What A Whirlwind Climate Day, Thank You For Being My Friend
October 20, 2021
My head was literally spinning yesterday. So many wonderful climate things happened yesterday. It was like whiplash, and it all happened as I was in my red flannel checkered robe.
The first thing that happened early early yesterday morning, is that I found out the leaded aviation gasoline project that I’ve been working on with Riley Gilbertson, one of our premed advocacy interns, and one of our developmental pediatric colleages was accepted as an advocacy event on the World Health Organization Lead Pollution Prevention Week. We are slated to present next week at Clairemont Town Council, and I’ve been deep in that work. Our premedical intern started and wrote the letters, but as I dived deeper into this issue – I learned things that I really needed to know that also pertains to my work. I had a virtual meeting with Dr. Elizabeth Friedman, a phenomenal Pediatric Environmental Health specialist who is now based in Kansas City. She took out time from a busy day and in the process of writing 5 different papers and even with the time change, to walk drplasticpicker through the basics of lead poisoning in children. “You are the expert, ” she told me. I’m continually amazed at these giving Pediatric Environmental Health Specialist throughout the country that are so giving of their time and expertise. And then realized how truly famous Dr. Ruth Etzel is. I’ve had the opportunity to interact with her a few times, and she was the editor of the journal article that we wrote for the Journal of Applied Research on Children. Wowzer, already over 200 downloads of that article! I made a pretty slide to thank these two nationally prominent environmental health specialist for their help.
Then Dr. Elizabeth Friedman told me about California Enviro Screen and I’ve been playing around that publicly available database. I’ve even read through their most recent >100 page report, at least the portions that I care about which are PM2.5, ozone, lead exposure levels per zipcode.
Reading the CalEnviro4.0 report was really helpful. It had asthma data that I really really really care about. I mean, I am Co-Founder of San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air.
If that wasn’t enough, two of the young doctors that I consider to be mentees – were at the Civic Center for a big press conference on behalf of the AAP San Diego and SDPCA. We are part of the San Diegans vs Big Tobacco coalition. They were so beautiful and I’m sure well spoken. This endeavor to save the world really needs to be a group effort. And I posted on my personal facebook, which is completely true my joy. “Omg they did it!!! Dr. Peony and Dr. Naomi spoke up for us!!!! They represented AAP San Diego and San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air (SDPCA) launch at the civic center in the San Diegans Vs Big Tobacco to help end the use of flavored vaping products that target kids. Yeah! Yeah!!!!! That’s us. We know society and the earth is hurting. You decide. You decide to be on the side of joy and light and healing or the side of chaos and division and darkness. I choose the light. And so did they. Yeah!!!!! I think there will be a SD-UT or news clips soon!!!” They will be famous.
And then I signed up for the San Diego Air Pollution Control Board meeting regarding some kind of Incident Response. I have no idea what it was about, but I got an email about it from our Executive Director and it sounded like something the AAP should be at. I logged in and typed in my presence (it was a virtual meeting). It was an overly technical meeting but I was there for almost the entire time, as they were taking about potential fires or air pollution events on county versus city land an the chain of response and stake-holders. And then, I saw a friend who I had recruited to environmental work pop up! When I google /Ecosia search him, he doesn’t come up yet. No worries, we will post an announcement on our site soon. We made our own news here at San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air, and certainly my own silly news @drplasticpicker. Perusing the internet, I ran across the letter of support I wrote for Dr. Anne Marie Birkbeck Garcia about six months ago during the time that she was running for Air Pollution Control District. I meant every word of that heartfelt letter, and San Diego is lucky that my friends are stepping up.
My head is still spinning from all the climate wins yesterday. But after thinking about it, they are really wins because pediatricians in general are giving and wonderful people. I’m lucky to be a pediatrician. I truly am, and to have the friends that I have. Thank you dear readers, for being my friends.