San Diego Pediatricians For Clean Air: Entry #1
August 22, 2020
It’s 515AM and everything is always better in the early morning. Work has been overwhelming of late. I had this very rare case series of an odd physical finding and I posted it on the COVID-19 Pediatrician Facebook group. I’ve referred these patients to the specialist. If it ends up being anything, I’ll probably try to write it up as a case report for fun. We have three interns now for our AAP Climate Change and Health Committee. I need to find them projects to work on. If it pans out to be anything, I’ll offer one of them to help me write it up. A case series is pretty easy to write up. I’m sure it will get accepted somewhere. At the least, I’ll publish it on this blog and have them do a presentation for my friends. But there are so many little journals out there looking for content, and Dr. Plastic Picker the imaginary eco-warrior me and the real world pediatrician me has a lot of content!
A lot of the “content” in my head or at least the things I’ve been thinking of late has been clean air, or lack of it. A bunch of my colleagues and I advocated for AB345 gas and oil drilling setbacks bill which unfortunately did not pass the Senate Committee. I did learn a lot about the political process https://drplasticpicker.com/ab-345-did-not-fail-politicians-failed-but-pediatricians-are-quick-learners-and-we-rise-up/. There is a lack of advocacy right now for clean air from pediatricians. Although I am the AAP Climate Change and Health Committee Co-Chair and HMO Assistant Boss, I cannot just say whatever I want on behalf of these organizations. The problem with big organizations like those is that we have to be non-partisan. Rightly so, everything needs to go through a vetting process. Those organizations while big and important, are under scrutiny. But as an individual and part of a organic network of friends who are pediatricians who care about the air, we want to move quickly and be able to be able to speak up.
Therefore we have formed a loose coalition and called ourselves San Diego Pediatricans for Clean Air. Who doesn’t want clean air? We have an intern who is a UC Berkeley Junior premedical student. She is designing a logo. Our group has signed our first petition advocating for establishing an Office for Environmental Justice in our county with MomsOutFront. Honestly, I don’t think it will get anywhere but at least we put our names out there and supported it. Someone needs to speak up.
And during this entire time, the wildfire season is in full swing. We were planning on taking a quick roadtrip driving vacation to Santa Barbara and then Cambria – but we would literally be driving into the direction of the fires. I was more worried about the air quality and a pediatrician friend sent me the above image. We were thinking at least to go to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree, but it’s record breaking temperatures over there and actually the COVID-19 rates are higher there. I wanted to get away, but I’m not an idiiot nor reckless. This is likely the earth telling the Plastic Picker family to stay put. We just might donate the money we would have spent on one night’s hotel to plant more trees. $250 dollars would plant 2500 trees. That would be very symbolic.
San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air is established now, and probably has done more than most groups. We’ll just activate our group when we need to. It’s a loose coalition of friends who are pediatricians.
I really want clean air for all of us. Through this blog project Dr. Plastic Picker has preserved 7,213 acres of mostly Rainforest and 210,326 trees mostly in the amazon. Of those trees, 3,176 are new trees planted through Eden Reforestration Projects mostly in Nepal and Kenya. Next month we will donate more. As the trees are burning, Dr. Plastic Picker is planting. I’ve also started guerilla composting/gardening. I’m measuring it out to Costco sized soup containers. So far I’ve composted about 3 soup containers of high quality organic waste. Today I have to go into the office to do a publicity shot for our vaccine campaigns, but I also have 2 additional soup containers of vegetable waste that I’m going to compost. Have hope my friends. The fires are burning. Global warming and climate change is happening, but the greatest antidote to despair is action. And today I took action by composting. I’m also propogating succulents. It all makes a difference when it’s multiplied by millions of us.