By Maggie Gundersen
First, let me give our heartfelt thanks and great appreciation to all of you who help support Fairewinds Energy Education and to those of you who have already donated, thank you. We honestly could not do this work without your support.
As we all enjoy this holiday season and look toward the upcoming new year, let us give thanks for our families, friends, communities, and the human rights we are currently free to enjoy in the U.S. While some people create New Year’s resolutions, others start personal introspection at different times of the year based upon their personal religious commitments, connection to the land and seasons, or based upon an academic calendar. My ongoing commitment is to continue working with Fairewinds Energy Education to bring real science into the energy discussion worldwide.
Climate change is a reality facing all of us, whether we live near a coastline, in proximity to rivers, up in the mountains, or in a desert landscape. Each day’s news and worldwide weather maps show us the facts and truth about what is happening. When we first became involved in the nuclear industry, Arnie and I both thought that nuclear power, as presented by the U.S. Atoms for Peace Program that hooked each of us, was a permanent answer to safe energy –– almost too cheap to meter and that it would also help to end atomic warfare. How absolutely wrong we were.
Every fail-safe system at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant failed resulting in the three meltdowns. The five commercial atomic power plant meltdowns during the last 40 years and the myriad of test-reactor meltdowns that occurred and were mostly covered-up for years, prove that nuclear power is not a viable technology for a world as fragile as planet Earth. Moreover, the space between Atoms for Peace and atomic bombs is non-existent myth. Almost every country that has nuclear power has also created or hopes to create nuclear weapons in the mistaken belief that it would give them more prestige, status, and power on the world’s political stage. The atomic power industry and atomic weapons are intricately and inextricably intertwined in a world dominated by power struggles for political and financial control.
Fairewinds Energy Education will continue talking about the unfeasible economics and unsafe aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle from beginning to end.
Let me digress here to give you a little personal history: As we said in a recent donor request letter, I founded Fairewinds Energy Education 10-years ago in Burlington, VT. We moved to Burlington in 2001, and I founded Fairewinds Associates as a small business in 2003 and incorporated in 2005. Since 2003, Fairewinds Associates Inc, paralegal and expert witness services, has completed thousands of hours of research and testimony on ‘real’ [not fake news] nuclear power risks, breakdowns, and regulatory breaches, including industry induced death and illnesses. In 2008, several prominent and independent Vermont businesswomen asked me to found Fairewinds Energy Education Nonprofit in order to get Fairewinds analyses and reports out to people all over the country. I never anticipated the worldwide following we would create with our videos, podcasts, newsletters, and public presentations following the Fukushima meltdowns. I am proud of the work we [Arnie, me, and the Fairewinds Crew] have accomplished during the past 10-years.
We chose to move to Burlington, Vermont in 2001, but with our children and family members living all over the U.S. and my ongoing health issues that made Vermont winters increasingly challenging, in mid-June 2018, Arnie and I and Fairewinds moved to Charleston, SC.
This is a great location for us! We live only 2-miles from our daughter, who is an ER nurse at MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina); we are only 20-minutes from one of our favorite beaches in the country, which we have been visiting for 10-years with our family and friends; we are an easy drive away from other family members including my brother and sister-in-law and my niece near High Point, NC, my nephew and his wife and young family near Atlanta, GA, and my cousin and her husband in Asheville, NC, as well as so many other friends and colleagues who are in the south.
Additionally, as far as our work is concerned, we are in the thick of things. We first began working in the south in Florida in 2003. We have given expert witness testimony in state proceedings, federal court, and to the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) for atomic power reactor sites and waste sites in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, and we will continue to do so.
Several people have written this week to ask why we stopped sending newsletters and were so quiet for almost seven months. We did announce on Fairewinds website, Twitter feed, and Facebook pages that we were taking a sabbatical. It took time to move and settle in, after which we traveled for meetings with colleagues and to conduct research.
The work we do and share with you depends upon facts.
At Fairewinds Energy Education, we let the data do the talking.
We are a science-based organization.
Good science takes research, analysis, and time, and we will never give you less.
Where does Fairewinds Energy Education Nonprofit get its funding?
Our funding comes from two sources: many individual donors from all over the world and several foundations that also have underwritten our research and work. The two go hand in hand. By IRS standards the number of individual donations helps enable Fairewinds Energy Education to qualify for foundation funds. It is both complicated and simple.
That is why we are taking the time at the end of 2018 to ask each of you to help us by donating. We have some critical programs set up for 2019, and we cannot do the research needed without your support. All of Fairewinds work on our website is open for you to view, read, listen to, and share. Nothing is hidden behind a paywall, and all is for you to share with family, friends, and colleagues via a creative commons license to share and share alike.
Today, during these challenging times of hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires, we wish you a blessed holiday season and new year. Most of all we want you to know that Fairewinds Energy Education will continue to do the scientific research and analysis you have come to count on!
Next week, we will post and email again to let you know some of the programs and projects we have kicked off for 2019 at Fairewinds.
Please stay tuned.
Fairewinds will keep you informed.
Best wishes from
Maggie, Arnie, and the Fairewinds Crew
If you have the funds, please consider donating