PSR: Physicians for Social Responsibility
April 19, 2007 Online Bulletin

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Program Update

Supreme Court Rules on Global Warming EPA Has the Authority to Act
On April 2, the Supreme Court delivered a big victory in the continued effort to curb global warming. In a 5-4 decision, the high court ruled that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping emissions are “air pollutants” under the federal Clean Air Act. Click here to read on…

New Global Warming Report Defines Public Health Threat
On April 6, 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the second installment of its Fourth Assessment Report on climate change. The release of the Working Group II report, titled “Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability,” bolsters the need for immediate action to address global warming. Click here to read on…

EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee Calls for Stronger Ozone Standards
In the latest development on EPA’s efforts to revise national air quality standards for ozone air pollution, EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee (CHPAC) has urged EPA Administrator Johnson to lower the permissible level of ground-level ozone pollution (smog) in order to better protect the respiratory health of children. Click here read on…

Sam Nunn, Bill Perry Blast New H Bomb in Congressional Testimony
Congressional consideration continues over the new hydrogen bomb, known as the “Reliable Replacement Warhead,” proposed by the Department of Energy in March. Former Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn and former Secretary of Defense William Perry testified in opposition to the new hydrogen bomb before the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development of the House Appropriations Committee on March 29, 2007. “If Congress gives a green light to this program in our current world environment,” argued Nunn, “I believe that this will be: misunderstood by our allies; exploited by our adversaries; complicate our work to prevent the spread and use of nuclear weapons…and make resolution of the Iran and North Korean challenges all the more difficult.” Nunn continued, saying: “we will pay a very high price in terms of our overall national security if Congress gives the approval to go forward with this program. Mr. Chairman, I believe we need a strategic reassessment of the role and purposes of nuclear weapons in the 21st century and an urgent change in direction with both vision and steps. This change in direction should precede a Congressional decision on the RRW. I would not fund additional work on the RRW at this time." Mr. Perry concurred, testifying that “we could defer action for many years on an RRW program, and I have no doubt that this would put us in a stronger position to lead the international community in the continuing battle against nuclear proliferation, which threatens us all." Click here for more...

Dr. Robert Dodge Highlights Hefty Bill for Nuclear Weapons on Tax Day
Robert Dodge, M.D., who serves on the board of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles and is president of the Ventura County chapter of PSR, wrote an op-ed for the Ventura County Star on tax day asking “Do we spend our taxes to help Earth or destroy it?” Dr. Dodge highlights the tremendous expense of nuclear weapons: “Incredibly, this year, the nation will spend $54 billion on all nuclear weapons programs designed to prepare for, defend and fight a nuclear war.” From 9:30 to midnight, the Ventura County Chapter of Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions held its annual Tax Day Nuclear Presentation at the Oxnard Post Office, educating taxpayers about where their money goes. “This tax day, Ventura County will spend in excess of $165 million on these nuclear-weapons programs. Our neighboring county of Santa Barbara with its smaller population will spend almost $78 million, and the city of Los Angeles will spend in excess of $666 million. Los Angeles County will spend an incredible $1.7 billion. Finally, and perhaps the most appalling, is that the city of New Orleans would have spent in excess of $68 million in 2003, expressed in 2006 dollars, prior to Katrina. This for one of the poorest cities in America. Did this really add anything to its security?” Click here to read the op-ed.

Dr. Peter Wilk Argues Against War in Iran
Peter Wilk, M.D., President of PSR/Maine and Wendy Hazard of the Board of the United Nations Association of Maine published an op-ed in the Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram on April 4, 2007 argue “we must intensify this pressure on the Bush administration to avert a wider war in the Middle East and to find a diplomatic solution regarding Iran's nuclear facilities. Another war is not the answer.” “As we have seen in Iraq,” Dr. Wilk and Ms. Hazard continue, “damage to power and water supplies, sewage treatment facilities, and public health infrastructure would take the heaviest toll on innocent adults and children. These potentially tragic human consequences should be reason enough for us to try to negotiate, even with those with whom we disagree.” Click here to read the op-ed.

Achieving Global Security Conference
On Friday, April 13, over 200 people participated in a "first of its kind" conference initiated by Maine PSR. "Achieving Global Security" brought together environmental, disarmament and peace activists to illuminate the connections between their issues and to discuss collaborative activities on energy policies, nuclear issues, preemptive war, and global warming.

Speakers included Mary-Wynne Ashford, former Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, and Catherine Thomasson, current President of PSR. Topics discussed included, "Achieving a Sustainable Energy Policy in Maine"; "Ending the Nuclear Threat", and "Fighting Global Warming." Conference co-sponsers included the University of Southern Maine, Maine Public Health Association, Sierra Club of Maine and Maine National Council of Churches.

National PSR is working with other PSR chapters in Iowa and Pennsylvania on similar conferences. As we move towards the 2008 elections it is critical that these all important issues are brought to light. For more information contact maine PSR Executive Director, Melissa Boyd at psr_maine@yahoo.com.

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PSR Action Alerts

Lobby Day Reminder

On April 26th, PSR activists from around the country will convene in Washington, D.C. to meet with leaders on Capitol Hill to urge them to halt the production of new nuclear weapons and to call for decisive action on global warming — two of the gravest threats to human health and security. Click here for more information.

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