Nobel get-togethers Sunday; industrial transformation of LANL; fundraising reminder
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December 7, 2017
Dear friends --
Thank you so much for your support -- of every kind. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season.
Reminder: Nobel Peace Prize get-togethers, Santa Fe and Albuquerque, Sunday December 10, 3:15 and 6:30 pm respectively
This coming Sunday, December 10th, at 3:15 pm at The Commons, 2300 W Alameda St (map) in Santa Fe, the Study Group is sponsoring a get-together to celebrate the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony that is taking place in Oslo, Norway earlier that day. We will serve light refreshments.
As you know, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), of which the Los Alamos Study Group has been one of the most active US partner organizations.
On Sunday we can answer questions about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) as well as socialize (important!). We can answer questions about other breaking issues if there is time, especially the ongoing efforts to industrialize plutonium programs at LANL.
There won't be quite enough time, so most of all we want to discuss further plans with you.
At 6:30 pm, we will have another get-together in Albuquerque here at the World Headquarters, 2901 Summit Place NE (map). Again, we will serve light refreshments. Please come!
The Ban Treaty is really fairly wonderful. It has tools we can use. As a piece of paper it is just that, of course. It lives in us and in others. We here in New Mexico are going to have to be part of the leadership team on this, but we will need help.
All hands on deck: plutonium pit production at LANL: $4.9 to $10.5 billion in industrial construction planned (See: Bulletin 238: Normative plutonium policies as we see them – a quick sketch and Summary, NNSA pit production Analysis of Alternatives.)
Will allDemocrats, or just our senators and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, send "it all" here? (So far, Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham has managed to avoid jumping onto the plutonium bandwagon. It would be good to thank her.)
The senators and Rep. Lujan issued a joint statement which read in part, "Los Alamos is the only option [for pit production] to meet cost and schedule requirements [sic -- according to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) it is the least likely to do so]. We would be deeply skeptical of any alternative that contradicts that independent assessment, and we will fight [to get this production mission]."
As a former LANL scientist put it: "It's the money, honey."
Money for a very few in Los Alamos and its bedroom communities, for contractors and suppliers in other states, for the temporary nuclear-certified construction workers who would come here, and for these elected officials, who not only rake in campaign contributions from the labs but also get another two or six years of political "non-aggression" from these politically-active labs and their many friends. As much as campaign cash, it's a protection racket.
NNSA says in its report that it will spend more than $3 billion upgrading pit manufacturing at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to achieve a 30 pit per year manufacturing capacity, regardless of its decision about a larger manufacturing capacity.
Think about this, and get mad. Three billion dollars for factory upgrades (plus annual operating expenses, in the $200 million range) to gratuitously make parts for a new kind of weapon of mass destruction that even the military "customers" don't want (the Navy), or are cool to (the Air Force). These are world-ending weapons, make no mistake, which could never be used (that is, exploded -- they are used every day in the same way pointing a gun at someone is using a gun) under international law.
They want to spend more than $3 billion to do all this in New Mexico, with all the problems we face? Where is the shame?
This level of federal funding, were it put into renewable energy and energy efficiency tax credits in New Mexico, would stimulate many billions more in investment -- our spending and our ownership, if rightly arranged -- and bring to our communities tens of thousands of new jobs, careers, skills, and pride -- individual and community pride. If crafted right, the result would be more resilient communities, with essentially no electric bills.
This is not a faraway dream. It is what we give up by letting our elected officials sell us out. What we give up by giving up.
Not to put too fine a point on the matter, without this transformation, New Mexico will spiral right on down, with no bottom in sight.
Make no mistake, these hypermilitaristic priorities will, if continued, automatically prevent appropriateand sufficient investments in renewable energy, sustainable transportation, education, and protection of our most vulnerable citizens and most vulnerable species. They will destroy the United States, in other words. They will kill millions of people, without a single nuclear detonation or a single atom of nuclear pollution. The sooner we let go of Empire, and re-shape national security dramatically, the more survivors there will be.
There are a lot of people who think New Mexico is an excellent place to put a plutonium pit factory -- and a national "Consolidated Storage Center" for nuclear waste as well. That's on the table too, and it may well be connected. Right now, they are in the same appropriations bill. Politicos would never in a million years think about putting a pit factory in the Bay Area, or a nuclear waste parking lot anywhere near so many congressional districts and electoral college votes.
For many people, putting nuclear missions -- weapons and waste; they go together -- in New Mexico is the "lesser of two evils." Democrats couldn't kill Obama's new weapons programs when it was easy to do. Now factories are needed to build them.
Write to the "Mistaken Three," but do it in the newspapers where others can see, and where The Three know that others see. And thank Rep. Grisham if you want.
Thank you for your support! We are working with considerable traction these days. Our ambitions are high because they have to be -- for the kids, for the animals, and as Pope Francis reminds us, for ourselves.
We urge you to step up as well in your own way. Everyone has unique gifts. We are really in an emergency period, a bottleneck for humanity and other species. That's "Reality 101" now.
Here is our appeal, with as much information as we could put on two sides of a letter.
If you have thoughts for us, potential major donors we should write or visit, or people it might be important to hear us out, please let us know. For your own friends, it is usually best to contact them yourself on behalf of this organization.
Finally, if you can't come on Sunday there will other occasions. One of the strange dynamics we face here at the Study Group is that we can draw in a stellar crowd -- an "A list" -- of national and international figures to discussions, but we can't do that unless there is sufficient interest. This "Catch-22" has something to do with our colonial mentality here in New Mexico.
Greg and Trish