#whatisgoodforthebirdsitgoodforthekids – What? What??!!! Dr. Plastic Picker – YOU DID NOT? Pediatric shout out at City Council to the Audubon Advocates during Climate Action Plan meeting.
July 1, 2022
by Dr. Plastic Picker
Yes dear readers. Dr. Plastic Picker strikes again. I spoke at a rally yesterday at the civic center, which I’m now very familiar with. I was one of the headline speakers and even had a fancy social media ad made about me. I spent at least 5 hours of my time yesterday committed as Chair, Public Health Advisory Council, Climate Actions Campaign. The updated San Diego Climate Action Plan that seeks to have net zero carbon by 2035 with accountability and transparency passed 4-0 in the Environmental Committee. It’s funny how I know the members of this committee by name as well as I used to know the members of the middle management HMO commitees I used to serve on.
We are all real people with real families, and San Diegans trying to get it right. But we are all playing our roles as well. My role was formal and I didn’t get to tell anyone I was Dr. Plastic Picker. I was a generic general pediatrician representing the generally shortest and less well paid but overly educated MDs who chose to take care of kids. I wore my white coat that I had upcycled from my Harvard residency MGH and just had my father-in-law iron on an SDPCA patch over it. I wore a bright light yellow and airy top with black trousers and flats. My hair was black and I wore glasses. Honestly, I was like every other pediatrician that you might meet out there. And even though in my real self, I’m off beat, I play that generic role honestly. I was there to speak for my profession and our children. I didn’t need to stand out. I think my comments went over well. I cried as I have real climate grief at times. I made my remarks toward our collective children. I’ll post them on the San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air website. Here, on this blog, is my emotional environmental journey.
I let others take the attention. I introduced my wonderful former patient and now premed student to some law makers and climate leaders. We had a picture together and that was so meaningful, as our relationship is cemented in social media and in Fox News when they got her from the side of the climate rally. My student didn’t seek attention but I wanted her to get some. The Youth Vs. Oil speakers are young high school students who I now know play on the same volleyball club as my daughter and they demanded attention, and their youth and passion is the attention that the climate movement needs. And the politicians always demand attention and recognition, and that is well and good as they need to grand stand and take credit and the credit is well deserved. It’s amazing that Nicole Capretz the founder and executive director of Climate Actions Campaign never demands attention, but gets so much press coverage, and I hold her as an example of how to build an organization.
But in the end, Dr. Plastic Picker did get attention! During the public testimony of the San Diego CAP update, environmentalists from throughout San Diego came together and drowned out a few of the SDGE /fossil fuel voices. The Audubon Advocates showed up, and they were so awesome. You could tell it was their first time advocating because some of them did not know to change their zoom names to their actual names. But at the end of testimony where I was Chair, Public Health Advisory Council and American Academy of Pediatrics Environmental Health Council – I said “I just want to say AAP loves San Diego Audubon. What is good for the birds is good for kids!!!” And that is it. That is a sentence I’ve been emailing my friends at San Diego Audubon as we do shared projects and I said it as a pediatric shoutout to the bird people in the middle of city council chambers. There were chuckles from the chamber. I think I had the most fun yesterday. Dr. Plastic Picker with my new hashtag #whatisgoodforthebirdsisgoodforkids LOL LOL LOL.