Environment and Health


Carbon-Free & Nuclear-Free


Nuclear abolition


View our 2018 Activities Report here.

Environment and Health

PSR Wisconsin is committed to creating a healthy and sustainable environment for all. In recent years, we have advocated for cleaner air and water, better state-wide policy to address global warming, educated health care providers and others about toxins in the environment, and provided valuable materials for clinicians' use with their patients. 

Climate Change Impacts Our Lives in Many Different Ways. 

How Has Climate Change Impacted YOU? 

Most Physicians Worldwide Agree Climate Change Negatively Affects Patient Health

Physicians all across the world have seen how climate change can negative impacts on their patient's health, especially with asthma, COPD, and cardiovascular disease. Click here for the entire article.

PSR Wisconsin is proud to be the primary fiduciary partner of the Wisconsin Environmental Health Network (WEHN). For more information about WEHN and its programs, please visit their website here, or by clicking on the image below.  

WEHN proudly presents an annual conference: Making the Connection. Each year, the MTC conference provides information and resources for health care professionals and offers continuing education credits. For information about past years' conferences, see the website's EVENTS page. 

Code Black - Air Quality and Global Warming

The adverse health impacts of climate change are already being felt worldwide.  Global warming contributes to disease and premature death from heat waves, extreme weather events, reduced air quality, malnutrition and infectious disease.  According to a July 2008 study, 70% of US Public Health directors believed that their jurisdiction had already experienced climate change in the past 20 years, and 78% felt thattheir jurisdiction will experience climate change in the ext 20 years (Maibach, et.al., 2008, Climate Change & Local Public health in the United States: Preparedness, Programs & perceptions of local public health department directors, Center for Climate Change Communications, George Mason University).  In May 2013, we reached 400 ppm of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.  Global warming will continue with grave consequences to our health and our economy.

PSR Wisconsin works to educate policy makers, health care providers and the public about the negative health impacts of climate change, and the urgent need for a new energy economy.  Wisconsin relies on coal-fired electrical generation for three-quarters of its energy.  PSR Wisconsin supports efforts to uphold the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and strong regulation of coal ash pits.  We support the Clean Air Act and recognize that the greatest benefits to public health will be acheived by working both to improve air quality through regulation and expanding clean energy and transportation options.

PSR Wisconsin works in the following areas to combat global warming and support Wisconsin's role in the energy economy: Educate the public, health professionals, and policy makers about the grave health threats presented by our current energy policies. Encourage divestment from fossil fuel industries by individuals, municipalities, retirement and investment funds. Advocate with our federal legislators to support a national carbon fee and dividend to "kick start" the renewable energy economy. Promote state-wide policies of environmental conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy as sustainable solutions to global warming. Support health-promoting transportation and urban planning that encourages walkable, bikable communities with robust public transit options.

You can join PSR Wisconsin in this work.  Please contact info@psrwisconsin.org or by phone at 608/232-9945.

Source: WI Dept of Health Services

Source: WI Dept of Health Services

Wisconsin Climate and Health Profile Report

WI Dept of Health Services report through the BRACE Program: Building Resilience to Natural Disasters in Wisconsin


This report details what climate change is doing to our environment in Wisconsin, and how that effects human health. 

Source: NYT

Source: NYT

Short Answers to Hard Questions about Climate Change

This New York Times article breaks down some of the most complex climate change questions into simple, what can you do about it now, answers. 

Source: NYT

Source: NYT

2015 was the hottest year on record

Madison, WI had warming trends of 2 degrees throughout the year, pictured left. What did your city look like? Click through to find out

Could Climate Change be the Culprit in the Spread of Zika Virus?

The increase in atmospheric temperature has aided the spread of many diseases that need a warmer climate to survive.  Click here to see how the spread of Zika virus was impacted by this temperature change. 

Clean Water Crisis Threatens US

Many areas across the country are having issues finding access to clean water while other areas are struggling to find water at all.  Click here for more information about the water crisis we are currently experiencing.

Dairy Farms Taking a Toll on Great Lakes, Waterways

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations cause a lot of harm to the animals as well as the community and environment that they reside in.  Click here for more information.

PSR Wisconsin is the fiscal sponsor of a health and nutrition program in Bhopal, India called Chingari Trust - in response to the lack of support and attention provided after the Dow Chemical plant explosion in 1983.

For more information about this program and about Bhopal and Chingari, go to the page by clicking the button below. 

Carbon-Free, Nuclear-Free Wisconsin

The Carbon-Free, Nuclear Free Wisconsin Coalition asserts that energy efficiency and renewable energy are cleaner, cheaper and safer and more effective solutions to global warming than nuclear power.

The coalition supports greatly increasing our investments in energy efficiency in all sectors of the economy, setting stringent and aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets, and obtaining 25% of our energy by 2030, with a long-term goal of 100% renewable sources by 2050.  Investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy will help Wisconsin reduce emissions of global warming pollution while strengthening Wisconsin’s economy and creating jobs.

Wisconsin wisely passed a state law (Wisc. Stat. 196.493) in 1983 that prohibits the construction of new nuclear power plants unless two conditions are met: (1) There is a federally-licensed facility to dispose of high-level radioactive waste from the reactors, and (2) The Public Service Commission finds that the nuclear power plant is economically advantageous to Wisconsin ratepayers.  The CFNF Wisconsin Coalition works to preserve this law, which protects ratepayers from risky investment in new nuclear reactors, and protects Wisconsin’s environment and public health from ever increasing on-site storage of radioactive waste.

Nuclear waste is currently stored on site at the one operating nuclear power facilitie, the Point Beach nuclear power plant, in northeastern Wisconsin. Waste is also stored in Genoa, Wisconsin, at the dismantled, but not fully decommissioned, Dairyland Power plant and at the site of the Kewuanee power plant which was shut down in April 2013.  Radioactive waste is also stored at the Prairie Island plant across the Mississippi River in Minnesota, and just over the state-line in Illinois at numerous sites.

As policymakers propose solutions to the climate crisis, the CFNF Wisconsin Coalition works to keep the goals of a carbon-free and nuclear-free energy economy.  For more information on CFNF Wisconsin, go to the Wisconsin Network for Peace & Justice Website, www.wnpj.org/cfnf.  There you can sign up to receive email event notices, action alerts and information on nuclear power in Wisconsin. 

Fossil Fuels’ Two-way Assault on Children’s Health Needs to Stop

Fossil fuels represent a two-pronged attack on the health of children. To foster health and well-being in future generations, society needs to dramatically decrease dependence on dirty energy. Click here for the article.

Source: Science Daily

Source: Science Daily

Environmental and Public Health Benefits of Solar Power Tallied

Solar power could deliver $400 billion in environmental and public health benefits throughout the United States by 2050, according to a new study.  Click here to read the whole study. 

Source: Union of Concerned Scientists

Source: Union of Concerned Scientists

Near Misses at U.S. Nuclear Power Plants in 2015

The full report details the types and scales of accidents at nuclear reactors last year, citing the dangers of continuing to use and invest in this source of energy. 

Source: Critical Electric Systems Group

Source: Critical Electric Systems Group

Campus Now 100 Percent Powered by Renewable Electricity

UW Stevens Point has become the first college in the state of Wisconsin that is now powered solely by renewable energy. Click here for more information.

Nuclear Weapons Abolition

The nuclear weapons danger is real and growing: nuclear terrorism, proliferation, and thousands of weapons still on hair-trigger alert in the United States and Russia. Fortunately, there also are new opportunities to eliminate this threat.   The New START ratified in December 2011 is functioning, with the US and Russia completing inspections of nuclear weapons facilities.  As of early August 2012, each had completed seven inspections, and over 1000 notifications had been exchanged.  

2018 marked seventy-three years since the U.S. bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan. To remember those who have died in war and to reflect on a peaceful, nuclear weapons-free world.  PSR Wisconsin organizes the annual Lanterns for Peace commemoration in Madison, Wisconsin during the first week of August.  At this family-friendly event, we make illuminated lanterns and affirm a more peaceful, nuclear weapons-free world. 

Source: PSR National

Source: PSR National

Ira Helfand to Speak in Waukesha and Madison

PSR's Dr. Ira Helfand will be in Waukesha and Madison on April 9 & 10 to speak on the growing danger of nuclear war, the health and humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons, and the new campaign to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Back from the Brink: Physicians as Peacebuilders in a Nuclear World
Monday, April 9, 2018
At 7:00 pm
At Carroll University Campus Center Ballroom
100 N. East Ave
Waukesha, WI

Cosponsored by Plowshare Education for Peace, Carroll University Student Affairs, School of Heath Sciences, & Departments of Sociology, Communication, and Environmental Studies

Preventing Nuclear War, the Ultimate Threat to Public Health: The Medical Imperative to Take Action
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
From 12:00 to 1:00 pm
At the Health Sciences Learning Center, Room HSLC 1345
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health
750 Highland Avenue 
Madison, WI 53705

Contact info:
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine & Public Health
Tel. 608- 263-4611 OR 608-577-1721

The Growing Risk of Nuclear War and What We Can Do About It
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
At 7:00 PM
At the First Baptist Church
518 N Franklin Ave.
Madison, WI 53705
(parking in church lot & on street)

Contact info:
Physicians & Health Professionals for Social Responsibility- Wisconsin 608 -232-9945 OR 608-577-1721

Co-Sponsored by the Ecumenical Peace Working Group of Wisconsin, the Friends Meeting of Madison, the Madison Institute, the Outrider Foundation, Physicians and Health Professionals for Social Responsibility - Wisconsin

Dr. Ira Helfand

Ira Helfand, MD, is a member of ICAN's Steering Committee, Co-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), and Past-president of Physicians for Social Responsibility. He has published articles and lectured widely on the medical and long term environmental consequences of nuclear war. He played a crucial role in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in the summer of 2017.

Dr. Helfand was educated at Harvard College and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He currently practices as an internist and urgent care physician.

Photo cred: AFP/Getty Images

Photo cred: AFP/Getty Images

Why aren't candidates talking nuclear war

Article by Dr. Maureen McQue and Dr. Ira Helfand, PSR board members in the The Des Moines Register

PSR National is in the New England Journal of Medicine

Drs. Ira Helfand and Vic Sidel wrote: Docs and Nukes - Still a Live Issue for the November issue of NEJM.