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"Forget the Rest" blog

 

Meeting reminder for TOMORROW, Wed, July 15th

July 14, 2015

Dear friends –

As mentioned in our June 14 and July 8 notes, our next meeting in Santa Fe is tomorrow, Wednesday, July 15, at 5:00 pm. (Please note that this meeting is one-half hour earlier than the previous ones!)  We’ll have a little more substantive food and more time to visit with one another. 

Please RSVP
to this meeting.  We will also tell you how to get there. 
This is not a public meeting, but if you have a friend you think would be interested please give us a call at 505-265-1200 or write Trish

As we said, we will be presenting and discussing some of the results of strategic deliberations we are having with our national and international allies and advisors.  As we mentioned before, tremendous strides have been made internationally toward delegitimizing and prohibiting nuclear weapons, with 112 countries – a majority of countries in the world – having pledged to support a ban treaty just this year.  (Please see Bulletin 206: Desultory NPT conference ends in division, a good thing; 108 countries pledge to help ban nuclear weapons, Jun 9, 2015.) 

Hopefully we will see many of you tomorrow! 

Greg (and Trish)

PS: I will be co-leading a teach-in on the Ukraine situation at the UNM Law School on Wednesday, July 22, from 6-9 pm.  I will be joined by Steven Starr, Senior Scientist with the Physicians for Social Responsibility.  We expect this discussion to be lively and wide-ranging. 

PPS: We appear in this article today: 'Los Alamos will never be clean’

Two comments on this from Greg published in train, as one:

Not much net cleanup has occurred at LANL. While well-intentioned environmental management folks have done their bit and taken home billions in paychecks, LANL has continued to create, bury, re-bury, and ship away wastes. A lot of "cleanup" at LANL, apart from the 90% of the cost which has been studying, monitoring, and overhead, is just moving waste from one place to another. The sources of toxic wastes continue operation, with grand plans to expand.

Probably 90% of the pollution emplaced at LANL will never be cleaned up. There has never been any intent or plan to do so. The "cleanup program" was and is primarily a propaganda effort designed to clean up LANL's image. The audiences are first of all its own recruits and secondarily opinion leaders in surrounding communities. The propaganda exhibits in the Bradbury Museum about LANL environmental programs give the impression that LANL has been and is a BENEFIT to the environment.

It's important to understand that in most respects the Manhattan Project never ended at LANL or in New Mexico. We can't see it because we are in it. We accept a World War II economy. Our leaders do not aspire to more. We wonder why we can't get economic development traction, why our young people are leaving. We are constantly trying to re-work the myths we tell ourselves but we do not have sufficiently serious conversations about our economy and society. When we try, our Big Brothers at the labs are always there to "help."

The pollution created by LANL is not in its environment but its products. Nuclear weapons are LANL's pollution.  The little spillover in the canyons and on the mesas is trivial in comparison.

Nuclear weapons (and now also cleanup, a very minor part) have consumed at least $9 trillion over the past 70 years. Just in financial terms that expense has been too much for U.S. infrastructure and our educational systems, and for our social contract. In New Mexico, post-1972 increases in lab spending are coincident and associated with concurrent declines in our state's standing in relative per capita income. Domenici was first elected to the Senate in that year: the turning point.

The legacy of the Manhattan Project has been nothing less than the death of democracy in this country, the fate of which was sealed once a full-blown national security state arose in the late 1940s and was implemented over the following decade across society. Nuclear weapons magnified our post-war geopolitical hubris and our collective fears to such a pitch that the delicate threads of democracy were torn. We've been falling since. The Soviet bomb itself was a response to ours, and a copy. 

At Los Alamos, Rotblat honorably left the project in December 1944, when he saw it all coming.  Klaus Fuchs and others took matters into their own hands.

Nuclear weapons are illegitimate, criminal, and threaten all human life. 112 countries want to ban them. LANL uniquely contributes nothing of value and should be closed.

Greg Mello


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