Climate Advocacy (AAP/Climate Reality/ClimateHealthNOW) – Dr. Plastic Picker

Category: Climate Advocacy (AAP/Climate Reality/ClimateHealthNOW)

I really love him. He was broken and I fixed him.

April 22, 2021

by drplasticpicker

It’s Thursday and I’m OFF today. I’m OFF, because I’m working this Sunday. If you need a physical, I actually have a couple of PE slots open! Come on in! So I’m OFF today because we’ve tweaked the departmental schedule to reduce MD overtime yet still provide some services on the weekends. For everyone it has been different, but for me it is a fine thing. I don’t mind doing a Sunday morning clinic while the kids are in virtual Korean lessons anyway, and I have all of today to concentrate on climate work. Work-life balance and become more minimalistic for me has meant being able to care for myself and now care for the earth.

That’s the thing about being a Climate Advocate or as I tell everyone now, I’m an environmentalist. There is no day off. Every day is a climate work day. So today my to do list for Climate is

  1. Finish formatting THE JOURNAL ARTICLE in word with the citations. Finish the edits. Send to my co-author friends.
  2. Speak with UCSD School of Medicine Civic Engagement Club at lunch.
  3. Attend AAP-CA3 Committee Chair Meeting. It’s also called CAC which is confusing because Climate Actions Campaign goes by CAC too. I actually forget what CAC stands for at the AAP-CA3.
  4. Begin Coordinated our campaign for a Pediatrician for the “Hearing Committee” for the Air Pollution Control Board. This is an important more “behind the scences” position (I think). But we have an interested and very qualified candidate. I just need them to decide and let me know by today so I can coordinate our efforts.

And that is it! That is what I am going to do for the earth today. Oh, I may make more trash art. It actually helps me concentrate. I’m still keeping him for myself. I know a kid will love him, but I’m still in first puppy love with my little trash art owl.

It was meant to be! I found a UC Berkeley Tshirt on PB!

April 16, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I’m at bag #432 today lifetime plogging totals. At 9am Pacific Standard Time, but 12pm Eastern Time – the Sustainable Pharmacy Project Student group from VCU is having their #lesslittermorehealth unveil for their winners. I’m their spiritual voluntary non-university affiliated faculty advisor! I offered to fund their project but they found money! They are great students. I think this summer I need to travel out to Virginia to visit them, as my sister also lives nearby and I actually own a rental house there. So we are really connected through litter, healthcare and real estate. Bag #433 will be around the Residence Inn at the Marriot in Temecula. We are finishing our short vacation in Temecula Wine Country and it has been a good break. We went to three wineries yesterday, bought some local gifts for our son’s friends, ate great pizza outside socially distanced, appreciated sustainable traveling and marveled at all the trees and pollinator friendly plants around the wineries. We even went to the Walmart across the street, and I bought a Vegan Instapot approved cookbook and a romance novel. I read a lot less romance novels these days because I enjoy blogging so much, but I bought one and I’ll read it later today. We played card games last night, and I was able to teach my daughter spit/speed which is a game every child should know how to play.


Our beautiful wholesome AAP-CA3 Legilstaive Advocacy Group for Climate Change and Health.

April 14, 2021

by drplasticpicker

This is the picture I’m most proud of this past week. Three friends together who naturally came together to work on climate change and health policy. It’s been two years to reach this point, then AAP San Diego Chapter Leadership told us – you need to go to this conference. Here is the money. As co-chairs of the Climate Change and Health Committee, we had already been working on moving legislation. But now we had their seal of approval, and off to virtual DC we went.


Not yet ready for prime time!

April 13, 2021

by drplasticpicker

We are almost there. This morning I’m testifying at the National AAP Legislative Advocacy Conference, and will make brief comments when we speak with Representative Scott Peters Office. I have to make sure I shower and look presentable for Senator Padilla’s meeting as well. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the National AAP Legislative Advocacy Conference, but I am impressed and inspired and honored to have been voluntold to go. The three members of the AAP-CA3 Climate Change and Health Committee now have a broader skillset to apply to stopping this climatic disaster that still looms ahead of us.

I think the thing that differentiates me from others that are dabbling their toes in climate work, is that I’m existentially terrified. I know deep in my heart what is looming if we don’t act now. So that’s why I’m running around work, the blogsphere, and now the AAP trying to do whatever I can to recruit more people to help. Honestly, I don’t have the answer. I’m completed the Climate Reality Leadership Training, finished Project Drawdowns video modules, immersed in the Climate Change and Health advocacy world – and I don’t have the answer. The reason I don’t have the answer, is the answer is all of us. Literally all of us have to do something, anything and we are already late to the game.

But I also understand people, and people need to be inspired. So I’m just running around the world trying to inspire people and putting people in positions where I think they can help save the earth. That is it. I’m good at completing project and connecting people, that is my super power. Litter connects us all.

That is why I’m really excited about having almost pushed across the finish line the Youth Art Contest. I’ll be posting the details soon. It is drawing together a lot of people in authentic connections, and it will go live soon. No matter how many entries it gets, it will be a good thing. And that is it. Just proud that the site was completed as a group effort of several people, and now the kids are going to get to comment on it. The site will go live soon and the pictures will start rolling in.

It’s Sally and Vi and we wanted to send you April 2021 Updates! We are trying a new format so let us know what you think! We’ve been busy at our two overlapping groups, just wanted to let everyone know what we’ve all been up to and remind everyone that we’ll have our q2month meeting May via Zoom! Let us know if there are any projects you want to tackle together. We’d love if anyone wants to write something for the AAP-CA3 blog on behalf of our committee as well. We’d like to increase our web presence. This is just highlights.   Rewild Mission Bay Cyrstal Doan Stephens MD our member from San Diego Family Care sent this important event for anyone who is interested in Rewilding efforts in Mission May. “Please join us on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 7 pm for “How Mission Bay Can Protect San Diego from Sea Level Rise .” This event is a free Zoom webinar hosted by STAY COOL for Grandkids. Andrew Meyer, Director of Conservation for the San Diego Audubon Society, will be our guest speaker in April and has updates to share about the significant Rewild endeavor to restore wetlands in Mission Bay. This effort has the potential to be one of the largest, most visible projects anywhere to protect a city from sea-level flooding.” It also brings up the important question whether we are a group want to support and join their coalition. Will discuss at the May meeting and hoping Crystal can present.      


Life is growing in an inhospitalable

April 7, 2021

by drplasticpicker

Wow. I’m proud of myself this morning. Do I start a lot of blogpost this way? My parents were big believers of positive reinforcement and always praised us children growing up. We are generally self-directed and self-modulated and humble people (are you snickering??? LOL), so I think it worked. I am proud of myself this morning, because I made a lot of headway on the article for the Journal of Applied Research in Children. I had doubts last night, especially when I realized I completely missed my first meeting as part of the HMO green team. I was running late with patients. I had it on my iPhone calender but not my paper calender. I’m still a paper calendar type of person. But with the saddness of realizing I completely missed that meeting, I think I overcompensated by really dialing down and getting through the writing for the journal article which is honestly right now more important. The deadline is looming and we have an author meeting tomorrow morning.


I was more organized in my thinking when I made these. They were gifted to twins.

April 1, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I usually write monthly plastic picking totals and detail how many bags of plastic pollution I’ve collected mostly from the beach, and how many items I’ve salvaged from the landfill. I detail the number and what kinds of items. It’s April Fools though, so I’ll leave that post for maybe tomorrow or Friday. It’s an easier post for me to write because it’s really just some profound thoughts and a chart and a link to my plastic picking lifetime totals page – and then we donate money. But this morning, I’m not really feeling it.


View I will remember from our hike yesterday.

March 17, 2021

by drplasticpicker

I love to live for the early mornings. It’s 6am and I have my cup of coffee in my Unicef mug that my co-troop leader of Girl Scouts gave me years ago. It’s an image of kids holding hands of multi-ethnic dress encircling the mug. It’s been 1.5 years of being Dr. Plastic Picker, and I asked Mr. Plastic Picker last night how old my eco-avatar was and he said definitely at least two. I looked back at my blog post and indeed this blog is only 1.5 years. This is evidence that this journey has slowed down time. It seems like I’ve been this identity for two years, but it has only been 1.5 years. Is it possible? It seems I have been Dr. Plastic Picker for glorious decades.


We are advocating! But this my amazing younger sister did! It gives me strength.

March 3, 2021

by drplasticpicker

We did it! We advocated. I started this blogpost yesterday and just wrote “Time to ADVOCATE!!! SB 467.” And that was it. I’m returning to this blogpost now with a cute new picture and also to say that for the last 24 hours (with some well deserved sleep in between) I worked really hard for our HMO/department doing a gazillion projects but in between was advocating. It is all happening.

When I declared I was going to save the earth (along with everyone else) I was not kidding. The Youth Climate Movement is powerful, but they are children. They woke me up, pediatrician and mother me. The adults need to get to work. To be honest, back in August 2020 when I wrote this post I was really sad and mad. I just emailed Erik Anderson from KPBS thanking him for the interview from August, but it was again a sad time when we were accused of this being a publicity stunt and ultimately the bill failed in committee.


No photo description available.
Similar to the cool planter we purchased.

February 24, 2021

by drplasticker

I would usually write a Hopeful Wednesday post, but today in lieu of Hopeful Wednesday – I will just cross-post something from my real-life facebook. Our AAP-CA3 Climate Change and Health Committee is a real group of friends. And one our friends did something amazing. Here is the post.

It’s been a year of efforts, and I wanted to give a big shout out to Patty Pascual Hosking part of our AAP CA3 Climate Change and Health Committee who works on the climate advocacy/legislative side of things with us. She was helped by our colleague Jim Moseman who leads the award from Kaiser. Patty had this dream of establishing a Green Ribbon to be given out by pediatricians in our committee at the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair for research on climate change. Patty is San Diego raised, and Science Fair had been a treasured part of her teenage years and she wanted to give of herself to our community and to the environment through this venue. As with things that are driven by passion, it happened. I can’t tell you how joyous I am. And thanks to Drs. Anne Marie Birkbeck-Garcia, Joe McQuaide, Cindy Fuji and Laurence Ashbacher and our premed intern UCSD student Ashley Teo for jumping on in. “The AAP-CA3 Climate Change and Health Committee has been established as a professional organization at the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair. The committee will judge and award the top 2 high school science projects that are most committed to the improvement in environmental health and most likely to lead to impactful environmental change. The GSDSEF is scheduled to take palce virtually on 3/15-3/18/2021.” Two high school kids will be awarded a “Green Ribbon” with a small monetary award for books, and also we decided to give each a cool concrete planter below with a native succulent. They have been ordered and on their way. These are made locally in Los Angeles by a small business, and hand poured using carbon-capture technology on site from coal and gas plants before they are released into the atmosphere. The carbon is infused with fly-ash and replaces 80% of the concrete compared to traditional methods. It’s lightweight and it’s cool, because Patty Pascual Hosking is cool as is saving the earth, science fair and empowering youth. Oh, women of color in science too since three of the judges are women pediatricians of color. Patty is too modest and I’m telling her awesome story.

And that is it. There is a Bright Vibes Feed they had reposted a quote “The Greatest Threat to Our Planet is the Belief that Someone Else Will Save It” along with the caption “We need more than a handful of environmentalists. We need 7.8 billion of them.” This is true on so many levels. We are all influencing eachother. And I know that in my small corner of the real world and virtual blogsphere, it’s not just me as a climate advocate. I have friends who are more modest (I’m the loud out there one) and they are environmentalist as well, and we’ll do this together. Hugs from Dr. Plastic Picker on this Wednesday morning. Amazing what good friends who care, and a solid night of sleep after yoga will do for my wellness.