Editor, Daily Nexus,
It’s good that Darwin BondGraham questions our institution’s involvement in the development and manufacturing of nuclear weapons, yet a simple lack of information on his part – that is by no means his fault – skews the position of righteousness he assumes (“UC-Managed Federal Labs Require Checks,” Daily Nexus, April 23). From what I know of the situation, all of the statistics he references in his column are correct, so obviously that can’t be what I want to examine.
My purpose is to remind BondGraham to not go around damning these programs solely to achieve a change that he “absolutely” knows to be correct. As it happens, I am from Santa Fe, N.M., a town very close to Los Alamos, N.M., where Los Alamos National Laboratory is. I have many friends whose parents are or were employees there, and a significant portion of my hometown’s economy is derived from the presence of the labs and their facilities. I hate bringing personal interest into my response, but LANL pays for a large part of my out-of-state tuition, enabling me as well as others from northern New Mexico to attend campuses in the University of California system.
That nuclear dumping he references? That happens at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southern New Mexico; it is gross, dangerous and the trucks carrying the waste drove by my house for years. Do I want to change these things? Absolutely; it’s necessary that the regents have some accountability to the interests of the students as well as their business partners. I’m just asking BondGraham to stop trying to assume the moral high ground when the changes he might bring about don’t affect him personally in any way. Maybe he should speak to the people who actually deal with the realities of the situation he is trying to “remedy.”