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Heat Advisory: Protecting Health on a Warming Planet
by Dr. Alan Lockwood

Drawing on peer-reviewed scientific and medical research, Dr. Lockwood meticulously details the symptoms of climate change and their medical side effects.

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USA Today features PSR-NWF report on heat waves

August 25, 2009

PSR and the National Wildlife Federation today released More Extreme Heat Waves: Global Warming’s Wake Up Call, a new report describing the health dangers from extreme heat and identifying the 30 U.S. cities whose populations are most vulnerable.

The report received immediate press attention.  PSR’s executive director, Dr. Peter Wilk, was quoted in USA Today and was interviewed by seven live news broadcasts across the country.  PSR board members Dr. Cindy Parker and Dr. Don Mellman and PSR-Philadelphia executive director Patricia Harner participated in simultaneous press events in three of the “vulnerable” cities. 

The report focused on heat waves, which increase the rates of potentially lethal heat stroke, asthma attacks and other respiratory problems, and many cardiovascular diseases.  The number of heat waves is rising, due primarily to global warming produced by burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil. 
 
The report ranks 30 large U.S. cities, from New York to Houston to Los Angeles, where major risk factors associated with heat-related mortality make residents especially vulnerable to extreme heat. 

Citing the dangers posed by global warming, Dr. Wilk underscored the need to enact strong climate and energy policy, based on four key elements:

  • Strong, early cuts in carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Preserving the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act.
  • An end to dependence on coal for electrical generation.
  • Preventing unlimited loan guarantees or additional subsidies for new nuclear reactors.

With the U.S. Senate set to debate climate and energy legislation in September, this is a critical time to get our voice heard.  We encourage you to contact your senators

Action Alerts

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Resources

  • Saving Energy, Saving Lives: The Health Impacts of Avoiding Power Plant Pollution with Energy Efficiency

    PSR and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)'s new report examines the public health benefits and medical cost savings of cutting annual electric consumption by 15 percent. Read more »

  • Natural Gas Health Impacts Symposium

    PSR is proud to have participated in "Natural Gas Infrastructure and Public Health," a high-powered conference in Boston that brought together university researchers, public health departments and concerned citizens. Watch Environment & Health Director Barbara Gottlieb's overview presentation here, timestamp 11:10 - 46:05. Read more »

  • Fracking Compendium 5 Water Excerpt

    Given the timely and important consideration of the issue by state officials in Florida, Physicians for Social Responsibility, along with Concerned Health Professionals of New York, has released excerpts from the upcoming Fifth Edition of the Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking. Released in Miami in advance of the full report, this new document contains an up-to-date analysis and compilation of the science on water contamination risks from drilling, fracking, and associated activities. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • March 3, 2018
    WPSR Annual Dinner and Fundraiser
    Join Washington PSR for a reception, a delicious meal, keynote address by David Korten, presentation of the 2018 Paul Beeson and Malcolm Peterson awards, and a live auction.