SfP Bulletin April 2010

Full text version of all articles from SfP Bulletin April 2010. A PDF edition is also available.

Message from the President of Science for Peace

Canadian Lessons from the Holocaust

Science for Peace was one of the endorsing organizations of Israeli Apartheid Week. At this same time, elected officials at various levels of government voted to condemn use of the phrase “Israeli apartheid” or more vaguely, to prohibit apartheid week activities (the Toronto District School Board), equating criticism of Israel with a new anti-Semitism.

This raises many serious concerns. Opponents to these government declarations are addressing various points, including the infringement of free speech and academic freedom. Another point is that the term “apartheid” is accurate according to many Israelis themselves (e.g. google the Olga Document) and to internationally respected jurists such as South African John Dugard and Jewish-American Richard Falk, both UN Special Rapporteurs on Human Rights, and there is the even more serious allegation of Israel’s war crimes in the Goldstone report. Jewish groups opposed to Israeli apartheid raise the important point that neither Israel nor the pro-Israel Jewish organizations represent all Jewish people and that charges of Israeli apartheid and war crimes is not equivalent to anti-Semitism. Ironically, at this same time in Israel, Defense Minister Ehud Barak used the word “apartheid” to warn of the consequences of Israel’s unending policy of land and water confiscation.

It is the very disturbing historical context that I want to raise here. During the period of Canada’s prorogued Parliament, a special extra-parliamentary all-party coalition met twice weekly to examine evidence of a purported new anti-Semitism that could potentially criminalize criticism of Israel (the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat anti-Semitism — CPCCA). During prorogation the Government also found time to withdraw funding from NGOs that in various ways support Palestinian welfare such as Kairos, the New Israel Fund and UNRWA – impacting not only human rights but human life.

Much was laid aside by members of the Government during prorogation. The initial decision to prorogue coincided with revelations about Canadian complicity with the torture of Afghan prisoners and at a crucial time of decision-making about repatriating Omar Khadr. While the parliamentary anti-Semitism coalition continued to meet twice weekly, the parliamentary committee looking into the Afghan detainees did not meet during prorogation; columnist John Ibbitson says the committee has nothing to offer now but rhetoric and that “the detainees issue is dead in the water.” (Globe and Mail 17/3/10). While Parliament was prorogued and while there was much attention to investigating the new anti-Semitism, Canada shamefully continued to play an instrumental role in blocking any binding agreements on climate change (Copenhagen) which already causes needless and premature death to thousands of people worldwide.

During prorogation Haiti’s earthquake led to the death of more than 230,000. What was unexamined by members of the Canadian government was the prioritizing of military security over the provision of food, water, and medical help, likely leading to thousands of avoidable fatalities (not to mention the Government’s unexamined role in years of undermining Haitian democracy and public welfare). Prorogation postponed passage of Bill C-300, a mild enough measure aiming to place some accountability on Canadian mining companies for involvement in severe human rights abuses. Canadian mining companies are notorious for their impunity – Barrick Gold, Anvil Mining, Banro and Tenke Fungurume Mining (coltan) are some of the Canadian companies operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where approximately six million Congolese have died due to the war there.1

During the time of prorogation and of regular parliamentary meetings on the new anti-Semitism, there were a number of reports that were not addressed by members of the Government on all levels. Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney deleted sections on homosexuality in the immigration handbook designed to inform applicants of their human rights. There was the announcement of a lawsuit against the Ontario Provincial Government by disabled people abused at the public hospital known as Orillia Asylum for Idiots, later called the Ontario Hospital School. There was the announcement that some northern Manitoba aboriginal communities had a TB rate higher than Bangladesh (600 vs. 400 cases per 100,000). “Canada’s four main Inuit regions have a TB incidence rate of 157.5 for every 100,000 people, according to the first national analysis of 2008 data by the Public Health Agency of Canada. The rate in southern Canada is 0.8 per 100,000.” (CBC news, March 10, 2010). During prorogation it was reported that there was a 20% increase in HIV among Manitoba’s Native peoples in 2009.2

There is a Canadian lesson about the Holocaust. In their book None is Too Many, Harold Troper and Irving Abella write that Canada’s acceptance of only 5000 Jewish refugees was the worst of any Western country. The authors “graphically illustrate how most of Canada’s politicians, diplomats, bureaucrats, businessmen, newspapermen, soldiers, workers, and even Churchmen either actively rejected proposals to help Jewish refugees or at best remained silent.” The same title, “none is too many”, was used by Michael Valpy in a 2009 Globe and Mail article about Canada barring Roma refugees trying to flee neo-Nazi attacks in the Czech Republic. Functionally similar to Nazi policy are the telling signs of the current Canadian government’s utter disregard, through a range of policies, of homosexual, disabled, Roma, and people of colour as if they are disposable3, not worthy of care and concern and mutual identification as fellow humans.

While many of our elected officials have been meeting twice weekly to investigate the non-violent critics and careful researchers of the State of Israel’s crimes, they themselves repeat, in their actions or in their silence, the cruel policies that bring misery and premature death to thousands.

1 Marketa Evans, the government designated corporate social responsibility counsellor looking into abuses was the founding director of the Munk Centre (Barrick Gold) and is hardly arms-length. ^

2 Information in this paragraph is available in The Toronto Star and in the Winnipeg Free Press^

3 “Disposable” is the word Jeff Halper uses to describe the predominant Israeli perception and treatment of Palestinian people. Jeff Halper is an anthropologist and a founding member of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). Apropos the Canadian context, Halper said: “And Canada has already bought into this sinister approach to unwanted ‘disposable’ humanity by accepting Israeli expertise in areas of immigration control, anti-terrorism methods, and border policing as part of our [Canadian] government’s recently adopted Security and Prosperity package.” Reported by Pauline Finch – CIC staff writer – January 23, 2009 http://www.canadianislamiccongress.com/fb/friday_bulletin.php?fbdate=2009-02-06  ^

Disasters List

This proposal is for Science for Peace to consider a project to identify the ten greatest (most lamentable and tragic) human-caused disasters of the modern age. A proposed motto for the project is: “Peace is more than the absence of war”. The project would have multiple goals.

The resulting Disasters List will present role models for the failings of our human-built environment. The Disasters List winners would be developed as “learning objects”. The Disasters List website would be open access; for discussion, and for curricular and learning materials. The idea includes school competitions for annual Disasters Lists, to involve youth in discussion on the causes and consequences of human disasters, and the nature of peace.

The idea for this project came from watching Paul Fusco’s moving photo essay on the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. I was left with two questions. What did we learn from this disaster? What have we done with what we have learned?

Sadly, what has been learned is used mainly as bits of evidence for partisan factions in disputes over technology, institutions and human behavior. Partisan strategies often prevent a wider public involvement in the lessons to be drawn from such disasters.

There are lists of the globe’s greatest natural wonders, the greatest human-made wonders, and the like. The Nobel Prize recognizes individual, collaborative and institutional achievements, not only for recognition but also as role models and for inspiration.

The Darwin Awards acknowledge the worst of individual human stupidity, resulting in the death of the individual and improvement in the human species by removal from the gene pool. This Disasters List is designed to link human-caused disasters to collective responsibility and, hopefully, human survival.

Getting Over Our Nuclear Denial

The disarmament goal Barack Obama has set for the world is not impossible

Resolution 1887, adopted unanimously by the 15-member United Nations Security Council yesterday (September 23, 2009), embodies a sweeping call for nuclear disarmament. “The historic resolution we just adopted,” Barack Obama told a rare heads-of-state session, “enshrines our shared commitment to a goal of a world without nuclear weapons.”

The Security Council is charged by the governments of the world to take “collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace.” Nuclear war is not the only such threat, but it’s the most immediate. If we fail to address it, the hopes that we can find common ground on the other threats – resource depletion, climate change, poverty and oppression – will be gravely weakened.

Yesterday’s resolution could mark the date we finally came out of denial regarding the dangers of a nuclear-armed world. In 1996, the Canberra commission made the essential point: “The proposition that nuclear weapons can be retained in perpetuity and never used – accidentally or by decision – defies credibility.” Three years ago, the Blix commission hammered home the brutal fact: “Twenty-seven thousand nuclear weapons are not an abstract theory. They exist.”

The impetus for Resolution 1887 came from the realization that the dam that keeps civil nuclear capabilities from spilling into military ones is in danger of bursting. As with any such erosion, it can sweep away years of restraint. Nuclear weapons in North Korea or Iran will be met by widespread increases in nuclear armament in both regions.

But yesterday’s affirmation went far beyond that; Iran was not the focus. “This is not about singling out an individual nation,” Mr. Obama said. “International law is not an empty promise, and treaties must be enforced.” Prominent among the treaties in need of enforcement is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which has been law since 1970 with almost universal endorsement (the notable exceptions being India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea).

Attempts to bolster the NPT by enforcement and by subsidiary treaties banning the testing of nuclear weapons (there is a tenuous moratorium on testing) or banning the production of fissile material for weapons have foundered on a major obstacle: the reluctance of the nuclear weapons states to disarm. This, despite the fact that the NPT bound them to do so.

Beginning with his April speech in Prague, and continuing yesterday at the Security Council, Mr. Obama has pointed his administration in the opposite direction: “I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” The recent U.S. withdrawal of a European missile defence proposal that stood in the way of future agreements with Russia was surely intended as a first step along the difficult path to a disarmament agreement.

The goal that Mr. Obama has set for the world, and that the Security Council has now endorsed, is not an impossible one. The thinking that underlies it is half-a-century old. At its peak, the nuclear arsenals of Russia (then the Soviet Union) and the United States totalled 70,000; today, they amount to a third of that.

Why should they not dwindle to the hundreds, or even less? This will require inspection – not beyond the reach of science. What’s lacking is a commonality of purpose, bringing with it the force of international law.

Many reasons will be raised why this won’t happen – that such an eventuality lacks historical precedent, that the weapons can’t be un-invented. But the objective is different: It’s to render them illegitimate.

A third objection stems from the fact that human nature is unalterable. That’s probably true. But most of us are quite fond of humans. So much so that we are loath to see such inhuman instruments as nuclear weapons stand as our feeble guarantors of peace.

John Polanyi is a Nobel laureate and professor of chemistry at the University of Toronto. His article was first published by the Globe and Mail on September 24, 2009. Dr. Polanyi attended a meeting with President Obama on April 12 and 13 to discuss nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

Meeting with MP Bob Rae

The day before the nation wide anti prorogation rally on January 23rd, four of my fellow constituents in Toronto Centre and I met with Bob Rae, our federal member of parliament. Accompanying me were Frans Schreyer, newly arrived Professor Emeritus from the University of Guelph, now living in the Distillery District, Anne Venton, a long time resident, my neighbour and a member of the Toronto Centre Liberal Riding Association Executive, Penelope Tyndale and Ronny Yaron, both members of Just Earth. Our purpose was to urge him, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and other members of the official opposition to exert greater pressure on the Harper Government to address the crisis of climate change. We also emphasized our collective concerns about the Conservative government’s dismal record on all environmental issues.

In my own remarks I made reference to the Science for Peace press release on climate change, dated December 17, 2009. It is based on a letter signed by over 550 university faculty members from universities throughout the country. Addressed to the Canadian Government it called for immediate and drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Widely distributed, this press release points out that the time frame for reductions is critical, and will be dictated by the earth’s physical environment, not by political or short-term economic considerations.

Although the danger has been recognized for decades, with the growth of emissions now exceeding the worst-case predictions of a few years ago, the reaction of governments remains inadequate. Expert opinion cites that to avoid catastrophe, atmospheric CO2 must be held to 350 parts per million – a level that has already been surpassed. The weight of this academic opinion captured Rae’s attention and he asked for a copy of the letter, which, along with the press release, was left with him.

Despite the obvious need to wind down the tar sands project, Rae argued that shutting it down entirely would not be possible, stressing that research is underway in both Alberta and Saskatchewan to create cleaner carbon capture technology for oil extraction. Similarly, although he strongly supports non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, he firmly believes that nuclear energy is a requirement in the switch to cleaner energy sources. I left with him material in which the opposite is argued with links between nuclear weapons and nuclear energy emphasized. When Anne Venton and I saw him the next day at the anti-prorogation rally, I provided him with additional material on the subject written by Helmut Burkhardt and Phyllis Creighton.

In subsequent email exchanges among those of us who met with Rae on January 22nd it became apparent that there is some difference of opinion about the advisability of making a strong link between nuclear energy production and nuclear weapons in any further, follow-up meetings. In response, additional information emphasizing both the dangers and prohibitive expenses involved in opting for the nuclear route to alternative energy has been circulated.

On the subject of a green shift in carbon taxes, which would mean heavier taxes for polluting industries and tax breaks for greener ones, first proposed under the federal Liberal leadership of Stephane Dion, Rae said that such a shift “must be realistic and practical”. Subsequent analysis of a speech given by Michael Ignatieff on the Liberal Plan to address environmental challenges and clean energy jobs delivered on November 26, 2009, indicates several things. First, there was no mention of nuclear energy as an alternative source in reducing carbon emissions. Second, while biomass is identified as one of the alternative clean energy sources required, along with wind, solar and geothermal, there is no explanation of how this will affect food-producing capability. Most scientific opinion on the subject advocates limited emphasis on the use of biofuels and biomass and only for waste matter that does not interfere with food production.

There were, of course, many encouraging ideas and repeated promises to “act” as a Party in power in Ottawa but nothing in Ignatieff’s speech points specifically to a carbon tax or the green shift which was previously advocated as part of the “new” Green Energy Act now being proposed. Greater details on how it would be implemented are required.

In his follow-up letter of thanks to Bob Rae for meeting with us, Frans said we appreciated his willingness to engage in frank discussion about specific policies required to reduce carbon emissions. We said we were interested in continuing the dialogue with him on alternative strategies urgently needed to save the planet and ourselves from extinction. Frans also made a point of emphasizing how pleased we were to learn that Rae supports the idea of taxing the use of highways as a way of mitigating carbon emissions from automobiles.

We did not, however, leave his office without numerous references to low poll popularity for the Liberals which, in our opinion, would improve if a more decisive plan for action on climate change was articulated and held up as a viable alternative to the lethargy on the part of the current administration in Ottawa.

Biochar

Biochar may – and the key word is ‘may’ – become an important, and therefore valuable, material for agriculture and for dealing with some environmental issues.

On 16 February, at Queens University, Dr Hugh McLaughlin, visiting from the United States, ran a workshop titled: Understanding Adsorption in Carbonaceous Materials with Implications for Biochar. More than two dozen researchers, academics, farmers, students, gardeners; both private and professional, and interested individuals spent several hours together learning about and discussing carbon.

Biochar is the result of heating wood, grasses or nutshells in the absence of oxygen to temperatures higher than that needed to make simple charcoal, and then – very important – removing the heat before the biochar starts to burn.

The material is a mixture of moisture, ash, and mobile and resident matter which has a capacity for both cation exchange and significant adsorption. On the latter, carbon’s adsorptive powers have been exploited since servants of the Pharaohs used it to remove bitterness from wine, which in turn greatly improved the servants’ chances for long service. Today’s imbibers may not appreciate how much their love of scotch and whisky depend on it.

Without going into very detailed and complex chemistry, biochar’s characteristics give it the following admirable permanent qualities when mixed with soil:

  • encourages moisture retention and aeration
  • influences the pH value; and fertilizer retention
  • stimulates soil microbiology.

Together these mean, in theory, that biochar can permanently reduce the need for agricultural water, fertilizer and pesticides, which, of course, have to be regularly added. As well, if biochar can improve soils, there is the chance that less forest will be cut and burned to open new fields to replace those whose soils have worn out. And, if small-scale biochar production kits – similar to those we learned to construct at the 16 February workshop – were more widely available and used, poor families in lesser developed regions could be doubly served: They could cook their food while the biochar is being produced, and then sell the biochar; either as a soil strengthener or a fuel.

‘In theory’. There are many challenges to commercialization, to exploiting biochar beyond small scale. There is not yet a single high-volume producer. This is likely to remain the case until two issues are resolved; uniformity and regulation. Every biochar batch is different from every other batch; even two made, one after the other with the same materials and process, are different. Who or what will call for, set and regulate standards of biochar? In Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for the Fertilizers Act. Is biochar a fertilizer? In fact, there is still no widely accepted single definition of biochar.

For more information:

David Harries is a member of the Global Issues Project committee.

Reflections on the Public Forum on Food and Population – How Many Can We Feed?

By Helmut Burkhardt, Mustafa Koç, and Analyn Yu

The Food and Population Forum, organized by the Global Issues Project of Science for Peace, and the Canadian Pugwash Group, was held on 20 Nov. 2009 at the Koffler Institute, University of Toronto.

Helmut Burkhardt opened the forum with introductions and acknowledgements to the committee responsible for its organization as well as to the student volunteers and videographer for the event. Adele Buckley welcomed the crowd on behalf of the Canadian Pugwash Group (CPG) and provided a short summary of its activities, ranging from work on nuclear disarmament to interconnected global issues that, unaddressed, could escalate into conflicts between states. Judith Deutsch, the President of Science for Peace (SfP), described the breadth of the scientists in SfP and the work done by its members, reiterating the need to address various global crises in all their interconnecting complexity. Derek Paul took a few moments to remember SfP’s founding president, Eric Fawcett, a physicist with an open mind who had provided an avenue for new ideas to be heard. It seems that people in attendance entered into the discussions with this spirit. The forum was moderated by Mustafa Koç, a sociology professor from the Centre for Studies in Food Security at Ryerson University in Toronto.

Brewster Kneen, a farmer, activist, and author of several books on the food system, was the first panelist. His message was that small farmers around the globe at present feed a large fraction of the world’s population in a sustainable way, and that industrial scale agriculture, with its dependence on oil, artificial fertilizers, and antibiotics is neither sustainable nor efficient. For example, in the food system of developed nations approximately 4 kcal of energy is invested to produce 1 kcal of food, whereas this ratio is 1:1 in the global South. He also criticized the structures of the food system, the capitalist market, which does not care about justice and food distribution. He questioned the notion of “we” in the forum’s title, suggesting that if it refers to the rich western countries with organized, mechanized agriculture, then “we” are guilty of the destruction of livelihoods in the global South. He did not, however, explore other visions of “we” as the collective consciousness of world citizenry weary of seeing a division of the world into us and them, who seek, instead, the collective good of all.

Susan McDaniel, Director of the Prentice Institute for Global Population and Economy at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, the second panelist, covered the population issue. As a demographer, she argued that the relationship between food and population is neither simple nor linear, but is complicated by related issues such as inequality of distribution, gender, age, and consumption. She stated that in a world where 80% of the population consumes only 20% of Earth’s resources, the current ecological crisis is not due to the number of people, but mainly due to the overconsumption by the rich; George Monbiot and the British demographer David Satterthwaite hold a similar position. The present inequalities of consumption are of course unfair, and there is no easy way to global justice. The poor are getting poorer, in spite of the UN Millennium Development Goals of abolishing poverty.

Robert Hoffman, of WhatIf?Technologies in Ottawa and a member of the Canadian Club of Rome, the third panelist, showed computer simulations of possible futures with a variety of food and population scenarios. He presented a Limits to Growth study and compared, via systems modeling, the “business-as-usual” as opposed to the “green” scenario. With a “business-as-usual” scenario, he told us population will grow to 12 billion by 2080 before leveling off, whereas with the “green” scenario, he reduced the fertility rate from 2.1 replacement rate (a very modest “business-as-usual” parameter) down to 1.5 so that population levels off at 9 billion. Unfortunately, neither of these scenarios could prevent the predicted collapse of old growth forests by 2040. Neither scenario could increase the availability of energy to meet the demands for a higher standard of living. He left us with the conclusion that the dynamics of population reduction is out of sync with the timing of the onset of food shortages, energy crises, and forestry collapse, that is, population (reduction) alone cannot solve these issues. He concluded that the crisis of food needs to be resolved in the context of energy, and of agricultural and forestry practices. Moreover, the use of land-based biomass from forestry and agriculture bites into the capacity to feed people. Lastly, he made clear the urgent need for a rapid transition to a low carbon or zero carbon economy and for a carbon positive one within the next 50 years, to keep temperature increase within the 2 o C margin. Hoffman stressed that no single intervention within these systems will be effective and suggested immediate multiple interventions.

The forum attracted and retained an enthusiastic audience until the end of the question period on a Friday evening. To judge by the full auditorium and the lively discussion following the panel, the event was a resounding success. The Video report is now available on Youtube here.

In Memoriam: Robert McCallum Baxter

Bob Baxter died on February 25 in Burlington at age 84. Long a member of Science for Peace, he was also for several years a member of the Peace Magazine editorial board, where I got to know him and enjoy his company. He used to take the Go Train to Toronto for our meetings, heedless of bad weather. His curiosity about arcane topics often sent me off to consult Wikipedia, and he took every appropriate opportunity to recite lengthy passages of poetry, mesmerizing the editors. (When had he memorized those poems?) He was also proud of being a rigorous skeptic and rejecting any statement that he considered scientifically unsubstantiated.

He was a biochemist, having received his Ph.D. at McGill in 1951. Then he had worked at the National Research Council in Ottawa for some years, before moving his family to Ethiopia in 1961. He taught chemistry at the university in Addis Ababa until 1973 and amplified the family by adopting an Ethiopian child. Then they all returned to Canada and he worked as a research scientist in Burlington until his retirement in 1992. He took on editing the Science for Peace Bulletin for some years. We will miss him.

New Tower

Walking my usual track today
with my buzzing golden meadow on one hand
and on the other hand my dim and muffled wood
paved with last year’s leaves and with elder branches
ripened to mould,
while between me and that stillness is the waving green
margin of the wood, the row of maples
so much alike that only one who always walks this way
knows them apart,
I look ahead between wood and meadow, glance up
and see, reluctantly,
you, dark Tower,
looming into a segment of my clean bright sky
where lately the hawk floated.

You are in the sky but are not of the sky,
you are colonizing from earth,
you rear up out of earth but are not volcanic
with your sawtooth-segmented body plan, arrant Tower,
steel your skeleton but people your sap or blood,
you are of metal and of protoplasm compounded:
a cyborg saprophyte or
megalic cyborg myxomycote,
a clanking symbiont
led upward into the violated air
by your two waving cilia, construction cranes:
I will not deny, Tower, that you are alive,
but do not you try to deny that you are dead.

And though you vaunt yourself
as expanding our world for us
housing us for a hundred years,
poor Tower, it is not so,
and should you surround yourself with ten more like you
it would that much less be so,
for in a hundred years there will be fewer of us
and what will we want with you then?
Unlike my maples who have before them an after-old age
a life after life
transfigured to living mould,
you will grow into no honour, only needlessness:
my great-great-grandchildren may hardly have occasion
to inter you with dignity befitting your hubris now.
Skeleton thou art, to skeleton returnest.

I hope, vain Tower, the hawk will come to nest
in your laid-bare sixtieth storey
and will not be bothered by snakes there,
and will live long and well hunting the rats
who come into tenancy of your commercial space
on lower floors.
But there is no consolation in this,
no harmony, no history.

Comments on Some Books and Articles on Food and Population

A number of diverse books and articles have been helpful to me in providing an orienting framework of questions around food and population issues.

For an overall perspective, there is the brilliant historical investigation by Mike Davis (2002), Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World. Verso: New York. Davis explores the interplay between British imperialism, technological advances, the discovery of worldwide weather patterns causing widespread drought and famine.

An interesting companion piece is a detailed case study of recent droughts and famine, looking at how disasters can be averted. Peter Walker (1989). Famine Early Warning systems: victims and destitution. Earthscan: London

Also, a general perspective about the state of the world and the interaction between capitalism and the many severe assaults on the environment, see James Gustave Speth (2008). The Bridge at the Edge of the World: capitalism, the environment, and crossing from crisis to sustainability. Yale: New Haven. This book is unique because of Speth’s position as dean of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University.

There are several authors who write specifically (and eloquently) about food and agriculture:

Raj Patel (2007). Stuffed and Starved: markets, power and the hidden battle for the world’s food system. Harper Collins: New York.

Vandana Shiva has written many books on this topic. A good recent book is Soil Not Oil: environmental justice in an age of climate crisis. (2008). South End Press: Cambridge.

Tony Weis (2007). The Global Food Economy: the battle for the future of farming. Fernwood: Winnipeg.

I would recommend George Monbiot: The Population Myth (2009-09-30) and Chris Williams’ review article “Population, hunger and environmental degradation: are there too many people?” International Socialist Review, Nov-Dec 2009.

Editor’s Book Nook

Dauncey, Guy. The Climate Challenge. New Society Publishers. ‘We can reduce our carbon footprint to almost zero by 2040’

Ellsberg, Daniel. Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers. Penguin Books. 2002 (Also a film).

Greene, Gayle. The Woman Who Knew Too Much: Alice Stewart and the Secrets of Radiation. The University of Michigan Press. 1999.

Orbinski, James. An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action in the Twenty-first Century. Anchor Canada. 2009.

Ransom, David and Baird, Vanessa. Ed. People First Economics with Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Susan George, Walden Bello, Barbara Ehrenreich, Evo Morales and others.

Solnit, Rebecca. A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster. Viking Press. (How people become altruistic, resourceful and brave in the face of disasters)

Wright, Colonel (Ret.) Ann and Dixon, Susan. Dissent: Voices of Conscience, Government Insiders Speak Out Against the War in Iraq. Koa Books. 2008.

Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai – How the Simple Act of Women Planting Trees Changed a Nation.

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