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  • LASG Directors & Staff, Dec 2015
    2008 and working with the Study Group as a contractor then staff member from 2001 2002 She participated on the NM Legislative Oversight Committee on Los Alamos National Laboratory had extensive experience as a staff member in and lobbyist at the New Mexico Legislature and recently worked with a children s camp in the Jemez Mountains on climate change She began her professional music career at the age of 10 receiving classical training from the age of 5 in piano organ voice and flute and three years at the Santa Fe Conservatory of Music She has toured through the southwest Asia and South America performing on stage in nightclubs and USO tours Her work has included the National Dance Institute School for Performing Arts the Broadway Theatre Workshop Santa Fe Opera school programs Santa Fe High School and Middle School choir and musical theater programs as well as teaching music voice and music theory privately Mia Gandenberger is the Programme Manager based in Geneva for Reaching Critical Will RCW the disarmament programme of the Women s International League for Peace and Freedom WILPF the oldest women s peace organization in the world Working with Ray Acheson she writes and co authors numerous articles for RCW as well as layout and design for many of their publications Mia is an experienced speaker and has traveled all over the world representing RCW and WILPF addressing government and civil society conferences parliamentary committees organizations and workshops on important topics such as gendered aspects of nuclear disarmament banning nuclear weapons the importance of civil society in multilateral negotiations preventing armed gender based violence in the Arms Trade Treaty women s participation in peace processes military spending and its effects on international peace and security Prior to her current position with RCW she was a visiting Disarmament Fellow with the Los Alamos Study Group and part time Researcher for Reaching Critical Will She is a co founder of NPT TV a project of the International Law Campaign that aimed to bring reports on nuclear disarmament diplomacy to a larger audience Mia has a BA in Politics and Public Administration from the University of Konstanz Germany Thomas E Luebben formerly with Luebben Johnson Barnhouse has a solo Native American Law practice in Sandia Park New Mexico Mr Luebben has more than 40 years of experience in Federal Indian Law Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Native American legal representation He is also the Director of Litigation for the non profit Native Lands Institute Thomas Luebben has represented Native American tribes organizations and individuals throughout the United States including Alaska and Hawaii since 1971 and presently serves as tribal attorney and special counsel for tribes and Native American groups in New Mexico Arizona Alaska California and Nevada Mr Luebben has written texts and taught as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law and as a guest lecturer at the University of Arizona School of Law Thomas E Luebben holds a J D

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/who/BODandstaff.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • LASG: A brief history & outline of our work, Dec 2008
    issues From October 2007 to April 2008 we conducted weekly public discussion series in two cities on the converging crises we face as a nation The Study Group had a lot of success these past two years working on nuclear weapons appropriations issues We are continuing to work with Congress its investigative agencies and with the Department of Energy DOE and other parts of the Executive Branch in Washington One of our goals is to help these actors develop budgets and facility plans that reflect a necessary rapid transformation in DOE s mission particularly plans that pertain to DOE s nuclear labs DOE planning and budgeting must include dramatically greater funding in renewable energy and allied fields while protecting the environment bolstering our lagging economy and providing clear signals to private investors that will engage them as partners in building a sustainable society These budgetary policies must be sound regional policies as well and they must be politically practical Such policies do not exist for the most part All parties know this to one degree or another so the need is not only real and urgent but widely apparent Many doors are open Not only are the Executive and Congress changing but it is increasingly evident that the perceived nature of national security is changing fast as well In the midst of these changes decisions involving billions of dollars of investments in new nuclear weapons infrastructure are being made Could the DOE prune its weapons investments in favor of investments elsewhere in society to better address security challenges in renewable energy and conservation Some parts of DOE itself recognize the necessity of such changes but without mother hens pecking on the outside of the shell many of the most transformative ideas will never get out Since we have excellent communications

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/who/history.htm (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin 210: Fundraising soirée this Sunday afternoon in Santa Fe, with guest speakers, 17 Nov 2015
    So at this rather late date I would like to invite all our members and friends to what we hope will be a very interesting late afternoon and evening in a gracious east side Santa Fe home Given the subjects we will discuss the privacy needs of our host and the limited capacity of the venue this will not be a public event A simple but scrumptious dinner will be served Because of the narrow streets professional valet parking will be provided That s Sunday November 22 4 7 pm in Santa Fe You must RSVP to be admitted write Trish or call the office 505 265 1200 We can only accommodate about 60 people so if you want to come it is better to call sooner rather than later Again this is NOT a public event You need to write or talk to us in the Study Group office to be admitted There is no particular financial expectation some of our most active members have little or no disposable income and are most welcome to come but please do bear in mind that this is a fundraiser That also means that if some of you know potential donors who might be interested in us or the evening s program please tell them to get in touch with us Our guest speakers at this meeting who will be with us via Skype will include Robert Alvarez one of two new Study Group board members Bob is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and Professorial Lecturer in the Energy Resources and Environment Program at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Bob s knowledge of nuclear technologies safety cleanup and related public policy issues is legendary While a Senate staffer he played a central role in establishing the

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin210.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin 209: Help wanted; NNSA infrastructure plans presume a new Cold War, 28 Oct 2015
    are needed to keep the doors open and the lights on others are capacity dependent The now revived Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement CMRR construction line item sans the huge cancelled CMRR Nuclear Facility CMRR NF is still expected to cost 2 9 billion B despite the fact that all the rest of the original line item about 10 of the 2011 total has been completed The revival consists of two new subprojects under what has become something of a catch all line item This 2 9 B does not include the two proposed underground processing modules the very preliminary cost of which is estimated to be 2 2 B We expect to see that estimated cost added to this or another line item later perhaps this coming February The total project cost TPC of the CMRR line item plus the roughly estimated cost of two modules is thus now 5 3 B This is 1 B more than last year at this time It does not include the undefined and ever expanding cost of safety and capacity upgrades to the existing plutonium facility PF 4 Again this cost also does not include related supporting infrastructure The main driver for these projects is a congressional requirement in the Fiscal Year FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act NDAA P L 113 66 for NNSA to produce not less than 10 war reserve pits for the stockpile in FY2024 30 in each of FY2025 and FY2026 and to demonstrate for at least 90 days a capacity to produce 80 pits year in FY2027 which can be slipped for up to 2 years with appropriate justification FY2016 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan SSMP p A 9 NNSA states that a capacity of 30 pits yr is achievable without new infrastructure Without the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility CMRR NF or an alternative a production capability of 30 pits per year is achievable through several approaches that are not mutually exclusive including additional shift work additional use of space in PF 4 at LANL and use of offsite laboratories that leverage resources outside the Plutonium Sustainment Program FY16 SSMP p 2 34 NNSA believes that the statutory 80 pits yr is not however attainable without at least one if not two underground processing modules as Deputy Administrator Madelyn Creedon told Trish and I last week We differ from that conclusion based in part on the extensive analysis of alternatives provided by the Congressional Research Service we provide a searchable compendium here We will return to the infrastructure vs capacity question another time but in the meantime why are any new pits needed at all within current planning and budgeting horizons The short answer is they aren t Our 2010 conclusions on this matter most of which have not materially changed are found in U S Plutonium Pit Production Additional Facilities Production Restart are Unnecessary Costly and Provocative which was posted by NNSA here and by us here in case NNSA takes down

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin209.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin 208: Local meetings; NM Dems break with White House to support military, nukes; U.S. oil production in decline, 10 Oct 2015
    related to environmental destruction but the same political problem stemming from the same roots in our societies and mentalities our civilization will remain on a steep downward vector Today however we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor Laudato Si 49 emphasis in original Pope Francis issues dramatic wake up call on nuclear weapons of special interest in New Mexico You all got our brief press release Pope Francis denounces nuclear deterrence and calls for prohibition of nuclear weapons Sep 25 2015 I would like to share what we sent to a few journalists that same day Dear colleagues Pope Francis has just said in the largest and most important forum in the world that one of the largest and most celebrated industries in New Mexico is unethical unlawful and an affront to the entire framework of the United Nations Such things have never before been said by any Pope let alone at the U N itself These words have tremendous implications for us in New Mexico including for opinion leaders in the news media and on our blogs in pulpits of our churches and in our environmental organizations His words today The Preamble and the first Article of the Charter of the United Nations set forth the foundations of the international juridical framework peace the pacific solution of disputes and the development of friendly relations between the nations Strongly opposed to such statements and in practice denying them is the constant tendency to the proliferation of arms especially weapons of mass distraction such as nuclear weapons An ethics and a law based on the threat of mutual destruction and possibly the destruction of all mankind are self contradictory and an affront to the entire framework of the United Nations which would end up as nations united by fear and distrust There is urgent need to work for a world free of nuclear weapons in full application of the Non Proliferation Treaty in letter and spirit with the goal of a complete prohibition of these weapons The Pope didn t just make a grand gesture He called for something quite specific the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons This is not necessarily a distant goal Some foreign ministries are discussing such a treaty right now Already 117 countries have joined Austria in pledging to support negotiations toward a nuclear weapons ban treaty There is a surge in support across Europe for a global parliamentary appeal to ban nuclear weapons This is a historic day especially for New Mexico We should all sit up and pay attention The world and our world here in New Mexico have changed and the Pope is telling us that The Pope speaking not just for the Catholic Church but for a troubled western civilization and for humanity has pointed out the direction we must go to survive He is not saying anything new but his having said it is new The fact that he was invited to speak knowing what he would likely say is new He is pointing to permanent truths that are suddenly relevant to our history and prospects now and we had better pay attention His words have special meaning for Catholics who comprise by far the largest religion in New Mexico But as polls show this Pope is very popular with a wide cross section of Americans not just Catholics We the Los Alamos Study Group call upon all New Mexico churches and environmental organizations to heed the Pope s call to solidarity and humanity The challenges we face are interconnected We need to address them that way not superficially in an endless and failing game of whack a mole Wholesale revolutionary changes are needed first of all in our own thinking In his broad message of human and environmental solidarity and compassion the Pope offers New Mexico new horizons in economic development When an industry is immoral or polluting when it can offer no products for sale and no services to society when it is based on the perpetuation of fear and a posture of deadly confrontation when it threatens the extinction of humanity when it is secret in part because it is so shameful that industry cannot create economic or social development Nuclear weapons are that industry Contrary to conventional myth this state s relative per capita income rank has fallen and its inequality risen as its nuclear weapons spending has risen New Mexico is not dependent on nuclear weapons but nuclear weapons are dependent upon New Mexico New Mexico needs to plan for a future without nuclear weapons That goal may or may not be distant but the change in thinking planning and acting will be immediate and fruitful It will be like light breaking through the clouds like rain after decades of drought We recently wrote to our Albuquerque members The relatively stable post Cold War decades are now gone never to return We are in a completely new situation one in which our president just declared that our current anti terrorism wars are generational i e permanent Hybrid and proxy wars are increasing according to the Pentagon itself Progress on nuclear disarmament is now intimately connected with profound economic climate and ecological crises with justice within and between societies with human dignity and common survival We do not see nuclear disarmament as an isolated issue and never have It is more and more a fundamental requirement for human solidarity and survival and it is high time we approached it as such In calling attention to the Pope s words we are not being opportunistic The Pope s policy agenda as expressed in his Laudate Si encyclical in his message to the Vienna conference on the humanitarian impact on nuclear weapons in his speech to Congress yesterday and in his speech today 9 25 15

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin208.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin 207: Serious challenges need serious responses - food for thought, 20 Sep 2015
    the final analysis just ourselves and our family and friends confronting our own converging crises of conscience and organization It is there that our identities characters and fate will be forged and where we will find fulfillment or not For those with the health and the means to act and the poisonous knowledge of the problem there is no separate peace When there are floods or fires or other emergencies it is quite typical for ordinary people to help others in extraordinary and often selfless ways immediately and without question Most people when they see someone in danger will help and do so appropriately if they see a way and all the more so if they have some relevant training or experience It is the responsibility of the Study Group of all our nonprofits of our educational institutions and the churches to open up those ways and to provide that training Meanwhile it is the responsibility of all who help form public opinion to stop downplaying the problems we face so we can start talking about realistic responses and find the collective will to act We need to end the dangerous cult of optimism and positive thinking that makes us so passive and easily manipulated Most people are pretty well tied down we know The critical need is for leadership It doesn t take many people to effect major political change There are 2 1 million people in our state Suppose 10 of those people are adults or near adults who are in a position to act as engaged citizens to one degree or another in the right circumstances If just 1 of that 10 2 100 people or even 0 1 of 10 210 people undertook full time climate and energy justice leadership roles it would be enough More than enough We need to foster commitment skills and experience in just such a transformational distributed leadership We will help you however we can If you are so moved please work with and for us It has been 14 weeks since Bulletin 206 all summer basically This is a lot of water under the bridge for all of us So much so that we ll have to come back to the issues one at a time in a more substantive and detailed way than we can do in this bulletin but perhaps only for those who are most interested and active or on the Study Group s blog This bulletin deals briefly with the broad strategic context only Over the summer we ve sent a handful of updates to our core New Mexico members in Albuquerque and Santa Fe about 200 people in all in connection with local meetings We ve posted those letters here in part because they contain elements of the discussion we ve been having internally about how to foster effective political engagement in a time of national and global crisis I have touched on some of those themes above As we wrote these meetings have been marked with a wonderful spirit of respect and trust anchored by a resilient network of relationships that in many cases span decades We provide daily news digests and work updates to our most active and trusted members based on their interests and needs and our own We know this is far from an ideal pattern I hope you understand that this pattern has evolved in response to the conditions in which we find ourselves including very limited funding and staff time strong demand for relatively detailed work from officials and journalists and the many interactions we have with allied organizations and individuals that are necessarily private While we can and have done an enormous amount with very few resources today I would like to emphasize clearly that we are to a great extent limited by a lack of money To better leverage what we are doing and to reach important new audiences we need more staff just like everybody else For that significantly more money is necessary which requires that more of us talk to those people for whom larger gifts and grants are relatively easy to make We know that many of you know such people more than you may realize There are many other ways to help see for example this list from a year ago but overall a common limiting factor hard to discuss because we have a can do culture around here that presses on in spite of such limits is money It can be difficult to understand the many practical barriers that stand in the way of bringing in new talent even in large organizations or the ease with which those barriers can be broken down when experience and commitment are augmented by money We would have accomplished nothing without you but we all need to face the integrated effect of new realities including severe declines in the politically engaged middle class increasing economic precarity in our communities the depredations of age on yesterday s leaders the near complete loss of democratic enfranchisement the general failure of elite education to awaken consciences in the rising generations and the profound intellectual and moral failures of the liberal class as a whole If you are in that group I m sorry but you may want to jump out now Jump to us and reach out to others on our behalf It s a lot but that is what I am asking To decently leverage what you have made possible up to now we need a few more of you to speak for us and with us Be clear we are not just asserting values here at the Study Group or being some sort of watchdog or building awareness of the issues Our task is different We see it as our duty to win again and over the long haul and to do so in a way that brings people together We can and very much want to help our many allies and friends and not just on

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin207.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin 206: Desultory NPT conference ends in division, a good thing; 108 countries pledge to help ban nuclear weapons, 9 Jun 2015
    a conference under conditions which any single state i e Israel could not veto to talk about a possible nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East a consensus commitment of 2010 and a major concern running back to 1995 at least The enormous contrast between how Israel s advanced nuclear arsenal is treated by the US and its allies and how the Article IV right to peaceful nuclear technologies is treated in the case of Iran would be hardly credible as fiction were it written before the state of Israel and its supporters gained such a powerful hold on US foreign policy and elections Essentially none of the many disarmament promises wrung out of the P5 at successive RevCons have been kept Why bother with a new set See the un actioned 1995 Resolution on the Middle East the un implemented Thirteen Practical Steps of 2000 and the 64 point Action Plan of 2010 the general lack of implementation of which has been reviewed in detail by year and topic by RCW The P5 led by the US and its allies have by this point so damaged the credibility of the NPT regime that a new set of empty promises can hardly repair it Something more is needed The lack of a consensus outcome makes this reality quite clear which we must deem a very positive event Rebecca Johnson of the Acronym Institute an astute longtime diplomatic observer and participant sums up the P5 created NPT crisis in an analysis of this RevCon The five nuclear armed states within the treaty have taken it the NPT for granted as their political fiefdom acting as if its extension in 1995 has legitimized them to possess and deploy nuclear weapons indefinitely as long as they engage in diplomatic rituals of public criticism every five years Meanwhile the four nuclear armed states outside the NPT continue to benefit by NPT based scrutiny of geopolitical adversaries and NPT based nuclear abstention by 186 countries without paying any membership dues An egregious example was set by the US nuclear deals brokered by the Bush administration with India a few years after that non NPT state conducted nuclear tests and declared itself a nuclear weapon state And now comes this week s decision by the US UK and Canada to sacrifice the chance of a consensus 2015 NPT outcome for the sake of Israel another nuclear armed non NPT state Second the way the consensus collapsed was revealing and revolting A nuclear weapon state not even party to the treaty was able to spike five years of preparatory diplomacy and a month long negotiating conference The US and UK cared so little about this conference they were ready to throw its negotiations away at the last second to show their support for Israel and its nuclear arsenal Really And this while the nuclear nonproliferation regime in the Middle East is poised to collapse further not because of Iran but rather because of Saudi Arabia which is hinting that it might want to buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan with or without Pakistani forces to deliver them The sudden exertion of domineering power by the US and its allies in support of nuclear double standards was particularly shocking and hopefully clarifying for all who seek a Middle East nuclear weapons free zone Such hopes are vain as long as the basic question of the legitimacy and legality of nuclear remains unsettled The P5 no doubt with variations that need not concern us claim the NPT gives their nuclear arsenals special legitimacy This is an aspect and not the only one of the so called legal gap that allows certain states to legitimately they think threaten the whole world with nuclear weapons That legal gap will remain open to the extent it is not closed by treaty The nuclear weapon states will certainly not close it The only process that will close that gap is the negotiation of and gradual accession by more and more states to a nuclear weapons ban treaty which prohibits and stigmatizes the possession and use of nuclear weapons It is a ban shaped gap Of course a ban treaty cannot force states to disarm their nuclear arsenals but it can outlaw the failure to do so with significant implications internationally and domestically It is probably also the only way to save the NPT nonproliferation regime based as it is on the norm of nuclear non possession which the nuclear weapon states continue to erode both in practice and in rhetoric In the final analysis diplomats like the rest of us are personally responsible for what they say and do Rose Gottemoeller the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security works in an administration that has disarmed less and is modernizing more than any prior post Cold War administration She is also personally responsible for spiking consensus at this RevCon Like Obama Ms Gottemoeller had a liberal arms control reputation before this job Like Obama she is now implementing an opposite agenda Third and most important as already noted a majority of world s states have now formally associated themselves with efforts to prohibit the possession and use of nuclear weapons based on their fundamental immorality their incompatibility with humanitarian law and the principles underlying it and the risk nuclear weapons pose for the very survival of humanity as expressed in the Humanitarian Pledge This movement is growing intelligent well organized young less male dominated than usual has a clear and achievable objective and it is not based in the US or hostage to US funders all of which are strong points To sum up for these three reasons we think this failed conference is an excellent milestone or coming of age in what could be a new disarmament era with new structures organizations people and a new framing of the issues Above all what is different is that the US neither the US government nor the largely captive nonprofit academic

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin206.html (2016-02-16)
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  • Bulletin 205: Congressional study shows multibillion-dollar underground factory “modules” for plutonium not needed at Los Alamos, 18 May 2015
    never been needed On each of these occasions ideology ambition and greed have temporarily overcome sound judgment and realism a story which continues to the present day Section 3112 of the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act directs NNSA to ramp up pit production to 80 pits per year for at least a 90 day period in 2027 despite the fact that all the pits in the stockpile will last decades longer It s about new warheads in case you were wondering the so called interoperable warheads see references here The previous year Section 3117 of the FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act law our press release and explanation required that NNSA complete and achieve also by 2027 full operating capability in at least two modular structures to complement the function of the plutonium facility PF 4 at LANL assuming the troubled Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear Facility CMRR NF was not completed Well CMRR NF was cancelled That leaves two or more underground modular structures as the present program of record This is an expensive plan 4 3 billion in up front capital cost alone not counting actual operation waste management overhead of all kinds and eventual decommissioning and disposal The two 5 000 sq ft modules are estimated to cost roughly 2 2 billion or more than half the total i e 220 000 per square foot They would be the most expensive interior real estate in the world Leaving aside for the moment the long list of nested prior questions that must be asked such as why does the U S need a new ICBM warhead or a new submarine launched warhead that the Navy itself really isn t interested in Or why does the U S need to have so many hedge warheads fewer would mean pit

    Original URL path: http://lasg.org/ActionAlerts/Bulletin205.html (2016-02-16)
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