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I teach the anthropology of the power and political systems, social movements, race and racism, Indigenous rights, and the Andes, and Latin America at Vanderbilt University.

My ethnography focuses on grassroots social movements in Bolivia and socioenvironmental conflicts in Latin America. It resulted in this book:

I compile and create code to analyze a database of deaths in Bolivian political conflict since 1982.

As is often the case, the killings were followed by a partial agreement between the government and the workers it repressed. In this instance, the government promised a new pension law and the workers offered a 45-day truce in mobilizations.

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Seven days later, Morales signed Supreme Decree 29668 compensating the families of those killed with Bs/50,000 (~$7,300) each.

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This was also one of several instances where the Morales government claimed security forces didn't have firearms and therefore civilian casualties were some kind of mystery.

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In a master class in victim-blaming apologies, AGL said "I lament that these leaders are driving and converting the COB [labor federation] into clash groups on behalf of antidemocratic and fascist interests. That is what is sad today; we lament the death of two people."

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So, in Year 3 of the Evo Morales administration, police shot dead two miners protesting for a younger retirement age.

VP Álvaro García Linera called union leaders "fascists" and part of the "caveman, antidemocratic right wing."

A back-of-the-envelope calculation would suggest that 3.8% of potentially pregnant people, age-adjusted to those who actually seek abortions, are transgender or nonbinary.

That's one in 26.


What share of abortion patients don't identify as women? Is it "tiny"?

Some back of the envelope calculations suggest not…


Build a thousand windmills across a state and you reduce reduce the intermittency to almost zero.

Build fifty identical nuclear plants across a country and you might have to shut them all down in the same year. Ask Japan.

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Nuclear power and renewable energy have different and incommensurate reliability problems: renewable power stops for minutes or hours when the weather shifts; nuclear plants can go offline for months when a design flaw is discovered.

As I've said before, activist effort is far better spent on retiring coal and gas plants than nuclear ones right now, but there's no real case for a nuclear renaissance.

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Meanwhile the costs of solar and wind power continue to plunge and both distributed sourcing and battery storage provide an alternative to the "baseload" power nuclear backers claim is necessary.

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The area of uncertainty is lifetime extension for existing nuclear power plants. Unlike New construction, just keeping these open is cost competitive with new renewables.

(see yellow dots on thus graph)

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A balanced look at the leading SMR project, which promises a reactor in 2029. Far too early to tell if they will meet their cost promises.

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Nuclear bad news 2: Small modular reactors, pitched as a low-waste future version of nuclear power, are actually likely to compound nuclear waste, according to a peer-reviewed analysis.

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The nuclear renaissance was pitched to the public at a $4 billion/gigawatt reactor price point, so we're now approaching a 4x cost.

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The Vogtle 3 and 4 reactors were delayed again. These two conventional reactors were started in 2013 and will cost at least $30.34 billion.

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Nuclear bad news 1: massive cost overruns and delays continue at only conventional nuclear power plants under construction in the USA.

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In light of yet another nuclear renaissance story, here's a quick update on nuclear power.

Two areas of bad news, one of uncertainty, and spectacular improvements of the alternatives: renewables and storage.

How, 34 years ago today, between the news and the fireworks in a north Chicago suburb, my patriotism began to unravel…

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