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In Memoriam – Pablo Mulás

The idea is that we humans could extract geothermal energy from volcanos. Sure, I said. Hot rocks, hot water. So what’s new? No, Pablo replied. Geothermal from active volcanos! (Of which Mexico has many.) The concept was to drill tunnels into the chamber and recirculate water.

That is a snapshot of a typical conversation between Pablo and me, nearly always with our good friend Juan Eibenschutz. Who knows when, there were so many of these conversations, so lively, across so many topics over so many years. Always with good food, tequila and nice wines. Not a bad deal, wining and dining my way through Mexican energy with my two Wise Men.

Always curious, always wondering, always questioning – that was Pablo. And, always dedicated to public service. When he served as president of the Mexico affiliate, AMEE, in 2000 his desire, along with those of our other colleagues there, was to reinvigorate the affiliate. That year, during my turn as President-Elect of USAEE, Pablo and the AMEE group organized an event that would lead to a full Mexico City-based North American conference in 2003. Adam Sieminski was then at the helm for USAEE and I was IAEE president (and John Jimison contributed a mean piano). We had completed a North American trifecta, for the first time in IAEE history.

Pablo inherited the Mexico Committee for the World Energy Council from Juan. He was dedicated to WEC and convinced that the Council, through its country memberships and collegiality, could help improve understanding of energy complexities. His podcast, recorded before his passing, reflects that belief. More than anything, Pablo was convinced of the importance and value that humans can derive from civilian nuclear. Together with Juan, “Mr. Nuclear” in Mexico for his long push (some 24 years) to build competency and achieve the Laguna Verde facility, Pablo was a steady champion for this clean, green but misunderstood and often maligned energy source. (It’s a confidence thing, an eloquent point made by Juan: “If you want to project confidence, you have to act with confidence” not least among nuclear regulators.)

As Guy puts it: “I really enjoyed working with him [Pablo] over many years especially the last several years in Mexico City alongside the Energía conference [led by long-time friend Jesus Reyes Heroles and Herman Franssen, another that I miss dearly]. In his capacity as President of the Mexican chapter of WEC, he was very kind to arrange a World Energy Council Mexican chapter breakfast meeting for me to present to concurrently with Energía. He was always very insightful at IAEE events and at the USEA meetings.”

“I will miss him very much,” Guy adds.

Pablo was part of Energía a Debate. This is what Pablo did – he connected, supported, befriended, imparted, and, yes, argued, always strenuously (Mexico’s policy on daylight savings time was memorable), but always in the most genteel way.

As Juan put it: “The number of adjectives applicable to Pablo is enormous. Above all, he was a gentleman in the full sense of the word. During the sixty years of our friendship, I never saw him lose his temper. Kind, but firm during the periods when he managed different institutions, always ready to learn, and blessed with the capacity to innovate end think differently. Witness to his personal characteristics the very big number of people that has manifested grief and sorrow at his departure.”

He also cooked fantastic Chiles en Nogada, and my own deep regret is that I was never able to join the fun at his annual gathering in Cuernavaca. From Juan: “The last time I saw him, few weeks ago, he repeated a favorite saying of his, ‘cuando te toca aunque te quites’. May he rest in peace.” Indeed.

Michelle Michot Foss with Juan Eibenschutz and Guy Caruso


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