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Fried Light - Can the leopard change its spots?

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By Roger Snodgrass

After a visit from the new apostle of environmentalism, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Los Alamos is coming to the end of an interlude of environmental celebrations and events. Now may be as good a time as any to think seriously about how the laboratory is positioned for the country’s revived love affair with the planet earth.

Oddly enough, the case could be made that decades from now Los Alamos National Laboratory will be as well known as a bastion of environmental knowledge and practice as it is both famous and notorious as the birthplace of the atomic bomb.

A community assessment team last week, trying to communicate how Los Alamos looks through the eyes of a first-time visitor, reported back that it was time to “soften” the bomb talk and emphasize the science and environmental work.

That might be good advice for the laboratory as well, if it could be heard.

Don’t forget this is a community that has made sustainability one of its goals and has been making progress in almost every environmental category for some time now.

Sustainability is code for appreciating the web of life. Viable economic sustainability for the economic engine of northern New Mexico may depend on appreciating that there is a new crosswind a-blowing.


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