By Maggie Gundersen
Tomorrow begins the new year of 2019. I want to thank each one of you who writes and calls Fairewinds Energy Education with technical questions and/or encouragement for the work we do. Thank you to each one of you who donates to help us continue Fairewinds scientific research and is participating or has participated in one of Fairewinds citizen science programs. We so appreciate your work with us and your donations to us.
As I said in a letter on Friday, your role as a part of our community encourages us in this work and creates the conditions conducive to releasing our investigations and hypotheses in public arenas.
As we move into this new year of 2019, we reflect upon our decade of research and service. When I founded Fairewinds Energy Education in 2008, it was with the mission to make such information open and accessible to people everywhere, and we continue to meet that mission.
I stand by my original concept for Fairewinds Energy Education, that no community should be stricken by hidden radioactivity that contaminates the waters people drink, the food they eat, and the very air they breathe.
Fairewinds Energy Education is a nonprofit organization. For those who don’t know the specifics of nonprofit management, it means that Fairewinds meets a special standard set by the IRS [Internal Revenue Service – federal tax bureau] as a 501(c)3 organization to assure Fairewinds complies with the law. Fairewinds work is supported by individual donors and foundations, and each of you in Fairewinds community can help us with that process. For example, some of Fairewinds’ larger donors help us with specific programs or projects, like the cost for sampling in Japan, and those individuals specifically donated toward a specific project. In the non-profit world each donation is so important. Small donors give Fairewinds a large number of individual donors, which allows Fairewinds to qualify for foundation funding. The funding Fairewinds receives from Foundations enables it to operate its educational site, make podcasts and/or videos, and have funds for expensive scientific testing. The Work of Fairewinds Energy Education is not possible without our donors, so thank you!
Some of you have asked Fairewinds to campaign and be an ‘activist organization’ and not only a scientific resource. However, as a 501(c)3 ‘educational’ nonprofit, Fairewinds Energy Education may not lobby, campaign, etc. All Fairewinds nonprofit work follows strict guidelines, yet in that we also have great leeway to pursue our educational mission and goals. The Fairewinds Energy Education website [fairewinds.org] continues to be our primary educational program, along with public speaking, webinars, podcasts, radio and television interviews, and documentary film work.
Your help securing donations and grant funding for Fairewinds Energy Education, your participation in our citizen science programs, and your efforts to join us in speaking truth to power, bring us together in a community-inspired effort to secure clean water, food, and air for all people.
As our tag line says: Radiation Knows No Borders.
We are making changes for 2019! To facilitate faster communication with all of you, in 2019, we will be blogging several times each week and keeping up our daily Twitter Feed as a primary social media contact – no, you don’t need to have a Twitter Feed, as it runs right down the side of our home page at fairewinds.org. We will send out quarterly newsletters, as well as our donor requests and citizen science program updates. You may sign up for an RSS Feed for notification whenever we post new news in Fairewinds blog.
We will be working more on scientific studies and scientific testimony at hearings and before agencies. We are concerned about:
The matrix between atomic power and atomic bombs – nonproliferation, as atomic bombs and power are so intertwined with the involvement of the same international corporations that profit from both nuclear power and atomic weapons.
Decommissioning nuclear power plant sites and the nonexistent technology for either long-term fuel waste storage or the dismantlement of atomic power reactors that uses methodology to protect public lands, aquifers, and the very air people breathe.
The false economics of atomic power that misleads people about the hidden costs of atomic power, its environmental clean-up and radioactive mitigation costs, and how it steals funds from the viable alternative of the current renewable energy potential of solar, wind, wave action, geothermal, and as yet undiscovered renewable and sustainable sources of generating electricity all around the world
And, finally. Environmental and Economic Justice, which are issues nearest and dearest to my heart: Nuclear facilities are always sited in populations struggling for financial resources and job, so they are the communities least able to protect themselves against dangerous toxic development. People have been displaced from native lands or islands because they lacked the financial wherewithal to litigate. Other groups desperately hope for the jobs and taxes they are bribed with. This creates a perverse dynamic where the people most likely to be injured from radiation exposure appear to want the atomic facility and ensuing exposure because they need jobs so badly.
We are grateful for you, our community members, and wish you the best for 2019. Again, we thank you for your support of Fairewinds work!
Best wishes and Happy New Year,
Maggie and Arnie, Grayson, Sue, Jacky, and Steve