimony on Climate and Health

Today in the House Ways and Means committee hearing on the economic and health consequences of climate change, Congressman Blumenauer referenced Oregon PSR's testimony written by Patricia Kullburg MD, MPH. Read our testimony and watch Congressman Blumenauer speak at (approx. 1:31).

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Washingtonians Applaud Governor Inslee’s Opposition to Fracked Gas Projects

Washington environmental, public health, and community organizations praised Governor Jay Inslee’s announcement today opposing continued construction of Puget Sound Energy’s proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Tacoma and Northwest Innovation Works’ proposed fracked gas-to-methanol production facility in Kalama. In detailing the reasons for his opposition, the Governor’s statement cited the emerging science of high methane pollution rates associated with gas infrastructure and the urgent need for action to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Washington communities that have long called on Governor Inslee to oppose the Tacoma LNG facility and Kalama methanol refinery projects applauded the statement as a necessary stand for climate action.

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Welcome Lluvia Merello, Energy Justice Organizer

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Oregon PSR (Physicians for Social Responsibility) is thrilled to welcome Lluvia Merello to our staff! Lluvia brings extensive experience organizing for environmental and social justice including work as an early organizer with the Portland Clean Energy Fund coalition. She joins our Healthy Climate Program as our Energy Justice Organizer, working to expand our capacity to build a just transition off of fossil fuels and nuclear power and a healthy climate future for all. Read on to hear from Lluvia in her own words about this position:

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Oregon Denies Clean Water Act Permit for Jordan Cove LNG Project

On May 6th, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today delivered a potentially fatal blow to the Jordan Cove LNG project and the Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline which has faced fierce opposition for more than a decade by a grassroots coalition of impacted landowners, anglers, small business owners, tribal members, health professionals, and many more Oregonians and Northern Californians.

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Reflections on the Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship Awards Ceremony 2019

On Friday April 26th, 2019 we honored the winners of our annual Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship at Celebration Tabernacle Church in North Portland. The theme of the evening was the question, “How can you work against systemic racism to help make our world more healthy and peaceful?”

The program began with opening remarks by Madison Arnold-Scerbo of Oregon PSR and a welcoming by Reverend E.D. Mondainé, President of the NAACP of Portland and pastor of Celebration Tabernacle. Oregon PSR board member Dr. Nicki Nabavizadeh discussed the mission of Oregon PSR, our commitment to Equity and Justice, and the history of the scholarship. The Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship was named in honor of Del Greenfield who started the project back in the 1980s when she was the was the executive director of Oregon PSR for sixteen years. Del committed her life to peace, and Oregon PSR is proud to continue her legacy with this project and all their work for a healthy, just, and peaceful world.

Photo above: The winning students, their families, and two of our judges: Dr. Robert Goldman (left) and Janaira Ramirez (second from left)

 

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TAKE ACTION: Stop the Oregon State Senate from Defining Garbage Burning as Renewable Energy

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Bad news from the Oregon State Legislature: State legislators are trying to move forward a bill that would give Covanta Marion (pictured here, photo courtesy of The Portland Tribune) - a trash incinerator near I-5 and Salem that is the state's 20th largest single greenhouse gas emitter - renewable energy credits. Senate Bill 451 would give a major polluter money for releasing greenhouse gas emissions and air contaminants. This would set a dangerous precedent and weaken our state's renewable energy goals, making it harder to build energy that is actually clean and renewable.

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Mustafa Returns to Iraq (and Needs Our Help)

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Sixteen years ago, on March 20th, 2003, the US launched a devastating war on Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis lost their lives, were wounded, or were displaced. One of those wounded was a two-year old child named Mustafa Abed. Mustafa was critically injured when he and his mother were hit by a US bomb in Fallujah, Iraq in November of 2004. Oregon PSR members and others learned about this and organized to bring Mustafa to Portland in 2008, when he (with his father) came for badly needed medical care, which saved his life. Mustafa returned to Iraq, and to ongoing poverty and war, after several months.

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Oregon Needs a Green New Deal

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As a new crop of progressive change agents assumed office in the US House of Representatives, one simple phrase began a meteoric rise to notoriety as youth activists lined the halls of incumbent Democrats pushing for action: a Green New Deal to echo the economic successes of FDR’s signature policy with a focus on the current urgent needs for environmental and social justice. With the Green New Deal, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever to be elected to the US House of Representatives, and her colleagues have successfully brought broad, comprehensive climate policy conversations into the mainstream US political discourse.

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The Big Problem with Small Nukes

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“Everything in moderation,” or so the phrase goes. It’s such a tantalizing idea: just a small amount of something is okay, maybe even good for you. We see this concept pop up often in health and nutrition: as long as we don’t binge on sweets, caffeine, or junk food, we’ll be alright.

The problem is that nuclear profiteers and their friends in elected office have picked up on this popular messaging and misapplied it to the highly dangerous process of nuclear fission, which is subatomically small but has huge consequences for human health and survival. The Trump Administration is pushing for “low-yield” nuclear weapons in their latest Nuclear Posture Review. Trump’s Department of Energy has poured tens of millions of dollars into research and development for a never-before-deployed “small modular” nuclear reactor design from Oregon’s NuScale Power. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency is hiring and promoting the ideas of fringe scientists who believe that a little bit of radiation exposure is good for you (spoiler alert: it’s not).

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A Letter from Dr. Patrick O'Herron, Oregon PSR's Board President

Kids_climate_strike_photo_1_cropped.jpg“The children will become leaders as the leaders have become children.” This quote is from Madison Leal, who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14th of last year. She was decrying the lack of action on gun control and the failure to protect students from mass shootings.

As I write this, children all over the world are walking out of class as part of a global youth climate strike. Seeing those young faces with so much optimism, integrity, and determination gives me hope for our movement to protect human health and preserve a livable planet for future generations. It also makes me deeply sad. The sign of one young protester read “Our Children Will be an Endangered Species.” Our young people should be able to be kids, if just for a little while longer, knowing that we, the adults who have the power and privilege to make changes, are grappling with the existential threat of problems like climate change and nuclear war.

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