SfP Bulletin January 1987

Full text version of all articles from SfP Bulletin January 1987. A PDF edition is also available.

President's corner

Greetings of the Season — for Peace among Nations and the Betterment of the Human Condition

Report to the Board Dec. 9, 1986

A lead article in the Toronto Star a week ago stated: “Canadians appear poised for a debate on nuclear weapons and their country’s involvement in their use and development.”

The Star cited the resolutions passed by the Liberal Party convention opposing cruise missile testing and approving making Canada a nuclear weapons free zone. Your executive sent a telegram to Joe Clark urging that consideration be given the suspension of cruise missile testing as a response to the decision of the Reagan administration to be no longer bound by the restraints of SALT II. No reply has been received, but Clark, in commenting on the Liberal Party resolution in the House of Commons, made it clear that the present Canadian government will continue cruise missile testing.

The Star editorial also pointed to the resolution of the Ontario Legislature declaring Ontario a nuclear weapons free zone and to the extraordinary True North Strong and Free? Conference in Edmonton. This conference likewise passed resolutions against cruise missile testing as well as urging consideration be given our alliance commitments and to the Canadian government’s limited endorsement of the Star Wars program through private enterprise. At this conference I received a standing ovation when I came out for leaving NORAD or putting it under proper civilian control and insisting that the political implications of Canadians’ involvement in nuclear strategy be more fully and openly examined so that there should be no incineration without representation.

I repeated the same arguments at a private consultation called by Defence Minister Perrin Beatty. I did not derive an impression from the consultations that his White Paper on Defence, which is supposed to be ready this spring, would reflect any “new thinking” on security.

Following consultation with Paul LeBlond and several of our associate research directors, I wrote to Mel Hurtig in Edmonton about the possibility of having a joint conference with the Council for Canadians next year. I received an enthusiastic reply followed up by a telephone call this morning from Edmonton confirming that the Council was definitely interested in a conference on the Arctic next Fall with Science for Peace and Lawyers for Social Responsibility. The Council wants to think about a conference that would include participation by Arctic rim countries to be held in Yellowknife.

Among the new members of the CIIPS board is SfP member Jean-Guy Vaillancourt, head of the department of sociology at the University of Montreal. Prof. Vaillancourt was a founding member of the Quebec Chapter of Science for Peace.

— George Ignatieff

Editorial

In collaborating with the National Youth Science Foundation in its Science from Peace Award Program, Science for Peace is fulfilling one of its most important tasks. The seduction of scientists into the service of war cannot be wholly ascribed to the lucrative career opportunities offered by weapons research and strategic studies. Part of the problem has been ignorance of opportunities for applying scientific knowledge in the interest of life rather than death.

Encouraging scientifically gifted young people to engage in peace-oriented research will hopefully prove to be an effective way of imparting a sense of ethical and humane responsibility to future scientists. This encouragement has great educational value, for there is no better way to teach young people how to live in a future world at peace than by giving them an opportunity to immerse themselves in real problems related to the dangers of war and to ways of alleviating this danger. The present time is especially propitious to extending peace research from the social and behavioural sciences, its original habitat, to the natural sciences, for which some of today’s young people have shown a remarkable aptitude.

This should be a mutually satisfying adventure for those of us who become involved and the young people whom we meet — who will soon be our students and colleagues.

— Anatol Rapoport Director of Education

Notes

If we truly have faith in democracy
As superior to all forms of tyranny,
We would have scant fear of being converted
And to other state forms covertly subverted.
De Tocqueville and De Custin 150 years ago
Visited America and Russia,
the better each to know.
Estrangement today we must avoid,
Our main hazards include being paranoid.

— from Murray Wilton November 24

Language & peace

Opening ceremonies of a three-day conference on the “Language of Disarmament” at the Technische Hochschüle in Darmstadt, West Germany — the first such conference in a German-speaking country — honored Hellma and Dr. Günther Schwarz, Verlag Darmstadter Blatter publishers. The Schwarzes have published over 60 books on peace research, language and communication. Dr. Schwarz was honored on his 80th birthday last year by the president of West Germany for his work on the relationship between language use and peace.

Dr. Schwarz has translated and made available to his world-wide readership many issues of the Science for Peace Bulletin.

LIPRA Award

The 1987 Lentz International Peace Research Award has been bestowed on Prof. Dr. Dieter Senghaas of the University of Bremen, W. Germany, by an international jury of Anatol Rapoport, U. of Toronto, Yoshikazu Sakomoto, U. of Tokyo and Marek Thee, Int’l Peace Research Institute Oslo.

Prof. Senghaas was one of the founders of the Berghof Foundation for Conflict Research and of the Peace Research Institute Frankfort. He has received especial recognition for research in the domains of internal determinants of armaments, economic development strategies and prerequisites for peace in Europe.

A bibliography of Dr. Senghaas’ work is available from the national office. Many of his books and papers are available in English. The English translation of his “peace Capacity of the Superpowers” (by A. Rapoport) is available from the SfP office.

Science Fairs

Science For Peace and the National Youth Science Foundation announce the first national PEACE FROM SCIENCE AWARD

Projects to be considered should be related to some theme associated with the enhancement of chances for peace by application of science.

Suggested themes:

  • risks of military diversion of the peaceful uses of nuclear power
  • environmental consequences of chemical warfare
  • militarization of space
  • the role in peacemaking of satellites and telecommunications
  • the consequences or pressures from overpopulation or resource depletion
  • promotion of the United Nations
  • nuclear winter
  • the science and politics of armaments
  • the agricultural, demographic, medical, social, political, psychological consequences of a nuclear war
  • conversion of military projects to civil use
  • verification of arms control treaties
  • computer simulation of the arms race
  • the application of game theory to competition or cooperation

Nominations for the award will come from Regional Science Fairs to the Canada-wide Science Fair judges. Information, application forms, etc., are distributed by the National Youth Science Foundation

Members of Science for Peace can help judge at the 70 Regional Science Fairs across Canada and can offer prizes at the Regional Fairs as the Ottawa and New Brunswick Chapters did last year. Most Regional Fairs are held in early April and prizes of up to $100 are considered ample.

The list of Regional Science Fairs from the East Coast to the West plus the names of their contact persons and telephone numbers are enclosed. Chapters can be especially helpful in establishing a continuing relationship with Regional Fairs within their membership areas and providing prizes for coming years.

The Award is established in recognition of the United Nations International Year of Peace. In addition to a Certificate of Achievement, the winner will receive a week-long, all expenses paid, escorted visit to the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Contributions to the Regional prizes or to the national award are income-tax exempt, and should be sent to the national office earmarked for the Regional Fair of your choice or for the national award.

-James Neelin, Ottawa

Changes in the nature of the Soviet threat to North America and NATO require a close examination of how the government of Canada should best respond to the responsibility to enhance the security and defence of Canada.

— Perrin Beatty

Yes, but ...

Questions put to the Canadian Government by the Great Peace Journey in October were answered “Yes, but if:

  1. Are you willing to forbid your country’s defence forces from leaving your territory?
  2. To forbid nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in your country?
  3. To forbid the export of weapons from your country?
  4. To cooperate in joint action so that clean water, food, elementary health care and school education will be guaranteed to all people?
  5. To solve future conflicts with other nations through peaceful means?

if all other UN members do the same?

For a complete text of the answers, contact John Valleau, Dept. of Physics, University of Toronto.

The annual Gandhi Peace Award has gone this year to Dr. John Somerville, founding president of International Philosophers for Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide. Dr. Somerville, in fact, coined the word “omnicide” meaning “to kill all humans”. The word appeared in his article “Human Rights, Ethics and Nuclear War” in Peace Research: A Canadian Journal of Peace Studies, 14(1), April, 1982.

Letters

Tokyo, Nov 8, 1986

Enclosed please find issues of Mainichi Daily News and japan Times which carry articles describing the exhibit in Beijing of the exhibit “The Threat of Nuclear War”. The exhibit was supported by not only United Nations organizations but also various Chinese organizations to mark United Nations Day and United Nations Disarmament Week. About 70,000 people in China visited the exhibit.

— Takeo Hirai, The Soka Gakkai

Saskatoon, Nov 11

Still, I remain sceptical that the scientific community, whose very livelihood depends on the military industrial complex, will embrace the abolition of military research…. With any luck, however, science won’t take everything away after promising us the stars.

— Joe Knycha

Toronto, Dec 8

Allow me to comment on the report on the Edmonton Conference. Wytze Brouwer concludes, “More conferences of this nature could enhance the feeling of the Canadian public that it might have an impact on Canadian domestic and foreign policies.” I beg to disagree. The enhancement of feelings should be left to the makers of perfumes. The effectiveness of any public input on policy — be it through conferences, parliamentary committees or demonstrations — is best measured by the government’s actions on items such as cruise missile testing,UN votes or budgetary allocations.

— Ursula Franklin

Bookshelf

Barry O’Neill, Game Theory and the Study of the Deterrence of War, a paper prepared for the Research Workshop on Deterrence, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, Nov., 1986.

Chandler Davis, Sociobiology’s Claim to Explain Humanity, 1980 draft.

Robert Malcolmson, The Pursuit of Security in the Nuclear Age. The article has just been published in the Autumn Queen’s Quarterly, or you can get a copy of the typescript from the SfP national office.

Robert Malcolmson, Nuclear Weapons and the Averting of War is an October, 1986, Points of View publication of CIIPS. Write the Institute directly, 307 Gilmour St., Ottawa, K2P 0P7.

Anton Colijn and Trudy Govier, Canada’s Participation in NORAD, originally presented to the Standing Committee on External Affairs and National Defence.

The January, 1987 Notices of the American Mathematical Society continues the discussion of military funding in mathematics with the publication of a shortened version of a paper, “Military Funding in Mathematics”, by Bill Thurston, Princeton University. The Bulletin will copy the article for you if you do not have access to the Notices.

Mathematics is not immune to the problems faced by the other sciences in a militarizing society. From 1980 to 1985, according to the National Science Foundation, federal money for research and development shifted from 50% to 28% civilian. Emphasis during the shift has been toward applied research as opposed to basic research which is what most mathematicians think they do.

Arnold Simoni (Toronto) calls our attention to the Science and the Citizen department in the Dec. issue of Scientific American wherein a definitive story about Canada’s Yellow Rain investigations appears. The first study was conducted by physicians from the Dept. of National Defence in 1982, the second by the Dept. of External Affairs in 1984. You can secure the studies from Ottawa, read about them in the magazine, or ask SfP to send you a copy of the article.

THE NERVE CENTER produces material on chemical and biological weapons, issues a newsletter UNMASK, and has other information available. Write Rodney J. McElroy or Susan Schweik, 2327 Webster St., Berkeley CA 94705, U.S.A.

Walter Dorn, The United Nations, Nuclear Disarmament and NG0s, a paper presented in _the Toronto Chapter Lecture Series.

The Pigeon Hill Peacemaking Centre is 1 hour south of Montreal in St. Armand. With tutelage from Rosemary Sullivan (tel: 272-2831 in Montreal, 248-2524 in Pigeon Hill) three week end retreats are planned for the new year: Jan. 5-9, Feb. 13-15, March 20-22. Individualized retreats for peacemakers, teachers, adult educators, counsellors, others in the helping professions can be organized.

IN MEMORIAM: Harrison Brown, editor, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Dec. 9, 1986. Brown,a chemist with the Manhattan Project, developed techniques for separating plutonium for the first atomic weapons. He was a member of the Federation of Atomic Scientists and part of the American delegation to the first Atoms for Peace Conference in 1955.

Emergency Planning Canada has released to 140,000 (less 8000 for the US government) potential Canadian family do-it-yourselfers a guide on how to construct a backyard family shelter against nuclear fallout. The guide reduces to easily understood language the scientific and technical requirements for protection in the event of nuclear war. For instance, materials for use are children’s wading pools, waterbeds, shower curtains and doors with the knobs removed. Write Public Works Canada, Ottawa, for a copy of the 95 page guide.

TOWARD A WORLD OF PEACE: PEOPLE CREATE ALTERNATIVES, Proceedings of the first international conference on conflict resolution and peace studies held at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. “This book represents an attempt to show how the contributions of 22 fields of study can aid in understanding what may be the most complex of human activities, getting along, with each other and avoiding obliterating ourselves.”

Order from: Dr. J. P. Maas, Conference Coordinator, University of the South Pacific, P.O. Box 1168, Suva, Fiji. Cost: Fiji $14.00. For postage to Canada and the U.S., add Fiji $10.62.

Focus: Canada

OTTAWA, Dec. 4, Minister of National . Defence Beatty announced that the Royal Netherlands Air Force will begin low-level flying training at Goose Bay, Labrador, in the spring of 1987. Protests from local residents and the more economical offer from Turkey have so far kept NATO from agreeing to use the site. The Dutch alone will account for 25 planes and 400 people in the ecologically sensitive area. Already training there are the Canadian, US, German and British air forces.The environmental impact study has not yet been completed.

From the USSR Embassy Press Office, #1108-400 Stewart St., Ottawa K1N 6L2 you can request copies of Soviet News & Views, No. 22, for Nov. 1986, which is a report of Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs E. Shevardnadze’s visit to Canada early in October.

GREENPEACE ACTION FOR 1987 will be directed against Canadian oil companies now planning to drill for oil off British Columbia’s Queen Charlotte Islands — an ecologically sensitive area listed as a World Heritage Site.

Sally Curry (PRI-Dundas) works now at the World Information Clearing Centre — Peace, Arms Race, Disarmament — Preparatory Committee, P.O.B. 106, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland.

Ask about PEACE RESEARCH offer.

Newsworthy

From the Winter Accidental Nuclear War Prevention Newsletter: (SfP member) Prof. Cedric Smith, of University College, London, and his associates are composing a letter on short decision time dangers for newspaper editors in England.

Kenneth Hare (U of Toronto) will head Ontario’s $1.5 million study of the safety of the Candu nuclear generating system used by Ontario Hydro. The study will not be concerned with the controversial issue of separation and export of tritium or of disposal of nuclear wastes.

When Pres. George Ignatieff visited the Borodino museum in Moscow this summer, he donated a lavishly illustrated handbook commissioned by Czar Nicholas II in St. Petersburg to mark the 100th anniversary of the famous 1812 battle against Napoleon outside Moscow. Commander of the Russian troops was Mikhail Kutuzov, a distant relative of Ignatieff’s.

Australian Seismological Centre Opens

Peace Research Centre at Australian National University, Canberra, announced the opening of the new Seismological Centre in September. The Centre will enable Australia to participate fully in any global seismic verification program established to monitor a test-ban treaty. Other international data centres are in Stockholm, Washington and Moscow. Map shows monitoring area.

Further information may be obtained from Australian Seismological Centre, GPO Box 378, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia.

Baha’i gift

In December Peter Richardson, Principal of University College, the University of Toronto, William Klassen and Anatol Rapoport of the College faculty, accepted a gift from Baha’i International toward an endow ment of the Univ. of Toronto’s peace chair. Roberts Library, Principal Richardson and Prof. Rapoport were given hand bound copies of the Baha’i World Centre publication, “The Promise of World Peace.” Two further annual gifts to the chair were pledged.

Waterloo Chapter

U.S. defence analyst Jack Kangas and Soviet journalist Igor Doroseev discussed the question, “What are the present obstacles to effective arms control and disarmament agreements?” at a Science for Peace and Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies event at the University of Waterloo Nov.25.

After presentations, Gunnar Boehnert, (Guelph) led a panel discussion with Conrad Brunk (Waterloo), Derek Paul (Toronto) and Toivo Miljan (Wilfred Laurier). As the student newspaper Imprint summarized the affair, “East-West Summitry Causes UW Stir!”

Kangas claimed that the major obstacle to arms control was the difficulty in evaluating and agreeing on the equivalence of weapons deployed by the two nations. Doroseev felt Star Wars and the present US administration were the principal obstacles to agreement. The need for trust was repeatedly stressed.

-Cynthia Folzer

Appeal

Sahabat Alam Malaysia and the Asia-Pacific People’s Environment Network have joined the Joint Conference for Shelving Daya Bay Nuclear Plant and Hong Kong Friends of the Earth in a call upon China to abandon construction of a planned 1800 megawatt pressurized water nuclear reactor at Daya Bay in China — 50 km from Hong Kong.

More information is available from the Bulletin. Letters and cables of support are urgently requested.

Address: Ms. Linda Siddall/Mr. Fung Chi Wood, c/o Friends of the Earth 1424 Princes Building, Central Hong Kong

Science for Peace Bulletin | ISSN 1925-170X (Print) | ISSN 1925-1718 (Online)