LPAC NAWAPA Conferences
Spur Campaign for Real Recovery
by Nancy Spannaus
Dec. 16—Two high-powered conferences on the prospects and implications of the immediate implementation of the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA) project, sponsored by LaRouchePAC on Dec. 4, point to the immediate potential for a successful, expanded organizing drive for the crucial great project. The optimism which LPAC has generated among engineers with the expertise to implement the biggest biosphere-engineering project ever, has sparked a dynamic that is desperately needed by the demoralized U.S. population.
The two conferences occurred in Pasadena, Calif., and the Tri-Cities area of Washington State. Keynoted by members of the LPAC scientific team, called the Basement Team, they both dealt with the physical challenges and benefits of the "water project," and the fundamental scientific shift of outlook which embarking on it requires. The keynote presentations were followed by panels of experts who have been involved in in-depth discussions with the LPAC team over the past three months, and then, lively interchanges with the audience as well.
The experts who spoke came from a variety of specialties, ranging from hydrology, to geology, to agriculture and biosystems management, nuclear power, and construction management. They made it totally clear that the NAWAPA project was feasible now, if the American people would go back to the American System-Franklin Roosevelt approach to economy. Millions of highly skilled workers could be put to work immediately, and a tremendous future opened up for millions more.
The Path Ahead
Speaking on LPAC-TV's regular feature on NAWAPA, "Building the Future," on Dec. 13, project coordinator Michael Kirsch outlined what the Basement Team has dubbed "Phase Two" of its NAWAPA project.
Phase One began in late August, with the release of LPAC's 3-D interactive video mapping of the NAWAPA project, a dynamic tour of the entire region that would be transformed through the diversion of a small portion of the waters of two Canadian rivers, which now drain north into the ocean, down through Alaska and Canada into the "Great American Desert" and the northern desert regions of Mexico. That video has formed the basis for systematic outreach among a vast number of specialists in the fields of science and engineering that are required for the project's construction. Some of those specialists were involved in the Dec. 4 conferences.
Phase Two, Kirsch explained, represents a political up-shift in this organizing process, whereby numbers of these experts, along with the LaRouchePAC team, commit themselves to making the project "shovel-ready," right up to the point where Congress can simply pass the bill, and it's ready to go. In this phase, he said, we will identify where the manpower and resources have to come from for each phase of the massive project, and organize the relevant institutions and individuals to prepare for that action. Accelerating this process will simultaneously create the political momentum to ensure that NAWAPA is implemented.
Calling on LPAC-TV viewers to join in this organizing drive, Kirsch pointed to the more than 20 in-depth interviews with experts which have appeared on the LPAC website (www.larouchepac.com), as well as the videos of the two Dec. 4 conferences. While the political preconditions of removing President Obama from office and re-enacting Glass-Steagall remain paramount, it is clear that the concrete vision of NAWAPA, which Lyndon LaRouche has identified as the only great project which can reverse the global descent into a New Dark Age, will be indispensable to inspiring the successful political campaign to do so.
Integral to Phase Two as well, will be a proliferation of regional conferences on the NAWAPA idea, bringing in other forces. Boston and Montreal have already featured events on the weekend of Dec. 11, and a major conference with expert participation, is planned for Jan. 8 in San Francisco.
A quick review of the presentations at the Dec. 4 conferences will give a taste of the depth and scope of discussion at these events, which were also noteworthy for the intense involvement of the dozens of participants in the audience.
The Pasadena Conference
The Pasadena conference started with a political introduction by the moderator, LaRouchePAC leader Michael Steger. He briefed the audience on the cultural down-shift which has occurred following the death of President Franklin Roosevelt, epitomized by the country's collapse since the Kennedy assassination. This must be reversed, and this is why NAWAPA must be built; and those in the know are joining the fight to make it happen. Steger was followed by Cody Jones, of the LaRouche Basement Team, who discussed the fraudulent rivalry between two systems of thought: 1) the right-wing view that man's economic actions have no considerable impact on the environment, and 2) the leftist view that man does have a tremendous impact on nature, and that to a horrible effect. Jones presented a third view, of man as a Biospheric Engineer, who must begin to consider phenomena such as electrical currents within oceans, and other subtle electromagnetic processes on Earth and in the broader cosmic system, when he acts. He concluded with the uplifting notion of the universe's essential goodness, including those knowably good effects of changing the Biosphere, and beyond, through physical economy.
The following presentation, by featured speaker, hydrological engineer Dr. Howard Chang, was extraordinay (see the transcript below). Chang reviewed the history of the California water projects, some of which he was personally involved in developing, and how they transformed the state. He emphasized the natural beauty of hydroelectric power, which is also free, once the dam has been built. He then presented, in detail, the massive water projects which China has been building, including the South-North water project. Having been personally involved in the development of the enormous Three Gorges Dam, he related how the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences opposed the construction of that dam. Nonetheless, the Chinese government proceeded, calling on scientists like himself to overcome objections (such as worries of long-term sedimentation of the reservoir) through rigorous scientific research and problem solving. This was fun! Man's mind at work.
Questions abounded after this talk, to such an extent that they had to be cut short, in order to break for lunch. Experts who had talked with one another over conference calls, now met face-to-face. Conversation flowed, and many new ideas, including consolidating a more concrete builders' committee, were raised.
After an introduction by Oyang Teng of the LaRouche Basement Team on Vladimir Vernadsky's idea of man as a geological force, the afternoon panel of experts proceeded. Dr. Youxian Wu, environmental scientist and civil engineer at San Diego State University, gave a deliciously ironic presentation, on how NAWAPA would actually benefit all ecological systems affected. He reviewed how water deltas, wetlands, soils, etc., would all be augmented, not destroyed, by NAWAPA. He emphasized how problems raised by man's activity, were good things, calling for creative breakthroughs, rather than reasons not to build.
Dewitt Moss, a nuclear expert, educated the audience on nuclear fission, its variable uses, and its value as an energy source. Wayne Voelz, development project designer, talked about how LaRouche was right in 2007, and was the only public figure calling for anything real to be done about the economic collapse. He presented his vision of how NAWAPA could be fast-tracked, mobilizing all sections of the labor force, in a coordinated action, like a war effort. His view was that NAWAPA could be built in ten years, if we adequately mobilized.
Finally, Lloyd Crask, professor of construction management at Fresno State University, discussed how our education system could be overhauled, to meet the challenges of developing 18-24-year-olds to participate in NAWAPA. He emphasized the need to revive FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program, and that the NAWAPA project could be a vehicle for that type of process.
At the intersection of the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia Rivers, and with its plentiful farmland, as well as being home to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the Tri-Cities of Washington State could not be better situated as the site of the first NAWAPA conference in the Pacific Northwest Dec. 4. There were five presentations on various aspects of NAWAPA, hitting on the rail component, machining, city design, nuclear power for the pumping systems, the United States credit principle, and an impassioned appeal to the "old men" of our society to help guide the initial steps of NAWAPA, as a grandfatherly act.
Dave Christie, of LaRouchePAC, started with an introduction of the panelists, mentioning that this NAWAPA conference was part of an international fight against the British Empire, for development, as opposed to the policy of globalized deindustrialization.
Christie then introduced LPAC NAWAPA project coordinator Michael Kirsch, who went into some of the history of inland development, and how that has been central to our nation's economic growth and independence from the British imperial system. Kirsch continued with the fact that our nation's credit policy, as put forward by its first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton, was the only system that functions, in contrast to the failing British and Venetian design of usurious monetarism. This is the American System that issues credit for the development of the future of the sovereign nation. He then went into the need for the current generations to come together around NAWAPA, and made the point that even if the youth of today had the will and the desire to build NAWAPA, they lack the knowledge and skills to do it.
Kirsch concluded with an appeal to an older generation, a generation that had built great projects in the past, to commit a grandfatherly act, and help launch NAWAPA before that perspective and experience has died out.
The next speaker was Keith Smith, former head of the Machinists Union for southern Washington, and a retired machinist at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, where he also sits on the Hanford Advisory Board. Smith provided insight into scaling issues, making the point that due to the size of NAWAPA, simply scaling machinery up in a linear fashion results in exponential rates of complexity and/or problems. He then went into some of the concerns involved in training a young generation of machinists, since it takes approximately five years, and many of our skilled machinists are now approaching retirement.
After this, Kirsch elicited a discussion between Terry Bates, a manager of large industrial projects, and Smith about the issue of exponential problems through simple scaling.
Next on the agenda was a pre-recorded presentation from Dr. Allan Salzberg. Salzberg, who recently ran for U.S. Congress in Idaho, has made the advancement of nuclear power his legacy, especially for Idaho, which has a rich history of nuclear power. Salzberg began his career in rocket science, later becoming a defense analyst, and then switching careers to become a medical doctor. Upon retiring from the medical field, he ran for Congress almost entirely to promote nuclear power, arguing that without energy, there is no civilization. Salzberg discussed the modular reactor technology, referencing S-PRISM of GE/Hitachi, as the robust modular reactors that could be deployed in areas such as the Sawtooth Mountain pump system of the NAWAPA design.
After Salzberg's address, Bates gave a presentation on issues of city design. Since the NAWAPA design has so much of its activity in remote areas with little or no human habitation, Bates tackled some of the concerns of city design, such as: no cities should be built on green fields; the use of industrial process heat; minimal auto traffic in city centers; the optimal size of cities and support towns and villages, etc. He prefaced his remarks by saying that his main intent was to create discussion—and discussion there was. There was a lively back and forth from the audience, many of whom came from skilled labor or professional backgrounds.
Dr. Hal Cooper finished the panel presentation on the interconnectedness of rail development and the development of mineral resources, pointing out the areas along the NAWAPA design which are rich in resources, and how the only way to develop these areas was with the rail component along NAWAPA's route. Cooper is known as a longtime advocate, with Lyndon and Helga LaRouche, of the Bering Strait tunnel, which, of course, would open up whole new trade routes with Asia and Eurasia. Cooper made some particularly pointed jabs at the British Oligarchy and their attempt to stop development.
But perhaps the most interesting part of the conference was the relationship between the presenters and the audience. There was a lively back-and-forth throughout, essentially ending in a discussion that centered on the basic question of how you organize to ensure that NAWAPA becomes a reality.
Readers are strongly recommended to visit www.larouchepac.com to view the presentations and interviews referred to in this article.