Category SfP Bulletin March 2002

From the President

Science for Peace has had three Presidents over the course of the last year. Helmut Burkhardt served until May of 2001 and was followed by Mel Watkins until November of 2001. Both were tireless workers and steered Science for Peace with enthusiasm and imagination. While Mel is currently touring foreign lands, Helmut continues to work for Science for Peace, organizing, with Julia Morton-Marr, round table discussions of topics to be presented at the World Order Conference.

I took on the Presidency of Science for Peace after a new global war effort was announced by the United States. Following the horrific attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., the President of the U.S. and his advisers exploited these crimes to promote a war without borders and without limits in time. This war effort has been eagerly supported by the Canadian Government who, without consultation with the Canadian people, have committed combat troops to assist in U.S. efforts.

We have also seen fundamental changes to laws in this country which erode the very essence of a democratic society. Simultaneously, a number of fundamental treaties, such as the Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty and the Kyoto Protocol, have been reversed or rejected.

With the escalation of the war in Colombia as well as the increased tensions between India and Pakistan and the endless cycle of retaliation between Israel and the Palestinians, one begins to feel as if we are surrounded by conflicts and violence which are spiraling out of control.

Here, then, I believe that as an organization dedicated to peace and justice, we must redouble our efforts at bringing to the attention of the Canadian public the causes of, and solutions to a world tom by greater violence. We can offer opportunities for dialogue between adversaries as has been patiently done by Chandler Davis and Joe Vise in the context of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. We can also provide the research that can form the basis of solutions to these problems such as the excellent work on nuclear weapons policy by Alan Philips. Jean Smith, John Valleau, Chandler Davis, and Hani Kim provided another example of the role of Science for Peace where a Forum and Teach-In on the issue of Canada’s response to “the war against terrorism” was discussed. This event included a very great cross section of participants from Canadian society as well as a member of the Government of Canada. We must also use our generally privileged positions to ensure that our elected representatives are properly informed of the issues at hand. An example was the Science for Peace delegation, which included Phyllis Creighton, John Valleau, Carolyn Langdon, Paul Hamel and Helmut Burkhardt, to the Minister of Defence, Art Eggleton, to discuss Canada’s role in the National Missile Defence plan of the U.S.

I look, however, to the future where I believe that Science for Peace can be a more effective organization. For example, we have the good will of the University of Toronto to host our web site. We should exploit this medium so that a great many more research and educational materials can be made available to people and organizations around the world. We need only to generate them. I also believe that we can take advantage of the great enthusiasm and sophistication of the young people in this country who have clearly articulated their understanding of the issues of globalization, global justice, and global war. Science for Peace has a unique advantage in this realm where we can make the connections between these issues in order to promote a just and sustainable future.

Publications

Petrotyranny by John Bacher

This book has now reached many readers and sales are going well, especially since 11 September last, perhaps because it has much to say about Osama bin Laden. “Petrotyranny” deals essentially with democratization of the world and how petroleum wealth impedes this process by providing dictatorships with the “rents” they require to maintain oppression.

It also reveals the correlation between environmental neglect and oppressiveness of regimes, and it makes an exceptionally good case for developing and implementing renewable energy technology, especially in North America. It is an optimistic book in that it does contain a strategy for facilitating democratization. It can be obtained at bookstores for $28.99 plus GST, or from Dundurn Press at a 40 percent discount to members of SfP. The same discount is available from the SfP office, but we suggest that you purchase at the SfP office in person, since we are not well staffed to mail off large numbers of parcels.

Other titles

The following other books published by Science for Peace are still available from Dundurn Press: Good Taxes, UN Reform, World Security, Arctic Alternatives, Hopes and Fears, Unarmed Forces, Canada and the World, Disarmament’s Missing Dimension, Accidental Nuclear War. These are available at huge discounts for members from the SfP office.

Our book “Good taxes”, by Alex Michalos, has been translated into Italian and into French. The Italian version has been published in Italy.

One of the useful roles that all members of Science for Peace could serve is to make known to nonmembers the books that we have published. One excellent suggestion you might like to consider is having a copy of each of SfP’s books in your house, for the benefit of visitors. In the early days of book publishing by Science for Peace I found that visitors to our house nearly always enquired about SfP books I had deliberately left lying in view.

Science for Peace will soon be publishing scholarly articles on peace, justice and environmental issues in journal form. Members wishing to submit articles for publication should send them in the first instance to the Publications Committee, 122 Hilton Avenue, Toronto M5R 3E7. There will be a process of review.

New Journal

The Publications Committee is pleased to announce its new journal, provisionally named “The Journal of Science for Peace.” The purpose of this journal will be to publish original work that broadly supports the goals of Science for Peace. Papers submitted to the editors will be sent out for peer review, as when submitted to other scholarly journals. The idea of publishing such a journal originated with Anatol Rapoport, at the time of his presidency of Science for Peace.

The Publications Committee has decided that the Journal will be published in an unusual way. Each article will constitute a whole issue, and the papers will be published in hard copy, 5.5” X 8.5”, each as soon as it is ready, and they will also appear on the internet.

Very recently we have received some criticism, on the grounds that scholars would not be willing to publish in our journal if they could find an international journal covering their own subject area. We feel, however, that we shall be able to offer much more rapid publication than the larger journals and that, once this becomes known, those desiring early publication will come to us in sufficient numbers to make the endeavour worthwhile.

Currently we have 11 members on the editorial board, enough to cover most fields that we shall span. Since the board is still incomplete, we shall delay publishing the names for the present. It is not too early, however, to send in a paper, especially if you want yours to be the first issue! Send it to: Shirley Farlinger and Derek Paul, 122 Hilton Avenue, Toronto, M5R 3E7

For Peace and Reconciliation in Israel and Palestine

In the year 2001, Science for Peace co-sponsored two speaking tours, each of which gave presentations by a Palestinian and an Israeli working together in the interest of peace and justice in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. We also co-hosted meetings in Toronto. There is also another tour in the making.

The February Tour

The first tour, which crossed Canada, from Halifax to Vancouver, took place in February 2001. Jeff Halper, Anthropologist, and Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICARD) and Salim Shawamreh, a Palestinian Engineer and Activist whose West Bank home has now been demolished three times by the Israeli army, spoke on the Israeli control networks that have been set-up and extended in the Occupied Territories and on the demolitions of houses of Palestinians by the Israeli military. We have reported on this tour in the last Science for Peace Bulletin (March 2001).

The May Tour

The second speaking tour, which included Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa, took place in May of 2001. Eyad El-Sarraj, a Palestinian psychiatrist and Director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, and Ruchama Marton, an Israeli psychiatrist and Chair of Physicians for Human Rights (Israel), dealt with the injustices of The Occupation from the point of view of psychiatrists. They were billed as talking on Mental Health Under the Occupation, and expanded their topic to be more broad. The two have known each other and collaborated in their own projects for a long time, both in human rights questions on their own respective sides of the “Green Line” (the pre-1967 border of Israel) and in medical clinics in Gaza. They are both committed to non-violent approaches to middle-east relations. While the Halper-Shawamreh tour brought insights into the politics and military force of the Occupation, the Sarraj-Marton tour brought deep insights into the human condition.

Tour for October 2002

A new cross-Canada tour, which Science for Peace has agreed to sponsor and to 1elp in the Toronto organization, is being planned for October 2002. Plans are under way to bring Neta Golan and Nawaf Souf, activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), to Canada this fall to give Canadians, ordinary citizens and policymakers alike, a first-hand glimpse of the devastation caused by the Israeli occupation policies and an opportunity to bolster the hope that Internationals, Israelis and Palestinians, working together, can bring an end to these policies and create the possibility of a just peace for both of the peoples of that troubled region.

Neta Golan is the Israeli woman who moved into the Palestinian village of Harres early in the al-Aqsa Intifada in hopes that her presence, as an Israeli, would help protect the villagers from harassment by neighbouring settlers. While there (and doing much more than just being present) she formulated the idea of bringing folks from around the world (“internationals”) to constitute a “protective presence” to besieged Palestinians and also to join Palestinian organizations in acts of non-violent protest and resistance to the Israeli occupation. This idea has evolved into an International Solidarity Movement (ISM), of which Neta is one of the principal activists, and which has so far had two major campaigns—in August and in December of 2001—during which folks from Europe and North America joined with Palestinians in non-violent actions and also provided a protective presence in various situations.

Nawaf Souf is a Palestinian 42-year-old father of two who spent thirteen years in Israeli prisons for participation in Fatah. He has always worked to abolish the occupation through peaceful means, and since the beginning of the al-Aqsa Intifada, Nawaf—together with his brother Issa—has been active in bringing Israelis and Internationals to join Palestinians in non-violent actions to end the occupation. Issa was shot by an Israeli soldier last May, while attempting to get children out of the line of fire, and is now a paraplegic. Despite the great suffering they have endured, both Nawaf and Issa continue to be partners in the work for justice, peace, and reconciliation.

Nawaf and Neta will describe (in speech and through video) the activities of the ISM and discuss the situation in Palestine, with emphasis on and how the presence of internationals can support Palestinians interested in engaging in non-violent resistance to the occupation.

What is to be done? - a report on war and anti-war from the UK

The immediate UK reaction to the events of September 11 was one of stunned surprise. So mighty America is vulnerable after all! Political views stretched widely across the spectrum – much more widely than in the US – given by the shock felt by some academic/intellectual Americans at the attitudes summarised in the submissions invited by the London Review of Books (Vol. 23, no. 10, October 4). Public opinion as determined by polling was broadly supportive of the US, or at least of Tony Blair’s position vis-a-vis the US, which is not quite the same thing. But there was no sense that this was ┬┤ our fight’ and it is almost impossible to find defenders of the government position to contribute to discussion meetings on the war such as those that have been held here on campus. Gallup poll figures for war support have fluctuated quite widely over the last 2 months. No-one really believes that the UK is likely to be a terrorist target for anyone other than the Real and Continuity IRA. The emergency anti-terrorist legislation was treated harshly in the House of Lords, where Tories (rather unlike their commons counterparts) and Liberal Democrats united in partial opposition(!). Home Secretary Blunkett could hardly publicly explain that it was all a sop to mollify US opinion.

The Stop the War Coalition, formed almost immediately after the war against AI-Qaida was announced, also split almost immediately because of the political tactics at the rather disorderly founding meetings in which the Socialist Workers and their supporters grabbed the executive positions and froze out some of the other activist groups such as ARROW. Nevertheless their London March and demonstration on November 18th was the largest seen since the days of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) marches in the 1980’s with some 25000-30000 involved.

National CND remains the organisation of longest standing and with the most organisational capability, with several paid staff members, It is an essential component and the continuing centre of the non-politically dogmatic opposition to wars. Its earlier march and demo (originally planned as an anti-NMD demonstration) on October 13th at 15000-20000 participants, was almost as large as the later STW event.

The Network for Peace meetings in London try to coordinate or at least facilitate actions by the various groups. At the December 15th meeting, Paul Marsden, the Labour M.P. who has been in sharp conflict with his party on the issue and who may switch to the Liberal Democrats, spoke, as did Dan Plesch the military/political analyst, Afghan and Muslim representatives and our colleague from CND and current Abolition 2000 figure Bruce Kent.

Thus following his Middle East tour and visits with Fahd, with Abdullah, and with other political figures in Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Tony Blair commended their policies. Evidently the war for democracy and for civilization required our support of and from this regime, so realpolitik demanded that we Ignore the realities of Saudi Arabia, whence 15 out of the nineteen came. But since Blair’s demands that we not abandon the Afghanis when the Taliban were removed have not found much echo in US policy, he has seemingly returned to domestic and traditional UK policy concerns such as Zimbabwe.

A central difficulty for all UK intellectuals and political activists, admitted by UK Government ministers when pressed (as recently by Jack Straw in his discussions with the Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee) as areas of disagreement, remains the massive list of US withdrawals in 2001, unprecedented in history and incredible to have come from any significant power, let alone the dominant and now only superpower; such as the withdrawals

  • from Kyoto
  • from the bioweapons convention (25 July 2001 – reiterated last week in its memo to the BWC meeting that precipitated the latter’s postponement of further discussion)
  • from the ABM treaty (continuously threatened; although that may now be changing, the final outcome may not be for the better)
  • from the CTBT prepcom committees directed at on-site inspection (21 August 2001)from the ICC prepcom committees (March 2001); note that during the evening of September 10 2001 an amendment was passed in the US Senate to prohibit the US from cooperating with the ICC in any way, which had earlier culminated in the disgraceful Senate Bill S.857, of uncertain current status, but which was introduced under seven senators’ names (May 9 2001), and, if enacted, would authorise military action by the US against officials of any International Court to “rescue” any detained US citizens
  • from the UN Racism conference in Durban, where the very public withdrawal was solely with Israel; it was so close in time (cf. the strange call by the US ambassador from the airport on September 4 2001 that he was leaving but not withdrawing) that although plans must by then have been under way, I am sure it steeled their nerve;

and the reluctances

  • to pay UN dues (that is of long standing)
  • to ratify the land mines convention, and, now
  • to acknowledge even ongoing threats such as those posed by the anthrax attack; unlike the UK where a few years ago, during a mail strike, all public mail boxes were sealed for weeks (it hardly affected anything personally or businesswise and that was in pre-intemet days) the US has been reluctant to take effective countrywide protective action.
  • to set up a public enquiry – into the security lapses, before the attacks, at the airports, on the planes and in the buildings (the terrible advice given to return to the second tower), and into safety of aircraft and buildings. Disasters in Europe almost always involve public enquiries and these provide the basis for legal catharsis. The US traditionally had its grand jury system. Where is that now?

Abolition 2000 UK on February 16th held a “Treaties” Day school to educate ourselves and others as to the complex web of international agreements and understandings that underpin the slow progress to nuclear disarmament. Workshops were led by experts from several UK “defence think tanks”. Merav Datan of IPPNW in New York and the main author of the Model

Nuclear Weapons Convention (1999) crossed the Atlantic to give the keynote speech. Others included Roland Krueger of the Nuclear Policy Group, NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Dominique Lalanne, neutrino physicist at the Linear Accelerator, Orsay (who spoke “for” both the French government and the French Peace movement!), & Sergei Federyakov of the Russian Embassy, London. These disparate participants were in surprising agreement on many of the key issues, including the uselessness of nuclear weaponry.

Meanwhile I am sad that I may never be able to go to the US again or at least not in the foreseeable future – not just because I am legally targeted by the PATRIOT Act and Presidential executive orders, but also because I fear the consequences that might ensue through not being able to hold my tongue. The US political and psychological reaction is comprehensible. Its physical manifestations are naive and potentially self-destructive. It is all very worrying.

Working Groups

A new Working Group of SfP is to be formed on Peace Education. Two immediate concerns that need to be monitored and possibly influenced are: the introduction of graduate programs in peace studies at Canadian universities; the setting up of a Canadian Peace Institute, both of which have had discussion on the internet these last months, as well some meetings.

Interested parties should contact Derek Paul at farp@sympatico.ca, or write to him or phone: 122 Hilton Avenue, Toronto M5R 3E7, 416 532 6440

The 2003 Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs

This Conference will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and members of the Canadian Pugwash Group (CPG) will be getting together this July to plan the Conference and set the agenda. Members of SfP who have important ideas on the agenda could send them in to farp@sympatico.ca for transmission to the executive of CPG. It would also be useful to draw to my attention the names of prominent scholars who have made significant contributions to disarmament, security, sustainability and other issues in recent times.

While Canadian Pugwash and Science for Peace are entirely separate organizations, there is a close link between them, and this has always been the intention since the foundation of Science for Peace.

The Ballistic Missile Defence Issue: SfP and NOOS

Background

Science for Peace members are certainly aware of the re-emergence of Reagan’s “Star-Wars” plans (Strategic Defense Initiative, SDI), and that this figures as a central policy initiative of the present U.S. Administration, under the name National Missile Defense (NMD). It is immediately obvious that if this development takes place, it poses a truly enormous threat to global survival, even in the short term, and means a complete reversal of the progress we had expected toward the abolition of the nuclear threat:

(i) It means the immediate abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic-Missile Treaty (ABM, between the USSR and the US, 1972), which explicitly prohibits nationwide missile defence. This ensures that these nations cannot with impunity launch a nuclear first strike, and thus provides the screen behind which the deterrent nuclear forces could safely be reduced simultaneously, and eventually eliminated – our prime hope. The strategic response to its abrogation is instead certain to be the increase and upgrading of the nuclear arsenals; indeed both Russia and China have announced that response. (Russia had begun dismantling, in conformity with the START II treaty; on the day of Bush’s inauguration Putin actually ordered this halted.) Thus the nuclear threat is now increasing once more (and perhaps especially the danger of accidental disaster in view of the sorry state of Russia’s military infrastructure) .

(ii) In turn this implies that the nuclear powers will continue to dishonour their solemn commitments under the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT, 1970, renewed 1995)Not only does this mean the renewal of the great-power nuclear race: the fear and resentment in other nations almost guarantees further horizontal proliferation of nuclear arms, bringing a frightening increase in the likelihood of destabilisation with horrifying consequences.

Meanwhile, it is impossible to make any sense of the public explanation offered by the U.S. Administration, even within a narrow defence purview:

a) The supposed threat from “rogue states” and “axes of evil” appears fanciful, whatever you may think of the policies of the fingered states. Not only are these states far from possessing either the missile or nuclear technology to offer such a threat, but they are of course perfectly aware of the likely consequence of any serious attack on the U.S. homeland: “deterrence” is still relevant.

b) NMD is directed solely against intercontinental ballistic missiles. But even supposing an insane death-wish governed a “rogue” state, there are much simpler, cheaper and more reliable methods of attack (as we saw last September). Thus, missiles are certainly not the delivery vehicle of choice for biological or chemical weapons, and a nuclear weapon could more easily be sent by rocket from offshore, concealed in a cargo container, carried in a small plane, etc. —- which NMD would do nothing to prevent.

c) The clincher seems to be that missile defence is in any case technically impossible, since the tracking methods can easily be thwarted by relatively simple means, e.g. cooling “shrouds”, “chaff” of fine wires, decoys, etc. This has been examined in detail by the Union of Concerned Scientists (see www.ucsusa.org/arms/CM_toc.html),

and there is no indication that the U.S. planners can see any way around these limitations. Indeed, they seem inherent to the possible tracking methods (basically radar and infrared detection).

In view of the fearsome dangers implied, and of the remarkable ineffectiveness NMD would provide as defence, there is a mystery worth attention: what can be driving the U.S. Administration’s push for missile defence?

Of course, there are always U.S. military-industrial motives: Lockheed and Raytheon and General Electric will be propped up once more, continuing a mad military version of Keynesianism. But in view of the hazards and the absurdity, this explanation is probably not sufficient this time. What’s up?

It turns out that the question has been answered in print, by the Pentagon itself, and that the answer is more horrifying than anything we’ve said above. The prime document is a mission statement for the U.S. Space Command, entitled “Vision 2020” (which sets a time scale for our concerns), and was published in 1997 (currently to be found at www.peterson.af.mil/usspacecom/private/about_space.htm, although it is occasionally relocated; a copy may be found at www.noos.ca).

It is very important actually to look at this document, which states bluntly that NMD is the essential first step in its planned mission. That plan sees outer space under the unilateral control of the U.S., filled with weapons able to maintain this control and also able to attack the earth below. These weapons would undoubtedly require nuclear power generators in space, which would be nuclear time-bombs. But certainly the most distressing aspect is the clear intention to impose U.S. hegemony throughout the globe, in real time: the imposition of worldwide imperialism, in short, enforceable instantly and with complete flexibility of the level of force to be employed. This is a vision completely inconsistent with our concepts of freedom and human dignity. Yet it seems to be official policy; indeed, Vision for 2020 has been followed up with more substantial documents fleshing out the plans in detail — see “Long Range Plan”, at the same web-site.

The stakes are enormous. Where does Canada stand? Unfortunately, our Government has failed to denounce these plans, has in fact been unwilling to commit itself in any definitive way about the NMD proposal. Meanwhile, there is considerable evidence that research is being carried out in Canada which is directed principally to technical features of the NMD proposal, not only in commercial settings but also in labs of the Department of National Defence!

Science for Peace Response

Science for Peace organised a public teach-in on NMD, which was held in Metro Hall in Toronto in the Fall of 2000. Among several excellent presentations, the chief speaker was Professor Karl Grossman from New York. His talk, and subsequent discussions with him, really opened our eyes to how serious was the issue raised by “Vision for 2020” and the U.S. intentions it reveals, and coloured our subsequent concern.

One expression of this was in an op-ed article in the Globe (Jan. 15, 2001), by John Valleau as a member of SfP, to which there was wide response. The article encouraged readers to visit the “Vision for 2020” website, and many did; it was perhaps coincidence that the Pentagon shut down the website a few days later, and subsequently moved the documents to a different site. At any rate, the DND (who had for some weeks been silent on an SfP request for a meeting with the Minister) contacted us to arrange that a delegation go to Ottawa. This delegation (Helmut Burkhardt, Phyllis Creighton, Paul Hamel, Carolyn Langdon, John Valleau) met the Minister on January 31 and explained our concerns; we felt that we received no substantial response from Mr. Eggleton.

With a view to widening the campaign, SfP held a round-table discussion of the NMD. As a result, a cooperative committee on the subject was set up, including representatives from Physicians for Global Survival, the Voice of Women, Homes Not Bombs, Mobilisation for Global Justice and others, and styling itself “Network of Opposition to Starwars” (or NOOS). A website, www.noos.ca , was created by Paul Hamel, containing information on NMD and U.S. intentions, and intended to provide shared resource material for campaigning. The principal activity that followed was a succession of appearances to speak on the subject. John Valleau has spoken at seven public events in Toronto, Hamilton, and Peterborough, several of them in company with Matthew Behrens of Homes Not Bombs, and two with Michelle Robidoux of International Socialists as well. The events of September 11 and their aftermath have meant a regrettable lapse in our work on the missile defence issue; it is time now to return to alerting our fellow-citizens. Meanwhile, the situation has worsened. Bush and Rumsfeld have claimed the attack on New York as justifying the NMD plans —- an opposite conclusion to that we drew from the terrorist attack. Furthermore, Bush took advantage of the situation to announce, almost unnoticed on December 13, the U.S. intention of withdrawing from its ABM undertakings. John Valleau will speak about NMD to the Toronto-Eglinton Rotary Club later this month, and Homes Not Bombs is currently arranging a public meeting in Guelph. Meanwhile, the NOOS committee has renewed its meetings, and work is going forward on a “lecture kit” including outlines and slides, etc., with a view to making it easy for several people to take part in a public education campaign reaching out to church or school or union groups. Barbara Birkett (of PGS) has been especially active in promoting this, and we are now also collaborating with the International Institute of Concern for Public Health (IICPH, founded by Rosalie Bertell) who were independently working on a similar project.

We encourage your participation, too. Come to a NOOS committee meeting: to find out when and where, phone 416-535-6605. We can use your help!

New Concepts of Security

A Science for Peace Round Table on New Concepts of Security was held January 15, 2002, 14:30 to 17:30, Croft Chapter House, University College, University of Toronto. This round table was organized in preparation for the Interdisciplinary Conference on Evolution of World Order, and in response to the recent report To Secure a Nation by the Council for Canadian Security in the 21 Century advocates the opposite. The report recommends to the Canadian government an increase in Canada’s contributions to NATO, the military alliance, and a thorough examination of the effectiveness of Canada’s efforts in the international peacekeeping operations of the UN. (CCS Report 01-11-09: http://www.stratnet.ucalgary.ca/ccs/ )

SfP members and at least 100 Nobel Laureates disagree with the concept of security based on strength. Weapons of mass destruction are no longer a solution to security, but represent a serious threat to local, national, and global security. Not only do the declared nuclear powers have them, but rogue nations, rogue corporations, and terrorist groups have the means to access the deadly weapons, and deliver them anywhere on the globe.

Dispersion, and the enormous destructive power of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, together with the vulnerability of our technological civilization render security through military strength impossible. Maginot lines in the sky are useless since the threat may come from inside a nation, as the events of September 11 2001 have shown. Given this state of the world, the only rational security policy is the establishment, and the enforcement of the rule of law by the global community of nations. The only hope for the future lies in co-operative international action, legitimized by democracy. It is time to turn our backs on the unilateral search for security, in which we seek to shelter behind walls. (Quote from The Next 100 Years Statement signed by some 100 Nobel Laureates in December 2001; John Polanyi is one of the signatories. www.sciencemag.org/)

Some 30 people contributed their ideas to the Round Table on New Concepts of Security, and the result was the formation of a SfP task group on security, which will aim at presenting a ┬┤Green Paper’ on Security to the Canadian Government by April. John Valleau volunteered to coordinate this effort. On Thursday May 30, 2002, 7:30 pm at Oakham House, Ryerson University, there will be a public forum on security issues in connection with the Interdisciplinary Conference on the Evolution of World Order.

Third Interdisciplinary Conference on The Evolution of World Order: From Knowledge to Sound Policy and Action

Please mark your calendar for this event on May 30 -June 2, 2002, at Oakham House, 63 Gould St. Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. One of the confirmed speakers is William Rees, the co-author of Our Ecological Footprint. According to Bill Rees, Canada could double its population, and still be sustainable. However, the USA would need the territory of 3 USAs, Japan would need 8 Japans, Germany would need 8 Germanys, and Holland would need 19 Hollands to be sustainable at their present lifestyles. The program is shaping up nicely. All speakers are reminded to include sound policy and action proposals. Please submit abstracts of your contributions to me at burkhard@ryerson.ca .

Roundtable on Energy and Climate Change

Derek Paul organized an event on Energy and Climate Change at Croft Chapter House, 24 January 2002

Global warming is taking place; thirty academies of science worldwide agree that the onset of climate change is very serious and that appropriate action needs to be taken. In any case, the precautionary principle must be applied to this complex issue.

Energy efficiency, and the switch to renewable resources are the main remedies for the accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. However, political considerations are relevant too. The USA presents the major political obstacle toward ┬┤appropriate action’ to mitigate climate change. The argument of invoking the precautionary principle is unlikely to work there. The route most likely to succeed is to emphasize the huge economic threat posed by the warming predicted for the centre of the North American continent. The discussions on the topic of energy and climate change continue, and the results will be presented at the Interdisciplinary Conference on the Evolution of World Order. Please contact Derek at farp@sympatico.ca with contributions to this topic.

Sustainability and Security Education Round Table

This event was organized by Julia Morton-Marr. Wednesday Feb 13, 2002 at 2pm – 5pm; 2nd Floor Rm 2-282, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education OISE, University of Toronto, (By invitation only)

The Round Table was arranged for balance. Participants were selected to create the following conditions. There were 7 men and 7 women; 2 students,S school teachers, 9 with a focus on sustainability or global education, 6 University Professors linking 5 Universities, 11 NGO’s were represented, 7 VOW members,S SFP, 6 IHTEC. The Round Table represented a small United Nations with Asia, Japan, South America, Europe, Canada, Australia represented. The following topics from the Interdisciplinary Conference on the Evolution of World Order were discussed over three hours. Climate Change, Security, Environment, Sustainability Education, Values, Environmental Health, Peace Education, Citizenship Ed., Human Rights, Spirituality, Educational methodology, Systems Sciences, Health, United Nations. We were very glad to have Chuck Hopkins, UNESCO Sustainability Education, who made comments after each speaker. The discussions will continue, and the final results will be presented at the Interdisciplinary Conference Evolution of World Order, May 30 to June 2, at Oakham House, Ryerson University. For contributions, please contact Julia at. julia@ihtec.on.ca .

The Role of Media For Sustainability

This Round Table Workshop was organized by Rose Dyson on March 5th, 5-7:00 p.m.. It was held at Croft Chapter House, University College, University of Toronto. This is the fourth in a series so far this year held on a number of interconnected topics in preparation for the upcoming Interdisciplinary Conference on the Evolution of World Order: From Knowledge to Sound Policy and Action. May 30-June 2, 2002, Oakham House, Ryerson University, Toronto.

Speakers included: Julia Morton, convenor of workshop on education, Joan DeNew, Founder of Canadians Concerned About Violence In Entertainment, Eileen Shapero, current Vice President of C-CA VE, Eva Gerold, C-CAVE member and team member, corporate and business ethics project, St. Michael’ College, U of T.,and Chuck Hopkins, Sustainability Education Project, York University.

Rose Dyson presented some ideas from a new book published last fall, Media, Sex, Violence. and Drugs in the Global Village, by Rowman & Littlefield eds: Yahya R. Kamalipour and Kuldip R. Rampal, with special emphasis on a chapter by M. Mehdi Semati entitled: Sex, Violence and Terrorism in Hollywood’s Imagery. For Contributions to this topic please contact Rose at: rdyson@oise.utoronto.ca .

Teach-in: How Canada Should Respond to Terrorism and War

On December 9, 2001 SfP held a teach-in at the University of Toronto. Speakers included Prof. John McMurtry from the University of Guelph, Prof. Michael Mandel from York University, Aileen Carroll, MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Prof. Emeritus Ursula Franklin from the University of Toronto. For more information, stay tuned for the next SfP bulletin, or take a look under “Events” on the SfP website, where transcripts of the talks may be found.

Full text version of all articles from SfP Bulletin March 2002. A PDF edition is also available.

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