Each week we produce a video and audio podcast discussion of a serious global issue. See the list below for YouTube links to the shows that have appeared since the last issue of the magazine. You can access the podcasts at your computer by clicking on a selection in the podcast section of our website, tosavetheworld.ca . After listening to some podcasts, please subscribe and send a review to iTunes.
Angela Bischoff is outreach director for the Ontario Clean Air Alliance and Gordon Edwards is president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility. They share with Metta Spencer their concerns about the hazards and inordinate costs of nuclear power and suggest other options that are being ignored by the government of Ontario, which is continuing a policy of refurbishing old reactors.
Reva Joshee is a Toronto professor and advisor to Jai Jagat, the group that will depart from Gandhi’s grave in Delhi on October 2 and march to Geneva Switzerland, passing through Iran, Georgia, Croatia, among other states, to encourage ending social exclusion, poverty, warfare, and global warming. Reva tells Metta Spencer about the plan to other marchers coming to Geneva from Europe and Africa for several days of action, promoted by the United Nations there.
Macdonald Scott is an immigration consultant who helps (mainly disadvantaged) migrants acquire official status as immigrants to Canada. He explains to Metta Spencer that the system is not nearly as generous as most Canadians believe.
Ashis Nandy is a political psychologist in Delhi who notes the harms resulting from India’s development programs. After explaining this to Subir Guin and Metta Spencer, he analyzes Modi’s reasons for depriving Kashmiris of their political autonomy.
John Feffer is director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. He and Metta are both puzzled by the rise of right-wing populism and the decline of progressive transnational organizations such as the Helsinki Citizens Assembly and the World Social Forum. The right is organizing internationally, just when the left is unable to do so. They speculate about causes.
Ann Swidler is a Berkeley sociologist who believes that Western altruists who want to help Africa should begin by learning about the culture where they go. Otherwise they will be shocked to find their assistance failing. She tells Metta that it is useless to try to change African sex norms, for example, because the historical problem has been a shortage of people.
Alison Lucas is a Major in the Canadian Army and Amber Comisso is a Lt. Commander in Canada’s Navy. Both have served as peacekeepers abroad, but their jobs did not call upon their special quality—their gender—for dealing with women who would have avoided male Canadian soldiers. Still, they say peace operations are more successful when the military includes “ladies.”
Normand Beaudet runs a nonviolence resource centre in Montreal that strategizes with various social movements. This summer his assistant is Jamie Latvaitis, a university student who will work in local communities to organize opposition to a proposed pipeline that will ship liquid natural gas across Québec.
Retired peace studies professors Nigel Young and Metta Spencer discuss their profession, Young’s two new books, and their shared concerns about the probable future of nationalism, the topic of Young’s forthcoming book, Postnational Memory: Peace, War; Making Pasts Beyond Borders.
Ashrith Doman explains to Metta what a fuel cell is and who might choose to use one for what purposes—as well as the pros and cons of electric vehicles, the cost of installing hydrogen service stations, and the reason why it may not be a good idea to convert carbon dioxide into alcohol.
Adele Buckley and Sandra Odendahl are both engineers who are interested in the technology and business end of capturing carbon from smokestacks. (Think “clean coal.”) They say it’s ready to use and greatly needed now, since thousands of coal-powered plants are still be constructed and will be around for several decades, whatever else happens.
David Last is a Canadian who served in Cyprus and the former Yugoslavia as a UN peacekeeper, then trained peacekeepers from several countries. He argues that a key to reducing violence in the world is to educate military professionals to address the political problems that lead to violence. As a professor he’s doing that now.
Could a hacker break into the nuclear weapons control of the US or Russia and launch a nuclear war? The answer is: Maybe. Andrew Futter, a professor in Britain addressed that question in his book, Hacking the Bomb, and discusses it with Hans-Christian Breede, a professor at Canada’s Royal Military College, and Metta Spencer. who chairs Project Save the World.