RING CYCLE: Physician rides cross-country to sound climate change alarm

Dr. Wendy Ring will speak at 7 p.m. at the Rockford Grange on July 23 about how climate change affects our health and what we can do about it.

Ring is the organizer of Climate 911, a national organization of physicians dedicated to raising the alarm about climate change as a public health emergency and advocating for prompt effective solutions.

Ring and her husband, along with a team of cyclists, are on a pedal-powered speaking tour from Washington state to Washington, D.C.

“The bad news is that we’re already seeing new kinds of infections; increased toxins in our air, food, and water; and increased emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths as a result of climate change,” Ring said. “The good news is that the same common-sense policies we can put in place to slow global warming will also reduce our national epidemic of chronic diseases. It’s a win-win situation.”

When and where

Dr. Wendy Ring speaks on climate change

July 23, 7 p.m., at Rockford Grange, 4250 Barrett Drive.

Take Indian Creek to Windmaster Corner, go 1.5 miles west on Barrett.

Climate 911’s Prescription for Climate Action would cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2030 and decrease rates of cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes. The group is collecting endorsements of its prescription from health professionals across the country and will deliver them to lawmakers when they arrive in Washington, D.C.

The American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Nurses Association, American Public Health Association and other national health professional organizations have warned that climate change threatens human health and called for swift reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Ring was trained at Yale and Columbia universities, earning her doctorate in medicine and a master’s degree in public health, and was the medical director of a community health center in California for more than 20 years. She has been recognized by the U.S. Congress, the California legislature and the American Medical Association for her work in improving access to care for the underserved and was once named America’s Best Healer by Reader’s Digest.

Ring takes breaks from climate activism several times a year to fill in for other physicians but says she believes she can save more lives by spurring action on climate change than by treating patients one-on-one.

For more information visit Climate911.org.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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