It was Stalin (of all people!) who protected forests in the Soviet Union — and it was Putin (of course!) who ended such conservation, writes John Bacher. The Russian activists who tried to keep a highway from slicing through the Khimki Forest have had to flee or were beaten up. But in Ukraine activists saved a forest known as Protasiv Yar by having it declared a green zone.
Year after year, laments Paul Meyer, the UN’s General Assembly has had an item on the agenda to develop rules for international security in cyber space — but the task is never done. A newer approach was to establish Open Ended Working Groups to tackle the issue, but these have never yet reached agreement. We need a forum to discuss cyber security issues on a regular basis.
Humanitarian aid, development, and peace are completely interdependent projects, James C. Simeon reminds us. But the third pillar — peace — is the most fundamental, for we cannot achieve the other two without it.
In a war, when both sides are unable to win, they keep upping the ante to get the other side to back down, notes Marc Pilisuk. This pattern is obvious now in Ukraine. But how can this escalation be stopped? One side has to initiate conciliatory steps. One potential measure would be to adopt a policy of “no first use” of nuclear weapons.
Mikhail Gorbachev’s projects — peace, human rights, freedom of speech, and democracy — were subverted by others, Metta Spencer insists. Some obituaries call him a failure — but what a spectacular contribution he offered to humankind. Imagine how the world would look today if others had recognized the value of his proposals!
The prime minister of Hungary is making speeches now alleging that “mixed-race countries” are no longer real nations. His mean-spirited political ambitions, notes James M. Dorsey, nevertheless are expansionist, and he seems to have his eyes on Transylvania in Romania, which he calls the Hungarian motherland!
Babies born during the COVID pandemic have no understanding of normal social life. They have been isolated in bubbles. Child-care centres and other supports, including extended family relations, have been forbidden. Such social isolation has been shown, writes Vinay Jindal, to impair the cognitive development of children.
Chandler Davis, Professor Emeritus, born in Ithaca NY, passed away on 24 September 2022 at the age of 96. A founding member of Science for Peace, Chandler was, as Professor Noam Chomsky stated recently, “a rare individual, a model of courage and integrity through dark and difficult times.” He received his PhD at Harvard University in 1950 and had been a faculty member of the University of Michigan and at Columbia University.
In the first half of this year, the world was failing the challenge to reduce global warming, partly because recovery from the pandemic was beginning. Then in August, the US passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which was not so much about inflation as climate, writes John Feffer. And the year’s not over yet.
If the Zaporizhzhia power plant blows up, Ole Hendrickson notes, the communities in the path of the fallout won’t be discussing whether to blame Russia or Ukraine. Nuclear power is incompatible with world peace.
When the 1995 conference decided to continue the NPT indefinitely, Tariq Rauf writes, they did not tell the nuclear weapons states that they could keep their weapons indefinitely. But some diplomats have conveniently forgotten this, so the 2022 conference was doomed from the start.
John Hallam doesn’t consider the recent NPT review conference a failure. They watered the language down as usual, but the document that was almost adopted was stronger than in previous conferences. It would have passed too, except for Russia’s objections.
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