From the Editor

By Metta Spencer

Everyone has been obsessed with political matters for months, and it's not over yet. Who could be unmoved by the stirring election speeches of Barack Obama in the United States? (One scientist claims that his oratory stimulates your vagus nerve, which produces oxytocin and a great sense of "elevation" that lifts your soul and makes you want to be a better person. That sounds plausible.)

The Canadian election was pedestrian in comparison. The Liberals' brilliant "green shift" carbon tax plan sank like a stone. But then came the dramatic week-long effort to build a coalition that the Governor-General would invite to form a government. Adrenalin flowed like fountains in the Canadian body politic. New thrills will arise in January, as new governments form here and abroad and the world-wide economic crisis deepens.

People respond to these changes in various ways. In Iraq they are thrilled by a shoe-throwing local journalist and his expression of outrage toward George W. Bush -- who was disappointingly unperturbed by the incident. Though the act stretches the meaning of "nonviolence," few peaceniks object to the man's protest, in view of the million Iraqi lives lost as the result of Bush's war so far.

Others, in Canada and beyond, now see the opportunity that Obama's approaching presidency will offer, and have begun anew organizing campaigns to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Over three-quarters of the human population favor doing so, and now we can do it. Yes we can!

As Rahm Emanuel put it, you don't ever want to waste a crisis. And we have several thrilling crises now. The permafrost is already melting, emitting methane into the atmosphere, where it will speed up the planetary warming,in a vicious feedback loop that will melt even more methane. We have to push beyond the timid Canadian governmental response. It's time to begin experimenting with geo-engineering, which at best may give us enough time to develop the green alternatives required to make our planet sustainable.

Peace Magazine Jan-Mar 2009

Peace Magazine Jan-Mar 2009, page 4. Some rights reserved.

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