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Reminder: talk and discussion THIS EVENING; solar party June 3; more

May 25, 2017

Dear Albuquerque friends --

Just a reminder, taken from the summer schedule sent a couple of weeks ago (or see this calendar):

  • This evening, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, at the Study Group HQ, 2901 Summit Place NE, Albuquerque (map) we will have a presentation and discussion on our converging crises; the role of local organizing; overcoming silence in our communities

Also please remember these:

  • June 1, Study Group HQ, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, at the Study Group HQ: welcome for and get-together with our climate and solar ambassadors
  • June 3, Summit Park, Constitution and Richmond NE, Albuquerque (map), 11 am to 3 pm: Solar Party, with solar displays and experts in attendance from Positive Energy and McCune Solar Works; food and conversation in a kid-friendly environment

We are pleased to have two long-time community activists from Santa Fe joining us tonight.


  • First, here's a blurb you can copy and paste to your own lists and those of organizations with which you may be involved (obviously feel free to edit this for brevity as necessary):
Join us, the Los Alamos Study Group, on Saturday, June 3rd, 11am - 3pm for a Solar Party at Summit Park, Constitution and Richmond, here in Albuquerque!

There will be food, fun, and beverages. No charge. Bring your family and meet our eight Climate and Solar Ambassadors who will be working with us this summer! They will be working in our office mostly, but also circulating on occasion around our neighborhood to help others learn more about why household and business solar installations make excellent environmental and financial sense.

We are fortunate to have our two "Solar Partners" joining us as well on Saturday!

  • McCune Solar Works will be on hand to demonstrate their "Canadian Solar 260 Watt Solar Diamond Glass-Glass Modules. These are among the highest quality, longest life PV modules available - 30 Year Warranty. The engineering and Quality control is impeccable." 
  • Sunpower by Positive Energy will have their "solar trailer" on hand and be there to demonstrate their superb, long-lived "SunPower panels [that] produce the highest power output per square inch..." They can also explain how you can afford a solar system by "working with your bank or our financing partners, you can purchase a solar system with $0 down and have no payments or interest for months, or acquire a loan and pay as you go."

As a special bonus for our non-profit organization, McCune Solar Works will pay $500 to the Study Group for successful referrals that result in the purchase of a home or business PV system.

Sunpower by Positive Energy will pay the Study Group $100 for every referral we provide that results in a consultation with a possible customer, with another $400 awarded to us if that consultation then leads to the purchase of a home or business system.

These are both VERY good companies that offer somewhat different and complimentary products and services in the solar market.

We look forward to seeing many of you on Saturday, June 3rd!
We believe that this will be a superb networking event for those who might want to get involved in the solar energy industry.

This past Tuesday (5/23/17) you received our initial press release regarding the UN negotiations about to resume, aimed at producing a treaty banning nuclear weapons 6 weeks from now.

Also on Tuesday, President Trump's first budget request hit the streets. We have parts of a detailed analysis of the warhead portion of the budget, but have not published anything on it yet. As we explained to a reporter this morning, we don't see any new programs or projects, despite the big increase in warhead spending. The weapons programs underway are simply costing more than was previously budgeted. This has been universally expected. The details are however quite interesting, and potentially pivotal. The news is not all bad. 

The really novel bit in the Trump budget is the near-total destruction of the Department of Energy's (DOE's) renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) programs (to be cut 70%, from $2.069 billion to $636 million). This draconian cut is unlikely to fully survive Congress but it's a safe bet that RE and EE are, er, not going to grow, to say the least! The energy future of the U.S. is very, very muddy, and the Democrats are almost as responsible for the mess as are the Republicans. Hence this summer's program, and the program tonight.

The bigger issue is that the priorities in the Trump budget, if continued, will, of a certainty, destroy the U.S. -- and especially New Mexico, which is among the states that will be most damaged by its militaristic priorities. The increases going to the labs will come from schools and our children, from the vulnerable, from Medicaid and the rest of the tattered safety net. Those cuts will ripple heavily through the rest of society. And the increases at the labs and military bases will also come from increased federal borrowing, which in the case of the bloated military does not invest in much of anything useful or productive, so there's no payback. The U.S. has got to take a U-turn on war and it's not going to be easy. Most likely this will come from inevitable (further) defeats abroad, which will test U.S. prudence and restraint this side of nuclear war. 

New Mexico Democrats claim to support RE and EE -- not just at DOE but in the larger sense of these terms -- but their support is lukewarm and exaggerated for voter consumption. Their support for nuclear weapons and the military is by contrast full-throated, constant, and powerful.

New Mexico environmental groups constantly allow Democratic politicians to "greenwash" their positions. This makes them among New Mexico's most powerful, long-time enablers of militarism, economic inequality, and war. Is that plain enough for you? The climate groups that don't take on these issues, that remain silent about the barbarism exhibited by our leading Democrats, are setting up climate advocacy for failure. We have to stop pussyfooting around these realities. That's one of the messages from the Trump budget.

Stay tuned, take stock of your situation, and get ready,

Greg and Trish, for the Study Group

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