Bulletin #109: Weekly seminars
resume (“Converging crises, shared responses”)
April 3, 2011
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Dear members and friends –
Tomorrow evening –
Monday, April 4th, 7:00 to 9:00 pm – the Study Group
will resume weekly public seminars on practical policy responses to our converging
environmental and resource crises and their related economic and
Our first meeting in the new series
will take place tomorrow at the Albuquerque Mennonite Church, 1300
Girard Blvd NE (map),
from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. Our first topic will be: “Low-Carbon
Energy Investment and the Future of New Mexico.” We’ll
also provide a vignette on taxpayer subsidies of nuclear power (which
are vast), as an introduction to comparing low-carbon (?) electricity
generation technologies. We’ll take these complex topics
slow and easy and we hope to have a rich discussion.
will focus on aspects of energy and climate-protection policies
because of their centrality, their overwhelming importance, and the
imminence of their impacts.
We hope to provide not just
useful information and an interesting discussion but also a forum
where citizens, policy professionals, journalists, and others can
share ideas, perspectives, tools, and enthusiasm.
we’d critique the Administration’s energy policy in this
first seminar -- given Obama’s recent speeches -- but it isn’t
clear if there is much of a real policy proposal at the moment.
We’ll discuss the same topics in Santa Fe on Tuesday
April 5th from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at St. John's United
Methodist Church, 1200 Old Pecos Trail, Room 116 (downstairs) (map).
On subsequent weeks we will meet in the same places and
times. We will announce other public presentations in late
In the last half-hour of each meeting we’d like
to discuss ways each of us can be more involved and effective.
I don’t need to reiterate how dire the need is.
I write, the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
continues, only partially abated. German
Chancellor Angela Merkel called it a "catastrophe of
apocalyptic dimensions." The heavy costs – human,
environmental, economic – are still rising and their full
extent will not be clear for a long time. Many of us have been
deeply involved in learning and speaking about this catastrophe, but
we can’t affect events there. We can affect events here – wherever we live – and that’s the point of
The following week (April 11th and
12th) we will take up the relative merits of nuclear power
in greater depth, partly in preparation for an upcoming nuclear
industry conference which will explore possible construction of small
nuclear power plants in eastern New Mexico. The conference
New Mexico Lead the Way in Nuclear Energy?”) will be held
on April 27th and 28th in Hobbs, NM.
Just to be clear, the Los Alamos Study Group is not an
antinuclear organization. We don’t have an ideological
“set” against nuclear power. Nuclear power has a
host of unique and very serious problems and hazards (insert a long
list here, which we will discuss in depth on April 11th and 12th); it is also very expensive and it’s cost,
long lead time, scale, and project management risks cause it not to be a low-carbon technology, which may surprise some of you.
We will follow up this short bulletin with another one
midweek which will update some of the ways available for you to get
more involved, should you wish to do so.