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Cancun Climate Talks Come to Duke City

December 7, 2010

ALBUQUERQUE - Some local groups will attempt to "connect the dots" between the Land of Enchantment and Cancun, Mexico, where global climate talks continue this week. On Tuesday, the Rio Grande Sierra Club, Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) and other organizations bring the discussion to the Duke City as part of a worldwide campaign, called "One Thousand Cancuns," to build awareness and take action on climate change.

SWOP's George Lujan says they'll be talking about what they call "false solutions" to climate change that could adversely affect New Mexico – topics such as increasing reliance on nuclear power.

"Uranium mining has already taken a massive toll on New Mexico - indigenous communities, Chicano communities – so we've already seen what the negative effects are. This is why we think it's important to bring this discussion to communities that can have their voices heard when making these decisions."

Companies that want to bring uranium mining back to the state insist that technology has advanced and it can be done safely, but opponents point to recent extraction efforts in other parts of the country that have contaminated groundwater.

Lujan says their aim is to support more grassroots, comprehensive solutions to the climate crisis that don't tackle the issue at the cost of decreasing public health or quality of life – whether on the other side of the world, or here at home.

"The general aim is to find solutions that are favoring communities, as opposed to market-based solutions that favor corporations."

The discussion begins on Tuesday night, Dec. 7, at 6:00 p.m. at SWOP, 211 10th St. SW, Albuquerque.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM