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Physician Tours Country by Bike to Speak Out Against Climate Change

July 3, 2012

Dr. Wendy Ring is a 27-year PSR member and is doing a bike tour across the country to raise awareness around the health effects of climate change. PSR is supporting her on her tour and we will update with her progress as the tour continues.

For more information about her tour, please contact Mary Dillon Kerwin at mkerwin@psr.org.

I am a 56 year old family doctor riding a bicycle across the country to talk with people about the health effects of climate change and why we must quickly replace fossil fuel with clean renewable energy to prevent a public health catastrophe. The health effects of climate change are already here in the United States resulting in thousands of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths from a variety of respiratory, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases; and these are just the tip of the melting iceberg.

I am deeply concerned that our government is not responding to the alarms being sounded by the scientific community with policies that go far enough or take effect fast enough to avert the threat of widespread disease and disaster which will occur if we continue on our present course.  Our country has the resources and technology to preserve a liveable planet but lacks the political will to deploy them.  America could be a leader in the international response to climate change, yet we contribute more to the problem than to the solution. In medicine there is a time period called The Golden Hour, when treatment must be given if the patient is to survive. In the case of our planet, the Golden Hour is about to end and adequate treatment has still not been delivered.  

I am not a climate scientist, but twenty five years in family medicine have taught me how to translate science into plain English and help people make changes to improve their health.  In the absence of leadership from above, regular citizens must take action.  So in the tradition of Paul Revere, my husband and I are riding around the country to wake people up to the danger we face and mobilize support to put clean energy now at the top of our national agenda.

Wendy Ring

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