Jonathan Love and Satya Robinson explain to Metta that “drawdown” refers to the point where the greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere start lowering. With great commitment, the world can reach drawdown by the mid-2040s—and save something like $70 trillion in doing so. Project Drawdown has done the research to demonstrate the effectiveness of 80 different measures. We talk about how to popularize this knowledge.
We chat about being jailed for opposing the Vietnam War; whether to build railways on permafrost; why they bombed Nagasaki instead of Kyoto; how to revive networks to solve climate problems cost-effectively; whether genomics undermines bigotry; how Covid is worsening poverty in Nepal by unemployment; and whether hope is a better motivator than a sense of duty.
Alon Ben-Meir and Robert Katz give Metta a short history of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. They largely agree about potential solutions but are pessimistic about the future.
Derek Paul and Sam Lanfranco, two retired professors, discuss with Metta several possible innovations for improving western economies and taming corporations. These include public banks, universal basic income, and fair taxation.
Three experts on China—Charles Burton, André Laliberté, and Niva Yau—discuss China’s aggressive and anti-democratic moves in Hong Kong, Central Asia, northern India, and Taiwan, and consider the policy options of Canada and others for responding.
Louis Kriesberg and Bruce Dayton are professors specializing in exploring constructive ways of handling conflicts—which may, they explain to Metta, involve combinations of persuasion, reward, and/or coercion.
Tom Newmark is chairman of The Carbon Underground, an organization devoted to sequestering carbon in soil by changing the world’s prevailing farming methods to an approach called “regenerative agriculture.” He explains to Metta the potential importance of such changes, which can do more than any other huge revolution to solve the climate crisis and provide sufficient food for the growing human population. projectsavetheworld.libsyn.com/the-carbon-underground
Project Save the World invites activists all around the world to join a Zoom conference, a “Global Town Hall” on the last Sunday of every month. This time they talk with Metta Spencer about (among other things) the creation of an Australian commission on the human future, the risks of surveillance technology, how to connect old and young activists, and the effects of Covid on international solidarity.
Tim Wright, an Australian organizer with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) joins his Canadian friend Erin Hunt to recount their triumph in bringing to near-reality (it will probably enter into force soon) an international treaty banning nuclear weapons. Metta shares their optimism, as well as their alarm over the regressive moves by the US toward modernizing the bombs instead of dismantling them.
Ignat Kalinin works for Yabloko, a liberal democratic party in Russia founded by Grigory Yavlinsky. He and his old friend Metta Spencer get caught up here, comparing Russia’s situation to the rest of the world during this pandemic, only days after the Russian constitution had been changed to let Putin rule for 36 years. They decide to work together against the totalitarian application of face recognition and AI technology.
Arthur Kanegis is a filmmaker with a brilliant idea: you promote peace best by showing the stories of people DOING peace work. So he and Melanie Bennett produced an inspiring film about Garry Davis, veteran of World War II who felt guilty about bombing Brandenburg, Germany, and tried to prevent future wars by prompting others to join him in becoming citizens of the world, not just one or another country. He was an actor, so his adventures caught the public’s attention. Arthur and Melanie worked with him, lucky folks!
Protests against police brutality and racism have lately prompted many people to demand “Defund the Police.” Peace activists, outraged by the $1.9 trillion spent annually on the military, add this demand: “Defund the Military.” In this month’s global town hall, 30 activists join Metta in discussing this as a realistic possibility, and consider various alternative ways of handling the problems that troops are so frequently used (ineffectively) to solve.
Nadezhda Kutepova was born and raised in a secret Russian city where plutonium was created for the Soviet (and now Russian) nuclear weapons. The inhabitants were (and still are) exposed to radiation without their knowledge, and in each family, some members died of it. Only when she was grown did Nadezhda learn why her father and grandmother died. She organized an NGO to defend victims’ rights, but had to flee to France five years ago with her four children. Gordon Edwards and Robert Del Tredici discuss these risks with her.
Peace Magazine Oct-Dec 2020, page 30. Some rights reserved.