Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) Arizona chapter is sponsoring a conference in Tucson on September 20 and 21, so save the dates now and register online for the Saturday all day event (click here). Friday night talk will be free, but it costs $35 for the Saturday workshops/conference.
Friday, Sept. 20
Unisource Building Conference Room
88 East Broadway in Tucson.
Eric Klinenberg, an inspiring, nationally known speaker (author of the critically acclaimed book, Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago) will hold a public talk.
(Free and open to the public)
Saturday, Sept. 21
7:30 AM until 4:30 PM
Tucson Convention Center
The Purpose of this Conference:
This conference is being organized by the Arizona Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility with the support of a coalition of co-sponsoring community and national organizations as well as local leaders. The purpose is to build new and fortify existing cross-cultural, community, and governmental partnerships to educate and engage community action to address the anticipated public health impacts of climate change in the Southwest.
Why It’s Very Important:
Extreme weather events in the Southwestern U.S. and adjacent Borderlands are on the rise and with them, higher incidences of health-related impacts such as heat stress, newly emerging infectious diseases, asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Moreover, as the “hottest, driest part of the United States,” our region is already experiencing longer and more intense heat waves and (the threat of wide scale power blackouts), a “dramatic spike” in forest fires, severe dust storms, and changes in the amount and timing of rainfall and seasonal snowmelt that threatens water resources and food security. While these events are alarming, communities in the Southwest are preparing for these risks and other impacts outlined in the new National Climate Assessment through planning and prevention strategies aimed at reducing our vulnerability to extreme weather and local climate impacts.
Who Should Attend:
Community and neighborhood leaders, formal and informal educators, citizen activists, government and non-profit agency personnel;
Climate scientists, and health professionals in the Southwestern U.S. Northern Mexico, and First Nations who have an interest in community based action for preparedness to develop more resilient neighborhoods, towns, cities, borders regions, and tribal lands;
National leaders and members of PSR, environmental groups, and policy making agency representatives.
The Conference Experience: see detailed agenda online (click here).
1. Actively address the issue of the public health challenges in the face of climate change in the Southwest through the offering of distinguished speakers and facilitated stakeholder workshops designed to encourage and develop new leaders (and to support and re-energize existing leaders) in building innovative community organizing strategies for climate change adaptation.
2. Sustain the work of these community leaders into the future by providing networking opportunities, resources (see deliverables below), and mentoring.
3. Offer a replicable model for engaging communities in climate adaptation throughout the nation
To provide a public forum for facilitated stakeholder input into the development of six strategic plans for building resilience into these areas of climate risk vulnerability:
Assuring Local and Regional Food Security,Availability, and Safety
Integrating Health Care, Emergency Medical Response and Disaster Preparedness
Promoting Mental Well-being and and Spiritual Health
Educating Our Children and Schools for New Environmental Problem Solving
Building Resilience in Our Cultural Diversity with Cross Cultural and Cross Border Cooperation
Organizing to Strengthen and Support Our Most Vulnerable Community Members
A summary report of the conference that includes an evaluation of how well we met our objectives based on a survey of stakeholder responses on knowledge, attitudes, and overall satisfaction with the conference
Distribution of this report to all attendees via a follow up email and link a to a web resource
A resource manual in a downloadable PDF format
Follow-up 3-hour facilitated workshop with senior government personnel to support the integration of the resource manual and stakeholder input into planning and preparedness for climate change in Tucson and Pima County.
I heard Dr. Barbara Warren, MPH one of the organizers of this conference speak at Drinking Liberally a few weeks ago, and she talked about those six working groups above on 1) preparedness/emergencies 2) mental health & well-being 3) food & water security 4) education of children 5) vulnerable populations 6) cross-cultural concerns & the border w/ Mexico. Contact Dr. Warren is you are interested in serving on any of these groups at firstname.lastname@example.org. I honestly think that we in this Southwest desert need to learn to raise our air conditioning temperature control knob and not “refrigerate” ourselves so much during May to September, as well as plan for wise water use for a growing population.
Register early and save these dates of September 20 and 21 for this “Ready or Hot?” conference.