Friday, December 2, 2011

Student Clubs Host Visit From Local Activist

MWCC's 100 KW Photovoltaic Solar Array
The Art Club, together with the Math Club and the Green Society brought local activist Hattie Nestel to campus this week for a presentation on renewable energy and energy efficiency as alternatives to nuclear power.
As a member of the Shut It Down Affinity Group, the Athol resident is whole heartedly against nuclear power, and focused much of her Nov. 29 presentation about the potential dangers of nuclear power. The group's members, who range from a kindergarten teacher to a 92-year-old, have been arrested on several occasions for their protests at the Vermont Yankeee nuclear plant.
During her presentation, Nestel praised legislators such as Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey, ranking member of the Natural Resources committee and senior member of the Energy and Commerce committee, for his work on energy and environmental issues. Nestel told students and faculty members gathered for the presentation that 20 percent of electricity in the U.S. is generated by nuclear power. Statistics show greater job growth in green energy, and with more effort placed on conservation, Americans could reduce electricity consumption by 25 to 30 percent, she added.
The student clubs banded together to bring Nestel to MWCC because they thought it would be a great opportunity for the campus to learn more about alternatives to nuclear power and the work advocates are doing to raise awareness, particularly in light of the  disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant following the March 11, 2011 earthquake in Japan, said Sarah Adams, secretary of the Art Club.
“We thought it was a great experience to partner up with the different clubs, and also a great experience to learn about this, considering that our college is so green already,” Adams said. Faculty advisors Tom Matsuda (Art Club) Tom Montagno (The  Green Society) and Yoav Elinevski (Math Club) supported the students' efforts to bring the presentation to campus.
Nestel, who is also a member of the Citizens Awareness Network (, gives several presentations a week throughout the area to interested organizations. "I feel people are lacking this information," she said.

In addition, she recommends a variety of resources to those interested in learning more. On her suggested reading list are two books by Hermann Scheer, a 30-year member of Germany's parliament who was instrumental in efforts to establish Germany as a world leader in renewable energy: The Solar Economy: Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Global Future and Energy Autonomy: The economic, social, and technological case for renewable energy. Among her recommended websites: and
- Angela Marini