Winter 2022 Talk Shows

All the video talks on this list can be seen on your computer, tablet, or smartphone at Project Save the World’s website: tosavetheworld.ca. At the top of our home page, just type into the search bar the title of a show, the episode number, or the name of a speaker. These conversations are also accessible on the page as audio podcasts and (often) as transcripts. There is also a comment column where you are invited to discuss the show, after watching it, hearing it, or reading the transcript. If someone replies to your comment, we will let you know.

382. How to Turn Air into Rock (Claire Annie Nelson)
Dr. Claire Nelson studies the cycle whereby volcanoes spew CO2 , which falls as acid rain, dissolving rock and carrying minerals to the sea; the carbon falls to the ocean floor for millions of years until the tectonic process folds it in and a volcano spews it out again. The object of this research is to speed the transfer of excess CO2 from air to seabed. She intends to inject it into basalt, where it will stay in solid form a very long time. The use of negative emissions will be essential for solving the climate crisis.

383. Making Carbon Negative Concrete (Brent Constantz)
Brent Constantz is CEO of Blue Planet, a company that makes limestone aggregate for concrete from demolished pieces of concrete plus carbon dioxide, which he captures from nearby plants that would otherwise emit it into the atmosphere. He produces very carbon-negative aggregate pebbles absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. Although the cement component of concrete is the largest contributor of CO2 in the whole concrete-making process, with his technology so much CO2 is mitigated by his aggregates as to offset the sources from manufacturing the cement. He plans to establish 400 plants in China to capture and sequester carbon in concrete.

384. Why We’re Anxious Now (Alexey Prokorenko, Pauline Rosenau, Peter Jones, Peter Phillips)
Alexey Prokorenko is an interpreter in Moscow; Pauline Rosenau is a retired political scientist in Houston; Peter Jones is a professor of design at OCAD, Peter Phillips is a retired professor of sociology, Sonoma State University, who has a book about the people who control global capital. We discuss bad news stories the dominance of capital in determining international relations; recent revelations about US teams paid by the Pentagon to kill ISIS without regard to rules of war; the prospect of a major war between Russia and Ukraine; and how to reorganize voting so as to overpower “bad guys.”

385. Arctic Security Now (Adele Buckley, Elizabeth Riddell Dixon, Ernie Regehr)
Adele Buckley, Elizabeth Riddell Dixon, and Ernie Regehr are experts on the Arctic’s geopolitical and military issues. Elizabeth describes international legal disputes among the states surrounding the ocean. Perturbed over “fear-mongering” about Russia’s intentions, she argues that their claims to an extended portion of the ocean were preceded by Denmark’s similar assertions, which were mainly overlooked, and even by unusual claims by Canada. She expects that these claims will be adjudicated and solved peaceably. Ernie describes numerous bases along Russia’s lengthy Arctic coast, but agrees that the purpose of these military installations is primarily to support the local municipalities. Siberia is warmer than Canada’s Arctic, and its northern population many times larger. Adele notes that the public there (as in Canada) is poorly informed about the threats of climate change. However, scientists and academics still have productive intellectual exchanges.

386. Imagining World Governance (Drea Klein Bergman)
Drea Klein Bergman loves the UN and thinks it needs improvement. As executive director of Progressive World Federalists she works with young people in model United Nations meetings. We consider how to make the UN more democratic, including by abolishing the veto in the Security Council. A bolder plan would create a parliamentary assembly elected by individuals, not nation states. Metta proposes using cell phones and having voters everywhere on earth choose a delegate to represent everyone according to their birthday. A virtual UN would have advantages over the current one, where delegates have to travel to meetings. The disadvantage is that fact that time zones are incompatible. Drea is enthusiastic about forming a post-UN Model organization for youths who have experienced it in university or high school.

387. (Feffer) Russia and the Green New Deal (Vasily Yablokov, Tatiana Lanshina, Arshak Makichyan)
John Feffer is editor of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, and now edits our own policy sector on economics for Project Save the World’s website and talk shows. He discusses Russian ideas about the Green New Deal proposals with Vasily Yablokov of Russian Greenpeace, Tatiana Lanshina, a Russian economist, and Arshak Makichyan, a protester in Fridays for Future.

388. Democracy is Failing (Maria Puerta Riera, Thomas Ponniah)
Maria Puerta Riera is a Venezuelan-American political scientist in Florida; Thomas Ponniah teaches social science at George Brown College and Harvard. Both worry about the spread of authoritarian regimes, even in the US. Is this because of some deficiency in the education levels of the current voters? Ponniah argues that the left has paid too little attention to material, financial inequality for several decades, focusing more on cultural differences within a given society, and that it is time to re-prioritize.

389. The Hot Arctic (Peter Wadhams, Paul Beckwith)
Peter Wadhams, the sea ice expert, and Paul Beckwith, the Ottawa climatologist, attended the Glasgow COP26 meeting. They report on the continuing heating of the Arctic and the resulting global perturbations of climate. “You cannot negotiate the melting point of ice,” insists Wadhams, who describes the melting of Greenland’s ice sheet. Even lagging scientists admit now that the Arctic is warming 3 times as fast as the rest of the world, but Beckwith puts it at 4 to 5 times as fast. The politicians are clueless, uninformed, and continuing to subsidize fossil fuels.

390. Global Town Hall, Dec 2021 (Claire Adamson, Michaela Ehring, Roger Kotila, Alexey Prokhorenko)
On the last Sunday of every month activists working against six global threats meet by Zoom to discuss their current concerns. Here we talk about a bill in Quebec that bans the wearing of religious symbols in classrooms; the conflicts between Russia and Ukraine and between Poland and Belarus; the desirability of re-designing the United Nations and abolishing the Security Council (not everyone agreed on that!), and the outcome of an election in Chile.

391. Globalizing Education (Leon Kosals, Erika Simpson, Marianne Larsen, Kekhashan Basu) Erika Simpson and Marianne Larson are professors as Western University, Leon Kosals at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and Kekhashan Basu is an undergraduate at University of Toronto, and founder of a global organization for youthful activists. They promote global citizenship as a value among students, but instructors encounter obstructions when innovating with such topics if they are not on the prescribed curriculum.

392. Chile’s New Government (Hugo Benedetti)
Hugo Benedetti is a professor of economics at the business school of the University of the Andes in Santiago, Chile. As a “centre-rightist,” he expresses apprehension about the economic policies of the new government, which will take office in March. Although he says life has improved by all metrics in Chile over the past 30 years, except for the rising levels of inequality, that factor alone is responsible for the unrest that has grown there. Two years ago the country experienced serious riots, yet there was no agreement about the grievances. The right and left parties became more polarized, so he is satisfied that this electoral victory was best for the country (apart from its likely economic changes) because it forestalls further riots. He discusses the constitutional changes that are expected.

393. Delmar’s Art (John Delmar)
John Delmar is a retired lawyer and still-active painter in New York City. Metta asks him about his father, the actor Kenny Delmar, the preposterous radio character Senator Claghorn. Then John shows some of the paintings he loves, and several of his own, telling a little story about each one. They are abstract and colorful.

394. Our Challenges in 2022 (Elizabeth Renzetti, Abraham Weizfeld, Davidson Akhonya, Andre Kamenshikov)
Davidson Akhonya in Kenya described the plight of the desperate displaced persons he is trying to assist, and requests help from us in the West. His email address: elgon.peace@gmail.com. Andre Kamenshikov, who lives in Kyiv, was visiting his sister in Russia. He theorizes about Putin’s motives for massing troops on the Ukraine border. Because Elizabeth Renzetti had Omicron, we talked about Covid, but Metta consulted Dr. Ronald St. John to clarify some of the issues we did not fully understand; his remarks are at the end of the show.

395. “Foreign Agents” for Democracy in Russia (Oleg Kozlovsky)
Oleg Kozlovsky works for Amnesty International in Moscow, researching cases of individuals in his country whose human rights may under attack by the. state. He explains that vague laws suppress dissent among citizens. These repressive, unjust measures have taken a toll; it is harder now to organize a street demonstration, for example, for people know they may be jailed or fined for showing up.

396. Saving Trees, Seeds, and Earth (Vandana Shiva)
Vandana Shiva holds a Ph.D in particle physics, but is best known for her protection of nature against commercial exploitation. She joined the Chipko movement to protect forests in India, gradually earning what she calls her “second Ph.D.” from those brave women, who know so much about the diversity of plants and animals in their region. Her farm develops organic methods and leads regenerative agriculture movements worldwide.

397. Nuclear Waste Inter Alia (Brennain Lloyd, Richard Denton, Doug Saunders, Adam Wynne)
Doug Saunders, recovered from Omicron, talks about his research on neighborhoods. Brennain Lloyd in North Bay, Ontario defends us from the Canadian government team that seeks a place to bury nuclear waste. Dr. Richard Denton sees the failings of our political system to protect human security, which would not involve the purchase of fighter planes. Doug opens the biggest controversy: his endorsement of the use of reprocessing as a source of material for nuclear power in the future. This issue will be addressed again!

398. How to Make the Oceans Less Acidic (Tom Green)
Tom Green is the leader of Vesta, an organization that plans to grind olivine down to sand-size, then sprinkle it in the shallow oceans just offshore. The waves will roll the grains of olivine around and hasten its dissolution into the water. This will change the (now excessive) carbonic acid into bicarbonate, an alkali. By doing this on a large scale, the overall acidity of the oceans will be slightly reduced, allowing the water to accept more CO2 from the atmosphere.

399. Occupied Palestine (Michael Lynk)
Michael Lynk, a law professor, is the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. For almost six years he has observed the plight of that community, but without visiting the Occupied Territories at all; Israel refuses to let a representative of the UN enter Israel or the Occupied Territories. Only a few other countries maintain such a rigid control over a community (e.g. the Rohingya or the Uyghurs). Lynk maintains that Israel will never relent in its oppression of the Palestinians unless the international community intervenes with strong demands, though almost all countries maintain a willful blindness about the illegality of the Israeli occupation.

400. Tomorrow’s Transport (Ashrith Domun, Craig Smith)
Ashrith Domun is a chemical engineer working on the de-carbonization of vehicles. Craig Smith is a retired engineer who was president of a construction corporation and recently co-authored a book with William Fletcher: “Reaching Net Zero.” Ashrith reports that the larger the vehicle, the more difficult the challenge in making it move sustainably. But trains are easy to decarbonize; they just adopt green hydrogen, which can be done within the next five years.

401. Sustainable Builldings (Sandra Leigh Lester, Claire Adamson)
Sandra Leigh Lester advises architects on making buildings more sustainable, healthful, and beneficial for the wider community. Claire Adamson is a retired architect in Montreal. Both have issues with the fashionable ways of renovating homes. Adamson dislikes the trend toward “open kitchens.” Lester says some of her clients want granite countertops and other things they don’t need; they need such things as valves to keep sewage from backing up into their basements.

402. Russian Greenpeace (Vasily Yablokov)
Vasily Yablokov is a staff member of Greenpeace in St. Petersburg. He notes the significant change in Russian public opinion about climate change during the past two years but that nevertheless most remain oblivious to the issue, though Russia is the country already suffers most from it. There are only 30 monitoring stations along Siberia’s coast. Greenpeace may do research with Sergey and Nikita Zimov, who maintain Pleistocene Park and are concerned about the emissions of methane from thawing permafrost.

403. Climate and Fascism (William Geimer, Alan Haber, Oswald Petersen, Doug Saunders) Alan Haber was the first president of Students for a Democratic Society; William Geimer was a lawyer who defended some of the leaders of that 1960s movement against the Vietnam War. They worry about the descent of the US into Fascism. Doug Saunders and Oswald Petersen agree that the support for democracy is on the upswing in Europe and will win every honest election; the right is winning only by twisting the voting system. Petersen’s own work is the removal of methane from air by dispersing nanoparticles of iron salts.

404. Meat and Climate (Jenni Harris)
Jenni Harris’s family owns White Oaks Pastures, a farm in Georgia USA that raises and processes animals in ways that sequester more carbon than they emit. Cows are rotated from one paddock to another, day by day, adding their excretions and stirring up the soil just the right amount. The slaughter and packing of meat occurs on the farm, which has an organic restaurant, general store, guest lodging, and training programs on regenerative agriculture. We discuss the health and climate impacts of this farming.

405. China and Human Rights (Ellen Judd, Barry Stevens, Zachary Jacobson)
Ellen Judd is an anthropologist specializing in China; Barry Stevens makes films, mainly about war; and Zachary Jacobson is a mathematician concerned about global warming. The conversation discussion turned to the difficulty of addressing China’s obvious human rights violations within a fair context instead of exacerbating tensions. Is the current forcible integration of the Uyghurs “genocide”?

406. Palazhchenko on Gorbachev (Pavel Palazhchenko)
Pavel Palazhchenko has been interpreter and close aide for Mikhail Gorbachev and before that was interpreter in the foreign ministry, especially to Eduard Shevardnadze. He interpreted all the international negotiations in which Gorbachev played such a historic role in ending the Cold War. He remains in close touch with 91-year-old Gorbachev who is in isolation because of the pandemic.

407. Nuclear India and Pakistan (Pervez Hoodbhoy, M. V. Ramana)
Pervez Hoodbhoy is a physicist in Islamabad, Pakistan. M. V. Ramana is an Indian physicist in Vancouver. Both worry about the potentially catastrophic effects of nuclear war and the non-explosive but detrimental effects of radioactivity on health and the environment. They discuss the political relations among nuclear weapons states and the prospect for nuclear disarmament which both consider bleak. They also worry about the economic prospects of small modular reactors, which are expensive and unlikely to be as numerous as some suggest as a solution to climate change.

408. Likhotal on Putin (Alexander Likhotal)
Alexander Likhotal has been one of Mikhail Gorbachev’s closest advisers and now is a professor in a Geneva school of diplomacy. He discusses Vladimir Putin’s possible motivations and says that the current Russian threats of war are not really about Ukraine, but motivated by Putin’s concern about his country’s status in the world, especially vis a vis the West. Likhotal also sees Belarus as more important to Russia than Ukraine. Maintaining military bases in Belarus would be strategically important in any attempt to separate the Baltic states from the rest of NATO.

409. Global Town Hall, Jan 2022 (Andre Kamenshikov, Michel Monaud, Erika Simpson, Ernest Thiessen)
In this monthly town hall, we discuss the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, plus the “Swiss Without an Army” movement, the search for a place to bury nuclear waste in Canada, the Humanity Rising project, the protection of habitat in urban areas for grey foxes, and a game theory strategy for mediators.

410. Ukraine—Plus the Truckers (Ann Frisch, Kehkashan Basu, Subir Guin)
Ann Frisch worries about nuclear war by unintended escalation if the current war between Ukraine and Russia intensifies. Kehkashan Basu, a student at U. Toronto, had been told not to go to campus, lest there be problems with the protesting truck drivers who oppose Canada’s requirements for vaccination and mask-wearing. We compare the strictness of police in protests against these right-wing rowdies with their treatment of minorities who protest civilly. Subir Guin worries about the Modi government of India.

411. How to Protest Well (Lorraine Rekmans, Jill Carr-Harris, David Webster, Barbara Birkett)
Lorraine Rekmans, the president of the Green Party of Canada, complains that the police have treated the protesting truckers more leniently than they normally treat indigenous protesters, who are more civil in their disobedience. David Webster, who has engaged in protests in Canada and on behalf of the East Timorese independence movement, concurs. Jill Carr-Harris, a Gandhian organizer of protest movements in India, notes that the farmers’ protest has been influenced, as all movements in India still are, by the disciplined Gandhian tradition.. We are concerned by the loss of democracy in the US and Canada. Canada’s failings must not be blamed on American white supremacy.

412. Cities, States, and Climate (David Hochschild, David Miller)
David Miller, a former mayor of Toronto, now is founding an institute for C40 Cities, an organization of global megacities cooperating to reduce climate change. David Hochschild, Commissioner of Energy for California, is also engaged in reducing global warming in his own state. They compare notes about their efforts, which have been more successful so far than the work of their national governments.

413. Ukraine, Migrants, and Pipelines (James Simeon, John Foster)
On the day after Putin’s decision to recognize the breakaway Donbas republics of Ukraine, both James Simeon and John Foster are preoccupied with the imminence of war in Europe. Simeon studies forced migration, which he attributes largely to protracted wars. Foster studies pipelines and explains the risks of canceling the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would supply Europe with gas at a time when the supplies are low.

414. How to Subtract (Metta Spencer, Peter Wadhams, Oswald Petersen)
Metta Spencer was invited to speak to McLaughlin College, York University about climate change. Her title, “How to Subtract” reviews five possible methods of either shielding the planet from the sun’s heat with whiter clouds or removing carbon from the air to store it in soil or concrete. Spencer sees these as promising partial solutions, though the essential solution is to cease emitting greenhouse gases. Wadhams and Petersen explained their approaches during the Q and A period.

415. Culture of Peace in 2022? (Ingeborg Breines)
Ingeborg Breines worked in UNESCO on issues relating to gender at the end of the Cold War. UNESCO’s mission includes the development of a culture of peace. In retrospect, that period seems remarkably optimistic, for with the onset of the war on terror with crashes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, culture of peace dwindles in significance. We see the effects in the onset of war against Ukraine.

416. Ukraine, Caucasus as Peace Zone? (Christopher Mitchell, Guguli Maghradze, Irakli Kakabadze, Lyn Adamson)
With Russia’s war against Ukraine underway, four guests discuss a zone of peace, not only in Ukraine but also in the south Caucasus. Christopher Mitchell has studied peace zones as an academic, greets two of his former students: Irakli Kakabadze, who now runs a Gandhian institute in Tbilisi, Georgia, and Guguli Maghradze, formerly a member of Georgia’s parlliament and now director of a peace program at Tbilisi University. Canadian Lyn Adamson, joins in the discussion, assessing the potential for creating a zone of neutral countries.

417. End this War! (Erika Simpson, Olivia Ward, Real Lavergne, Alex MacIsaac)
Olivia Ward has been the Toronto Star’s reporter from previous Russian wars especially Chechnya. Erika Simpson is a political science professor specializing in NATO. Alex MacIsaac is the new director of world federalism in Canada. Real Lavergne was the head of Fair Vote Canada and Martin Klein is a professor emeritus of history, U of Toronto. We discuss the four-day-old war in Ukraine, the enticement of Ukraine to believe they might be admitted to NATO, and even whether Putin is mentally unhinged. We consider various solutions, including the Minsk Agreements, and Ukraine’s possible neutrality.

418. Biodiversity plus Radiation (Ole Hendrickson)
Ole Hendrickson is a retired ecologist who also works against radiation risks. We discuss the renewed danger of Ukrainian reactors, which have been taken over by the Russian invaders, then a conversation about Canada’s forests especially the potential for
urban forests and urban national parks. Hendrickson also explains the controversy over reprocessing waste fissile material.

419. Global Town Hall Feb 2022 (Simon Barrow, Liz Carmichael, Richard Denton, Rose Dyson)
The February Town Hall discussed Russia’s attack on Ukraine, with only Abraham Weizfeld offering justifications for it. Some were concerned about the risk of radiation from Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, which Russians now control, but possibly not properly. We discuss the changes needed to renovate the “world order” which has not prevented this calamity.

420. What Does ‘Stop the War’ Mean? (Erin Hunt, David Burman, Doug Saunders)
Erin Hunt explains that the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons cannot meet because the the airspace is closed to planes with the Russian delegates.. David Burman sees the war as caused largely by Western obliviousness to Russia’s security concerns. This view is qualified by the notion that Putin would have attacked anyhow, and uses NATO as an excuse. WE considering advising Ukraine to surrender but continue the conflict with nonviolent resistance.

421. Regenerative Farming and Money (Harriet Friedmann, Tom Newmark)
Harriet Friedmann is an expert on the world food system. She worries that there are economic factors limiting the opportunity for farmers to adopt the newest and best methods of farming. Tom Newmark, who lives on his regenerative farm in Costa Rica, formerly headed a multinational food corporation. He says all major food corporations realize that current agricultural methods are failing and must be replaced. He believes that these companies are taking the lead in promoting the changes that are inevitable because essential.

422. Arctic Trees (Ben Rawlence)
Ben Rawlence is a British writer whose recent book, The Treeline, recounts his tour around the Arctic circle visiting indigenous people in the northern countries. They are being harmed by global warming, which is allowing trees to grow farther in the north than before. Different countries are forested with different predominant species, but everywhere the trees exacerbate the warming. Caribou cannot survive in some of their former habitat. Rawlence has created a college in England that offers programs on environment and climate.

423. Ukraine and Nuclear War (Ellen Thomas, Earl Turcotte, Robin Collins)
Ellen Thomas held a vigil outside the White House for many years. She favors a bill that is brought to Congress every year but never voted on: to shift money from nuclear weapons to a useful economy. Canadian activists Robin Collins and Earl Turcotte disagree about the best policy for Ukraine. Turcotte thinks it is realistic for Ukraine’s allies to defend it militarily, while Collins considers Biden right in holding back, since Putin might respond with nuclear weapons. Both see a confluence of two contradictory responses to Putin’s threat: a desire to abolish nuclear weapons because their risks are made so apparent, but also a demonstration that they can be valuable deterrents. NATO will not go to war against Putin because he has nukes, and if Ukraine had kept theirs, he would not have attacked them. This terrible message is convincing.

424. Rational Dispute Settlement (Ernest Thiessen)
Ernest Thiessen’s Ph.D. thesis was a search for an algorithm to solve conflicts by maximizing the preferences of all parties to the dispute. He found it independently, not knowing that John Nash had already solved the problem (and won a Nobel prize for it). Now his company provides software to find the optimum solution to a dispute that is locked in a stalemate. He can always improve on the status quo, though in real life hardly ever achieves 100 percent satisfaction.

425. Building Sustainably (Ted Kesik)
Ted Kesik is an engineer in the architecture faculty at U of Toronto, who specializes in building materials and constructions for social resilience. With 300,000 immigrants coming to Canada each year, new dwellings must be built and the deteriorating infrastructure repaired and expanded. Urban drainage systems must be rebuilt or less water used per person. As high-rise condos age, there will be more incentive to clad them with insulation and replace windows. Concrete and steel can be produced with zero net emissions, partly because of the competition with mass timber construction.

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Peace Magazine April-June 2022

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