Ruben Arvizu: Cultural Perspectives in the Global Quest for Water

at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Wells Fargo Theater

516 ARTS and the National Hispanic Cultural Center presented a talk by special guest filmmaker Rubén Arvizu on the subject of how climate change is affecting Hispanics, connecting his work in Latin America with the Southwestern United States. This event was part of 516 ARTS’ season-long series of public programs called HABITAT: Exploring Climate Change Through the Arts. While many of the events for HABITAT focus on artists’ responses, this event brings together a filmmaker with scientists and conservationists. It was organized and moderated by Theresa Cardenas, New Mexico consultant to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Prior to Rubén Arvizu’s talk, scientist John Mitchiner Ph.D and Adam Markham, Deputy Director, Climate & Energy Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists, presented the New Mexico Climate Resiliency Report, describing scientific findings and ways to lessen the impacts of climate change.

Ruben D. Arvizu PhotoRUBÉN D. ARVIZU, together with Jean-Michel Cousteau, was named Ambassador of the Global Cities Covenant on Climate. He is the Director for Latin America and Film Director/Writer/Producer for Ocean Futures Society; and Director for Latin America with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He collaborated with Jean Michel Cousteau on his book My Father the Captain, including writing a chapter describing his experiences and events in Latin America. He has won several international awards and has conducted conferences on ecological and nuclear disarmament themes in many international forums, including the UN and major universities in Latin America. Arvizu was formerly representative to Latin America for The Cousteau Society as well as film producer/writer and worked extensively with Captain Jacques Cousteau and Jean-Michel Cousteau on many of their projects.

Arvizu says, “We take the gifts of Nature, of which we are an integral part, without thinking about how we will repay her. It is as if we have a bank account to which we only withdraw funds but never make deposits. There will come a time when that account runs out of resources. We extract the riches of the Earth and do almost nothing to give back some of what she gives us. We just take and squander.”

JOHN MITCHINER PH.D. worked at Sandia National Laboratories for close to four decades, and has headed numerous programs to monitor and analyze efforts dealing with a variety of topics including climate change, natural disasters, artificial intelligence, terrorism and computer science research. In 2012, he became the Deputy to the Vice President of Energy, Climate and Infrastructure Security Strategic Management Unit. Mitchiner retired in 2014 and continues to consider climate change and look for positive solutions to reduce its effects.

ADAM MARKHAM directs the Union of Concerned Scientists’ special initiative on climate impacts. He is leading efforts to build a national Climate Impacts Collaborative and working with a broad array of stakeholders to focus the attention of policy makers and others on local climate impacts and the need for effective resilience strategies and policy solutions. Mr. Markham has written and edited several books including A Brief History of Pollution and Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Tropical Forest Ecosystems. He has given testimony on climate impacts in the United States Senate and his work on biodiversity impacts has been published in journals, including Climate Research, Climatic Change, and Conservation Biology in Practice.

Special thanks to Juntos, a program of Conservation Votes New Mexico Education Fund.

Location: National Hispanic Cultural Center, Wells Fargo Theater, 1701 4th St. SW, Albuquerque, 505-246-2261,

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