Public Comment

New: Why I'm Marching to Chevron This Saturday

By Dr. Jeff Ritterman, Vice President, Physicians for Social Responsibility, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
Monday July 29, 2013 - 09:06:00 AM

On Saturday, August 3rd, my family will be at Totland in Berkeley celebrating our grand daughter Amiela’s second birthday. Amiela and I are particularly close, so my absence will be noticed.

I will be marching along with thousands of others concerned about climate change and horrified by the fossil fuel industry’s willingness to continue to place profits over worker and community safety, and over the very future health of the planet. 

I will be wearing my white doctor’s coat and marching with the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) contingent. PSR’s international affiliate, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for proclaiming that there was no medical response to nuclear war. The only option was prevention. We can now say the same for climate change. Extreme weather events, food and drinking water shortages and all of the known and unknown consequences of destabilizing the earth’s climate system are all best prevented. 

The mantra is clear and catchy. Adapt to that which you can’t prevent and prevent that to which you can’t adapt. Climate science now tells us that we can only burn 1/5 of the known fossil fuel reserves. Anything more will exceed the two degree centigrade red line everyone agrees we can’t go beyond without huge catastrophes. Even at two degrees we will lose half of the Sierra snowpack and therefore half of our drinking water. 

But Chevron, like the rest of the fossil fuel industry, is focused on short-term profits. They’re betting that no one will stop them from refining every last bit and then some, despite the cost to the planet and to my dear grand children. 

We need to wake up and do what is right for the future. There is no meaningful medical response to climate chaos. Help prevent it by marching to the Chevron Refinery on August 3rd. Meet at Richmond BART at 10AM sharp.