The Spring 2021 Video List

All the video talks on this list can be found on your computer, tablet, or smartphone on our website: Search for particular videos with their number and title, as shown in boldface here.

210 The Physiology of Love and Isolation (Jonathan Down) The pandemic has thrown millions into bad moods—and a mood is a biological event. Jonathan Down tells Metta about recent research on the hormones affecting our emotions and health, and the epigenetic consequences of our personal contacts, including physical touch.

211 Studying Nuclear Risks (M. V. Ramana) Professor M. V. Ramana is a physicist who studies the public policies controlling nuclear technology—both energy and weapons, which he sees as inextricably connected. We talk about the arsenals of India, Pakistan, China, and the risks of reprocessing wastes from power plants.

212 Financing Development (Roy Culpeper and Stephany Griffith-Jones) How do developing countries acquire the funds for the SDGs? Roy Culpeper and Stephany Griffith-Jones discuss such topics as development banks, Tobin taxes, and, blended financing, and regulation. Most of the money is collected within each separate country.

213 Why We Need a Carbon Fee (Craig Smith) A tax is money collected to pay for running the government. What we need is a carbon “fee”—the charge for cleaning up the carbon messes that we make. Craig Smith explains why, and how it is a better approach than “cap and trade.” The challenge is to educate the public so they understand this need and support it politically.

214 UK’s Nuclear Arsenal (Rebecca Johnson, Nick Ritchie, and Paul Meyer) The British government has announced higher limits on nuclear weapons, with plans for weapons on the Trident submarines. This news will weaken the already vulnerable next review conference of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

215 The World In March 2021 (David Millar, Joseph Cimpaye, Glen Anderson, Betty-Jane Antanavicius, and others) At this global town hall we talk first about carbon taxation, which the Supreme Court of Canada has just approved, then about regenerative agriculture, including a discussion of the health effects of eating meat and raising animals as food, and finally about the plight of refugees trying to enter Europe, but often held for years in camps with inadequate living conditions and frequent violence. There was a discussion about how to train people to provide therapy by Zoom to them and other survivors of violent conflict.

216 A Catholic Peace Studies Major (Christopher Hrynkow) Christopher Hrynkow is a professor of peace studies at St. Thomas More College, a Catholic college in the University of Saskatchewan. He and Metta discuss the impact of official Catholic doctrines (especially papal encyclicals) on public opinion. Will Pope Francis’s rejection of the theory of nuclear deterrence have much effect on political decisions around the world? We agree that many academic scholars should be more involved with community issues.

217 Chernobyl (Kate Brown) Kate Brown studied the health effects of the fallout from the Chernobyl disaster. The official reports almost always underestimated the morbidity and mortality rates, but records do still exist, under-examined, in the files of Russia and Belarus. Ukraine estimated that about 100,000 people died there, though it received only 20 percent of the fallout. The IAEA won a contest with WHO as to which organization would keep the health records, but one must be skeptical about the numerical reports from the organization that does the research for IAEA.

218 Land Mines Today (Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan) Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan works for Mines Action Canada. He recounts to Metta the way Canada led the creation of the treaty banning these weapons and how the process of removing mines works.

219 Diplomacy and Gender (Corey Levine, Tariq Rauf, Paul Meyer, and Elizabeth Renzetti) Corey Levine works with UN Women in Kabul; Paul Meyer is a retired Canadian diplomat; Tariq Rauf is an expert on nuclear weapons; and both Elizabeth Renzetti and Doug Saunders are Globe and Mail columnists. The guests agree that negotiations are more effective when women are at the table, but Corey laments the ephemeral nature of gender equalization in Afghanistan and doubts that most democratization efforts have worked. Rauf and Meyer discuss the problems posed by UK’s new plans for nuclear weapons expansion and the effect of COVID on plans for the Non-proliferation Review Conference.

220 What it Takes to Stop Global Warming (William Fletcher) William Fletcher presents a concise list of interventions that need to be made to stop global warming. Then he and Metta argue about the relative importance of some (notably afforestation) and whether to think of global problems sequentially or as a single system, to be addressed by similar reforms.

221 What’s to be Done About Israel? (Abraham Weizfeld) Abraham Weizfeld’s mother taught him to be a “Bundist” Jewish Canadian, and he retains that anti-Zionist orientation. He usually spends half each year in Palestine, and explains to Metta some of the ancient background accounting for present-day politics in Israel and Palestine.

222 BWXT’s Uranium Secrets (Zach Ruiter and Adam Wynne) Zach Ruiter and Adam Wynne are concerned about the extent of radioactive contamination around two plants that process uranium—one in Toronto, the other in Peterborough. They discuss the effects of alpha radiation on human cells when ingested or inhaled, and the difficulty of measuring alpha emissions. The company should have consulted the neighborhood, but their notifications mainly obscure the level of risk.

223 Nuclear Weapon Free Mongolia (Jargalsaikhan Enkhsaikhan) Ambassador Enkhsaikhan is a Mongolian who has represented his country in many posts around the world since the 1970s. He was highly instrumental in the negotiations for his country to become the world’s first single nuclear weapon free STATE—as contrasted to “zone.” Even now, France will not recognize a single country, rather than a regional group of countries. as such. He explains to Metta how this remarkable development occurred. Now Enkhsaikhan is the leader of an organization called “Blue Banner” that is working to create a NWFZ in the far east.

224 Sovereignty, Arbitration, Taiwan (Charles Burton, Sen. Marilou McPhedran, James Ranney, Peter Russell, and Doug Saunders) Charles Burton, Sen. Marilou McPhedran, James Ranney, Peter Russell, and Doug Saunders discuss the need for effective measures to compel all states to accept humane norms of conduct. The dispute between China and Taiwan is a current example; the Taiwanese government is legitimate, but many countries will not take a stand against powerful China. We also discuss the problem of “libel chill,” that inhibits honest journalism, even in Canada.

225 A Course on Nuclear Weapons (Glen Anderson and Joanne Dufour) Glen Anderson and Joanne Dufour teach a free course on nuclear weapons near Olympia Washington. They tell Metta about their activism.

226 The Internationalization of Russian Higher Education (Leonid Kosals) Leon Kosals is a sociology professor in both Russia and Canada, so he can compare the views of students in both countries. He tells Metta that Russian universities are becoming international (he teaches some of his courses in English) while the press and Russian public opinion is more hostile to the West and more conservative in societal values.

227 Yemen and its Neighbors (Paul Maillet and Akbar Manoussi) Paul Maillet and Akbar Manoussi discuss the political conflicts among Middle Eastern countries, plus China and the US, and how these dynamics have created war, famine and disease in Yemen.

228 De Democratization (Dina Zisserman Brodsky) Dina Zisserman Brodsky, a former Soviet dissident, now professor of political science in Israel, is studying the decreasing number of democratic states in the world. Drawing upon the work of Wendy Brown, she describes this as a merger of two ideologies: neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism.

229 COVID and Latino Immigration (Marianne Larsen, Maria Puerta Riera, Doug Saunders, and Aaron Tovish) How can Canadian farmers find sufficient foreign workers to produce this year’s crop, when Covid has made immigration so difficult? Beginning with this issue, Marianne Larsen, Maria Puerta, Doug Saunders, and Aaron Tovish discuss with Metta the challenges that the pandemic poses for international migration.

230 Is the Arctic Sending us a Message? (Craig Smith) Craig Smith and Metta worry about the rapid melting of the Arctic ice and the permafrost, for these will release large amounts of the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere. This is happening faster than expected; the summer sea ice may even vanish during this decade, speeding up the process even more. Some possible solutions are discussed, though none are well-established yet.

231 Myths About Nuclear Weapons (Ward Wilson and Martha Goodings) Ward Wilson, Martha Goodings, and Metta discuss whether it is true that the bombing of Hiroshima was reason why Japan surrendered. They agree that the more important factor was that the Soviet Union entered the war just before Nagasaki was bombed.

232 Realism and Nuclear Abolition (Ward Wilson and Richard Denton) Ward Wilson is a nuclear weapons abolitionist, as are Richard Denton and Metta Spencer. Nowadays, his talks to the public focus on “realistic” (as opposed to ethical, humanitarian) concerns about the practical utility of nukes. He believes that this approach will be more convincing, and will give people a new sense that abolition is possible. Richard sees value in a variety to approaches

233 The World in April 2021 (Tariq Rauf, Bill Browett, Charles Tauber, Davidson Akhonya, and others) This monthly Global Town Hall includes a discussion of the ongoing negotiations for a renewal of the JCPOA in Vienna; the Bangladesh government’s use of cyber-surveillance to suppress free speech; the inequitable distribution of COVID vaccine and the greed of pharmaceutical companies; and the desperate plight of migrants trying to reach the European Union but being pushed back, often into death.

234 India in Crisis (Jill Carr Harris, Kolavennu Chand, Nancy Netting, and Doug Saunders) The panelists all have lived in India and are concerned about the current wave of the epidemic there, which they blame largely on inadequate preparation by the Modi government. Though India makes 60% of the world’s other vaccines, it has not made enough for this pandemic.

235 What Can We Learn from Germany? (William Fletcher) Fletcher admires Germany for its remarkable progress with renewable, sustainable energy, despite having a poor natural endowment for such approaches. He and Metta discuss the prospects for applying the same technologies elsewhere—fast enough to meet our Paris agreements.

236 Carbon Capture and Storage (Michael Barnard) Michael Barnard is working on solutions to global warming. He says that mechanical methods cannot be scaled sufficiently but that agriculture and forestry can do the job.

237 Russian Immigrants Today (Julia Malysheva, Anastasia Karimova, and Michael Roskin) Three young Russian political activists immigrated from their homeland to the US. They tell Metta about the difficult working conditions that motivated them and their experiences after the move.

238 Biochar and Climate Smart Food (Lloyd Helferty) Lloyd Helferty shares Metta’s enthusiasm for the use of biochar as a means of drawing carbon out of the atmosphere and burying it permanently in the soil, where it can be immensely helpful in improving the quality and quantity of food. However, he is aware that the charcoal must be used carefully, for toxic effects are possible. He is also developing a certification program called “Climate Smart Food” to create a market for these foods.

239 The Climate Emergency (Paul Beckwith, Franklyn Griffiths, Doug Saunders, and Peter Wadhams) Peter Wadhams, Paul Beckwith, and Franklyn Griffiths, all know each other for their work on the climate emergency. Doug Saunders and Metta Spencer are just learning about the gravity of our current situation. We discuss possible technical interventions that might save us, but agree that the public is not sufficiently aware to adopt such rigorous changes. What can be done to wake up the public and our governments?

240 Building to Zero Carbon (Michael Barnard and Paul Dowsett) The goal of sustainable architecture is not energy efficiency but the reduction of carbon emissions, says Michael Barnard. Paul Dowsett agrees. They explain to Metta why heat pumps are so important, and why concrete is a challenge.

241 Proportional Representation (Real Lavergne, Antony Hodgson, and Gisela Ruckert) The three guests all actively work for Fair Vote Canada, which aims to shift Canada from a system of “first-past-the post” (electing a single politician from each riding) to proportional representation, which gives minority parties some representation in legislatures.

242 Yemen in War and Pandemic (Mustafa Bahran, Abdulla Nasher, and Qais Ghanem) Three expatriate Yemenis discuss the origins and current dynamics of the seven-year-old war. Bahran predicts that it will not end until there is a solution of the US conflict with Iran.

243 Worry About Populism (Frank Cunningham) Frank Cunningham, a professor emeritus of philosophy, shares Metta’s view that the global upsurge in populism is a serious crisis, for it brings incompetent leaders to power just when urgent problems face us. The motivations for this orientation are arguable.

244 Anticipating the Next Five Years (Nadine Bloch, Philip Bogdonoff, Karen Hamilton) Karen Hamilton describes smart innovations on vaccine delivery. Phil Bogdonoff expects a grave lack of energy. Nadine Bloch urges us all to work harder!

245 Hydrogen in Our Future (Michael Barnard and Paul Martin) Michael Barnard and Paul Martin give Metta a lesson on Hydrogen—especially on the ways in which it should not be used in a sustainable world. But there is “green hydrogen” too—which is made, not from fossil fuels, as are “black” and “blue” hydrogen, but rather from renewable electricity and water sources. So far, unfortunately, the green kind is more expensive.

246 Scrubbing Methane from the Air (Renaud de Richter, Oswald Petersen, and Paul Beckwith) De Richter and Petersen are founding a project to spray iron salt aerosols into the air, where it will oxidize the excess methane that is such a potent greenhouse gas. Beckwith thinks it best to call this process “methane scrubbing.”

247 Against Military Spending (Pere Brunet and Quique Sanchez) Pere Brunet and Quique Sanchez work at the Centre Delās in Barcelona to reduce military spending globally. Between 5 and 6 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions are military in origin—not counting the amount produced by rebuilding the cities destroyed by war.

248 Werbos, Computers and God (Paul Werbos) Paul Werbos wrote a dissertation at Harvard 50 years ago about the mathematics of how the brain works. It is now. the basis for the “New AI.” He tells Metta about his vacillations between believing in Einstein and in David Deutsch’s formulas for the universe.

249 Human Rights and Diplomacy (Marius Grinius) Marius Grinius has been Canada’s ambassador to the Koreas, Vietnam, the United Nations, and the Conference on Disarmament. He says that diplomatic correctness has its place but it’s not everything, so he shares some impressions with Metta.

250 Is Globalization Dead? (Andrew Kamenshikov, Yeshua Moser Puangsuwan, Doug Saunders, and Robert Schaeffer) Robert Schaeffer says globalization is over, but he is referring to economic relations, whereas many problems (e.g. pandemics, climate change) are global in scope. And education is globalizing.

251 Organizing Security and Cooperation (Fred Tanner and Monika Wohlfeld) Both Fred Tanner and Monika Wohlfeld have worked for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe—he as advisor to the secretary general and she as an organizer of field monitoring. They assure Metta that the organization is useful, even though its work is increasingly difficult.

252 Solar Panels to Cover Old Oil Wells (Michael Barnard and Keith Hirsche) Keith Hirsche proposes to cover old Alberta oil wells in corners of farm fields with solar panels. This will reduce the province’s high grid carbon intensity.

253 Geothermal Energy (Jefferson Tester) Jefferson Tester is going to pull heat from the earth to provide all of Cornell University’s needs, as part of a project to make that campus self-sufficient in energy, including electricity, year-round.

254 The No State Solution (Aaron Tovish, Abraham Weizfeld, and Doug Saunders) Arguing that neither the One-State nor the Two-State solution is a real solution, Abraham Weizfeld tells Doug Saunders, Aaron Tovish, and Metta about his idea, which would give self-determination to both national groups, though they share space.

255 Pumping Water to Store Energy (Michael Barnard) Michael Barnard assures Metta that we don’t need to worry about developing energy storage systems to stop global warming; we already know how to use pumped water and there are endless places that can be used for it.

256 How to Educate for Peace (Tony Jenkins) Tony Jenkins teaches at Georgetown University and runs two international peace education organizations. He tells Metta that the current generation of university students are brilliant, bold, and well-informed about global issues.

257 Pipelines and Geopolitics (John Foster) John Foster knows where all the major oil and gas pipelines run, as well as the state of debate about where new ones should be placed and opened. They largely determine the alliances that countries must make and sustain with each other, he tells Metta.

258 The World in May 2021 (Peter Wadhams, Oswald Petersen, Charles Tauber, Rose Dyson, and others) In this monthly Town Hall meeting we talk about removing methane from the air, the need of migrants for care and therapy, and small modular reactors.

259 What is Project Save the World? (Metta Spencer) When a guest speaker forgot to show up, Metta took the chance to spend that time telling everyone about Project Save the World, which addresses six global threats to humanity. Its website is a meeting place for activists working to prevent these threats. The Youtube channel displays relevant videos. Peace Magazine (with the website publishes a paper and now digital magazine about peace issues quarterly—free online as text only, or by subscription in paper or digital version.

260 Russia’s Neighbors in 2021 (Andre Kamenshikov, Arzu Abdullayeva, Doug Saunders, and Shorena Lortkipanitze) Shorena is in Georgia, which has been too upset about internal politics this year to think about Arzu’s problems in Azerbaijan or Andre’s challenges in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. They tell Metta about all these issues.

261 Academic Activism (Paul Rogers) Paul Rogers began as a biologist, became a development expert, and a professor of peace e at Bradford University. He tells Metta about the book he is revising: Losing Control.

262 Transnational Ideas (Phyllis Bennis, Kai Brand-Jacobsen, and John Feffer) Phyllis Bennis, Kai Brand-Jacobsen, and John Feffer all travel a lot and know people in many countries. More often now we hold discussions by Zoom, and here we discuss the future prospects for this kind of socializing.

263 A Palestinian Prisoner (Saleh Abu Izza, translated by Yusur Al Bahrani) Saleh Abu Izza is a Palestinian lawyer and writer who was wrongly jailed at age 17 and held for several years in terrible conditions, without being charged, along with thousands of other Palestinian children. He recounts the story in Arabic, which Yusur Al Bahrani translates to English.

264 Climate Change and the Media (Robert Hackett, Doug Saunders, and Paul Werbos) The three guests are all worried about the difficulty of publicizing warnings about climate change, but Robert Hackett assures Doug Saunders and Paul Werbos that readers are more responsive if solutions are also presented, besides doom stories.

265 Grassroots Activism (Marianne Larsen) Marianne Larsen has been a lifelong activist. She has retired as a professor of education, but continues to run a charitable foundation (a family friend left her pots of money); and now is hoping to become a Green Party candidate. She and Metta find they both like trees and “One Health.”

266 Spying (Bill Robinson) Bill Robinson has been watching CSE, Canada’s agency for gathering intelligence about foreign spooks. He tells Metta about a new review agency to monitor the organization’s activities.

267 Church Animation (Lois Wilson) Lois Wilson has been the Moderator of the United Church of Canada and a Canadian senator. Now she is promoting a proposal for a guaranteed annual income, and for international defence of human rights worldwide.

268 The American Right (Lawrence Rosenthal) Lawrence Rosenthal runs the Center for Right Wing Studies in Berkeley, California. He and Metta agree that the basis for the resentment that fuels right-wing populism is a resentment of cultural and status differentials.

269 Brussels; Schools; and Assimilation (Robin Collins, Bruna Nota, Joy Kogawa, and Adam Wynne) Robin Collins tells us that the G7 discussed corporate taxation in Cornwall. Bruna Nota, Joy Kogawa, and Adam Wynne recount the history of Indigenous education in Canada. Metta tells a story about discovering her Choctaw heritage.

270 Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (Michael Barnard and Paul Martin) Paul Martin and Michael Barnard are both engineers who work on major energy projects. They worry less than Metta does about the health effects, but seem to worry a lot about security and are convinced that the cost effects mean that SMRs will never be built in large numbers.

Peace Magazine Jul-Sep 2021

Peace Magazine Jul-Sep 2021, page 28. Some rights reserved.

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