|With the advent of smart phones and other such devices – from bluetooth speakers to refrigerators – not to mention social media, internet browsing, video downloading, and an unending stream of apps, the demand for connectivity keeps growing. So, too, does our exposure to RF’s – radio frequencies that carry all of the messages and information that we send and seek. |
Like so many things of consequence in modern society, these RF’s are invisible, have no taste or smell, nor any tangible presence that we can easily perceive. Does this mean that they have no effect on our bodies or the body of the Earth?
A major study released in 2017 by the U.S. National Toxicology Program of the National Institutes of Health found increased incidences of brain cancer, malignant tumors of the heart, and DNA damage in laboratory animals from microwave exposure levels below FCC guidelines. Ron Melnick, PhD, the National Institutes of Health scientist who led the design of the study, cautioned: “There is an urgent need to evaluate 5G health effects now before millions are exposed.”
Yet the City of Tucson has already allowed for the installation of over 300 “small cell” wireless facilities across the city, including many in residential zones within 20 feet of bedroom windows, with permits for hundreds of more.
Join us on June 15 to hear Russell Witte, PhD, Professor of Medical Imaging, Optical Sciences, Biomedical Engineering and Neurosurgery, who will describe well-documented hazards from microwave radiation at relatively low exposures, suggesting a more cautionary approach to the rollout of 5G. He will explain why thousands of scientists around the world have signed an emergency appeal for a moratorium on the rollout of 5G technology.
Tuesday, May 11, 6:00 – 7:30 pm. Watch recording on Youtube
Many of us remember all too well the Bighorn Fire last summer: the sight of flames that kept coming ever closer, and the plumes of smoke that clouded the skies and filled our lungs. And here we are again. Last Sunday’s AZ Daily Star included the headline “Experts expect busy wildfire season again.” With the Mulberry Fire in February and the Margo Fire in early April, we are already well into this year’s fire season for Southern Arizona, making this month’s topic even more timely than expected.
Our May monthly meeting will examine “Climate, Forests, and Fire in Southern Arizona.” We’re pleased to present two local experts on these topics, University of Arizona Professors Donald Falk and Luke McGuire, who will help us understand the changing landscape we are already beginning to see in our region and the impacts — past and expected — from what seems to be an intensifying fire regime. Their work has addressed issues including forest and fire ecology, post-fire impacts on soil and flooding, risks of erosion, and possibilities for restoration.
We all play an integral role in the regional landscape, and our lives are impacted by the natural phenomena around us. Any consideration of fire in our surroundings will have implications — both risks and opportunities — for issues like where housing is developed, where transmission lines are located, and more broadly, whether there are prevention, mitigation, or adaptation measures we should be looking at and acting on.
Please join us on Tuesday, May 11, at 6:00 pm, for the virtual meeting on this important topic.
A recording of the April 13 is at Youtube
Join us for a very special April Earth Month meeting, on April 13 at 6:00 pm. The meeting will take place on Zoom:
A roundtable panel of youthful voices in sustainability will answer questions and talk about current issues, needs to be addressed, and future planning. This will be followed by an open Q&A session.
Panelists to date come from Changemaker High School, High Schoolers 4 Climate Justice, Sunrise Tucson, and UArizona Students For Sustainability.
Listen to the future and find out how you can help.
Recording of the April 13 meeting is at Youtube
Tucson architect Bob Vint and local sustainable building advocate David Eisenberg will explore some of the local traditional designs, materials, and building systems, as well as current and future challenges and opportunities for our buildings here in the age of climate change. This will include a look at the form and performance of historic building approaches in the Southwest, problems with our existing housing stock, and some technical insights about building performance, material choices, climate impacts, and rehabilitation strategies.
Bob will draw on his extensive study of regional architecture and his work with traditional and some alternative building materials. David will weave his three decades of building experience, and his work with alternative building materials and systems, codes and standards, and building science into potential solutions to our challenges for both new and existing buildings.
Meet Our Speakers:
David Eisenberg co-founded and has led the Tucson-based nonprofit Development Center for Appropriate Technology (DCAT) since 1992. DCAT launched their program Building Sustainability into the Codes in 1995, seeking to create a sustainable context for building codes. David’s wide-ranging building experience—from troubleshooting construction of the high-tech cover of Biosphere2, to conventional concrete, steel, masonry, wood, adobe, rammed earth, and straw bale construction—has grounded DCAT’s codes and standards work in real-world building experience. He co-authored The Straw Bale House book, and has worked extensively on developing building codes for sustainable techniques and materials, including straw bale construction, cob, and tiny houses, among others. David served two terms on the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Board of Directors where he founded and chaired USGBC’s Code Committee for nine years. David now serves on the boards of Sustainable Tucson and the Tucson 2030 District.
Bob Vint is a native Arizonan, born at Ft. Huachuca. He has practiced architecture in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Massachusetts since 1986. After working with architectural firms in Boston and Tucson, Bob established his independent practice in 1993. Among his many projects are the preservation of the Mission San Xavier del Bac; design of the San Xavier Franciscan Friary and San Xavier Mission School; Linda Ronstadt’s Tucson residence; the main entrance of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Pima County; and preservation of the Bisbee Central School. In addition to running an active architectural practice, Bob is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the School of Architecture at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where since 2011 he has taught the History & Theory of Urban Design. He also holds an annual seminar on Arid Region Urbanism, with field trips to relevant sites from Native American, Spanish, and Anglo cultures, including into the neighboring state of Sonora, Mexico.
Tuesday, March 9, 6:00-8:00 pm
See the meeting here.
Extreme weather and Worsening Air Quality
Throughout this past year, while COVID-19 has kept us laser-focused on health — our own and that of friends, family, and everyone around us — at the same time we have seen and experienced dramatic weather extremes. Locally and around the country, we’ve had everything from devastating forest fires to snowstorms, from record-setting heat to record-setting hurricanes, drought and floods. Our local Bighorn Fire may not have been the worst, but the heavy smoke from the Bighorn was amplified by “imported” smoke coming from the fires in Southern California. Our triple-digit temperatures stretched into the fall, challenging flora and fauna alike. The consensus is that the intensity of these phenomena is heightened by climate change, with still more extremes in coming years.
So what kinds of effects can we expect to face, and how will we need to respond? Our February Monthly Meeting will explore these issues, focusing on “Climate Change Impacts on Health.”
Our two presenters are Charles Geoffrion, currently the vice president of the Pima Country Board of Health, and Karen Wilhelmsen, with Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Air Program. Charles previously served as Associate Vice President for Research and Research Integrity Officer at UArizona. He also served as a board director for Allied BioScience, Inc. and helped develop a surface coating that reduces secondary infections in hospitals and is now EPA-approved for use in preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2. He has lectured on climate issues and in particular the effects of global and regional warming on human and environmental health. Karen joined PDEQ in 1999 to provide environmental outreach and education. She is Community Education Manager for the department’s Clean Air Program, providing your and adult education programs on air quality, alternate modes of transportation, and related environmental topics.
Join us for a timely discussion Tuesday, February 9, from 6:00-7:30 pm, at this Zoom link.