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 had the immense privilege of working alongside Regna Merritt, who helped build and direct our Healthy Climate Program. Regna amassed the formidable group of over 100 health professionals and public health advocates that comprise our Healthy Climate Action Team and was a recognized leader in numerous coalitions that achieved major victories in preventing new fossil fuel infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest to preserve a healthier climate.
Pictured above: Regna Merritt (left) and Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz (right) celebrate Regna's retirement.Read more
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).
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.Read more
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:Read more
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.Read more
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)
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.Read more
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.Read more