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Here is a full list of podcasts, all of which are based on the weekly video chats which began in April 2018. Click on a forward arrow (from the list below) to open a show, or visit all shows at once at projectsavetheworld.libsyn.com.
Episode 131: Reaching Net Zero (video link)
William Fletcher and Craig Smith are co-authors of an optimistic book arguing that it’s feasible to reduce carbon emissions enough to prevent a global catastrophe, using known, available technologies.
Episode 130: Climate as War (video link)
Seth Klein, formerly director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, discusses his new book. It shows how Canada mobilized for World War II with astonishing rapidity, and how the lessons learned from that experience can be applied now to handle the climate emergency.
Episode 129: Drawdown’s Progress (video link)
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.
Episode 128: The World in August 2020 (video link)
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.
Episode 127: Israel/Palestine (video link)
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.
Episode 126: Inventing an Economy (video link)
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.
Episode 125: China in the World (video link)
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 other countries for responding.
Episode 124: Transforming Conflict (video link)
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.
Episode 123: The Carbon Underground (video link)
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.
Episode 122: The World in July 2020 (video link)
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.
Episode 121: Yes, ICAN! (video link)
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.
Episode 120: Russia, Mid-summer 2020 (video link)
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 36 years. They decide to work together against the totalitarian application of face recognition and AI technology.
Episode 119: Garry Davis — World Citizen (video link)
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!
Episode 118: The World in June 2020 (video link)
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.
Episode 117: Radioactive Mayak (video link)
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, comparing them to the lies told about radioactivity in western countries.
Episode 116: Too Dumb for Democracy? (video link)
David Moscrop’s book is titled, “Too Dumb for Democracy?” raises a question that liberal political thinkers normally avoid. Our complaints are usually against “deficits” in democracy. But suppose the problem instead is that normal citizens cannot cognitively process the information that is necessary to make wise political judgments? In a friendly conversation, Metta suggests that Moscrop has raised a question that he does not pursue long, for soon he turns to a search for the institutional changes to which many liberals would turn as ways of reforming and saving democracy.
Episode 115: The World in May 2020 (video link)
In this month’s Global Town Hall, ten Canadians chat with experts in Croatia, Russia, India, and Wales about the pandemic and the demonstrations against policy brutality now sweeping the US. Should we pick one issue at a time (e.g. nuclear weapons) or work on six or seven as a package? Is the priority to find great leaders or to engage large numbers of citizens as activists? Can Trump be prevented from re-starting nuclear weapons tests?
Episode 114: Who Benefits from War? (video link)
The subtitle of Marc Pilisuk’s book was “Who Benefits from Global Violence and War?” and Peter Phillips’s book answsered it: “Giants: The Global Power Elite.” These are about 200 people who control over 40 trillion dollars— a large fraction of the world’s cash. So what are the alternatives and is it possible to persuade, say, ten percent of the population to demand that they be adopted. Metta takes a moroe pessimistic view than Pilisuk and Phillips.
Episode 113: Nonviolence International (video link)
Mubarak Awad was a Palestinian Christian psychotherapist who found that his clients did not need therapy; they needed freedom. So he founded a center for nonviolence, which the Israeli government did not appreciate — since it created an effective nonviolent intifada. But the work continues, and Metta speaks with Awad and three other leaders in nonviolent resistance: Michael Beer, Andre Kamenshikov (working now from Kiev), and Yeshua Moser Puangsuwan (working from both Thailand and Canada). At least three of the people are optimistic about being able to continue their work, even in the hard post-covid economy.
Episode 112: Revitalizing our Movements (video link)
Peace activists Saul Arbess, William Geimer, Magritte Gordaneer, and Tamara Lorincz have been working together to revitalize the Canadian peace movement. Metta Spencer finds that this initiative is one of several similar ongoing efforts (most of the others global instead of national) so the group discuss the prospects for creating a “social movement of social movements.”
Episode 111: Rethinking National Sovereignty (video link)
Peter Russell’s forthcoming book gives a history of sovereignty, but the panelists are thinking about what comes after it how to transition from a world of sovereign nation states to a global federation — or some other alternative means of governance. Fergus Watt promotes World Federalism; Robert Schaeffer is skeptical about the direction we’re heading; and John Feffer is already collecting a transnational community of leaders. Metta doesn’t choose among these approaches but supports them all.
Episode 110: Chinese Capitalism (video link)
Rebecca Fannin is an American business journalist who, since the early 1990s, has written about the new corporations in Asia; for financial magazines, plus two books about China and one largely about India. She now offers a webinar on venture capital. She and Metta discuss the connections between business interests and political and social values.
Episode 109: The World in April 2020 (video link)
Barbara Birkett, Saul Chernos, Evnur Taran, Jase Tanner, and Adam Wynne called into Project Save the World’s monthly Global Town Hall this time — mainly to discuss Covid-19 with Metta. In April, we’re all locked in our homes speculating about the future: When (if, indeed ever) can we safely open up again? Will the world globalize more or retreat further between closed borders?
Episode 108: Poland in Cyberspace (video link)
Adam and Margo Koniuszewski created the Bridge Foundation as an organization to bring together people (especially young scientists) from various countries — especially Canada, Poland, and Switzerland. Adam tells Metta about their current initiative: a competition between teams of young experts to manage a hypothetical cyberattack against Poland. This is, in effect, a “fire drill” for reality. But, because of Covid-19, they will have to carry out the event online.
Episode 107: How to Save the World (video link)
Metta Spencer, who launched Project Save the World two years ago, reviews the policy proposals that seem most likely, if enacted simultaneously, to reduce the threat of the six most serious global catastrophes facing humankind: militarism, global warming, famine, pandemics, nuclear contamination, and cyberattacks. They cannot be solved in a step-by-step sequence, for they are a system and most be resolved together.
Episode 106: The World in March 2020 (Video link)
Project Save the World invites activists around the world to an open videoconference on the last Sunday of each month. Here Metta Spencer hosts friends in the US, Canada, Croatia, and India in the month when the pandemic spread worldwide. Several of the callers are Rotarian activists and we mainly discuss the use of therapy to handle trauma.
Episode 105: Pleistocene Park (Video link)
Luke Griswold-Tergis and Michael Loranty frequently go to a research station called Pleistocene Park, which is run by a father and son, Sergey and Nikita Zimov. They tell Metta that the Park shows that herds of large herbivores reduce the soil temperature. This can keep permafrost from melting. More research is certainly needed.
Episode 104: The Uighurs (Video link)
Rukiye Turdush is a Canadian activist who works on behalf of her ethnic community, the Uighurs. These inhabitants of northwest China are experiencing what the former diplomat Charles Burton calls “cultural genocide.” Together Rukiye and Charles describe to Metta the “re-education camps” where Uighurs are confined if they display any of their traditional cultural preferences — especially an Islamic lifestyle.
Episode 103: Arctic Changes (Video link)
Ed Struzik is a writer who travels through the Arctic every summer, observing the changing landscape and the challenges that the Inuit people face in adapting to the fastest-warming area of the world. The trees and shrubs are moving into the tundra. Lightning is more frequent, causing wildfires that exacerbate global warming. Struzik cannot reassure Metta with any upbeat ideas for reversing this catastrophic trend.
Episode 102: The World in February 2020 (Video link)
In our monthly Global Town Hall meeting friends discussed such topics as the impact of mining on Guinea’s rainforest, the prospect of shifting to 100% renewable and non-nuclear energy with storage, a plan to ring bells in Hiroshima Day, a project training “barefoot therapists” to help their peers in conflict zones, the Great Lakes Peace work in Africa, and a plan to create a network of NGOs against nuclear contamination on April 28.
Episode 101: Psychotrauma (Video link)
Charles David Tauber and Sandra Maric practice psychotherapy without calling it that. In Croatia, the effects of war trauma are evident but usually denied. Therapy is stigmatized, so they call their work “psychological education,” and they train other local people (“barefoot therapists”) to do it too, using Carl Rogers’ approach in small group settings. They even do therapy online by videoconferencing, as they explain to Metta.
Episode 100: Arctic Fires (Video link)
Heather Alexander is an ecologist who spends her summers in Siberia studying the effect of forest fires on its remarkable carbon-rich permafrost. She explains to Metta that there are trade-offs involved. Nature has prepared many organisms to withstand small fires, but the current ones threaten to mess upset nature’s balance irreversibly.
Episode 099: World Federalism (Video link)
Fergus Watt is executive director of World Federalists in Canada and John Daniele chairs the Toronto branch. In 2020 the UN will celebrate its 75th anniversary and there is a process underway to review the current system of world governance and consider possible improvements. Peacekeeping is one big challenge, but one huge leap took place when the International Court of Justice was created. Fergus, John, and Metta all hope that a parliamentary assembly will be the next phase of democratization.
Episode 098: Landmines (Video link)
Erin Hunt works at Mines Action Canada, which works to promote compliance with the Landmines Treaty, which prohibits the use of bombs that indiscriminately explode by touch or proximity and which, therefore, can injure civilians or even cattle, often long after the war has ended. Erin tells Metta about the origins and effectiveness of that treaty and a related one banning cluster munitions.
Episode 097: The Rohingya and Myanmar (Video link)
Maung Zarni and Paul Copeland discuss with Metta the plight of the Rohingya people in Myanmar and the massacres of 2017 that forced most of them to flee to Bangladesh. Had we misperceived Aung San Suu Kyi? She defended the Myanmar government before the World Court, but it ruled that they may be perpetrating genocide.
Episode 096: The World in January 2020 (Video link)
In the first of our Global Town Halls, Andre Kamenshikov, Charlotte Sheasby-Coleman, Joanna Santa Barbara, Bruna Nota, and Adam Wynne discuss their current concerns with Metta Spencer. Russia’s changing constitution and the coronavirus are the first topics, with a broad agenda of ecological economics as a debating point. Ex-Soviet citizens tend to be wary of big ideas, and to worry that ideology may lead to extremism.
Episode 095: Nuclear Power (Video link)
Libbe HaLevy calls herself a “Survivor of Three Mile Island,” which sounds strange until you learn that not everyone did survive it. Now she runs a weekly podcast about the effects of radioactivity. Angela Bischoff, director of Ontario’s Clean Air Alliance, is a listener and, according to Libbe, a source of information. These two women discuss with Metta the risks of nuclear power, including a few new proposals.
Episode 094: Nuclear Weapons in 2020 (Video link)
Tariq Rauf is an expert on nuclear weapons and the unending struggle to restrain and abolish them all. He and Metta Spencer talk about politics of disarmament and their dismay about the modernizing of these weapons and the new hypersonic missiles. Rauf predicts that the upcoming Non-Proliferation Review Conference will fail, but that the NPT will not collapse.
Episode 093: Global Peace Work (Video link)
Alyn Ware heads the Basel Peace Office, where he oversees the opposition to nuclear weapons by the Parliamentary Network on Nonproliferation and Disarmament and his new campaign, Move the Nuclear Weapons money. He and Metta Spencer discuss the way that financial profitability of producing these weapons shapes the policies of nuclear weapon states. They consider the possibility of shifting to alternative systems of security, such as OSCE, and the need to change the United Nations.
Episode 092: Nepal (Video link)
Mukti Suvedi and Sharad Neupana are Nepalese peace and development workers. Metta called them in Kathmandu and learned about Mukti’s project: rebuilding a town that had been leveled by an earthquake. Sharad does peace work with youth. One technique is simply getting kids from different castes to play football together. Many youth go to work in the Middle East; now the challenge is to bring them home and give them productive jobs.
Episode 091: Beckwith After COP 25 (Video link)
Canadian climatologist Paul Beckwith attended the COP 25 meeting in Madrid that ended in a stalemate. He and Metta agree that there is too little progress by elected government officials, and they consider ways of speeding up responses to the emergency. Beckwith favors sprinkling iron in oceans to encourage plankton and feeding CO2 to limestone.
Episode 090: Iran Today (Video link)
Homa Hoodfar, a professor of anthropology at Concordia University, spent many months in prison in her home country, Iran, for promoting democracy and gender equality. She and Metta talk with Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, another Iranian-Canadian professor (History, U of Toronto) about the brutal crackdown on the current resistance and their political suggestions for the future of the Middle East.
Episode 089: One World, One Health (Video Link)
Dr. Laura Kahn and Dr. Cheryl Stroud are leaders in the “One Health” movement, an approach that brings together medical knowledge and veterinary and environmental medicine to solve the problems that transcend the boundaries of these supposedly distinct disciplines and practices. They tell Metta about ongoing studies of microbial resistance, vector-borne diseases, and the challenge of feeding a growing human population despite the climate crisis.
Episode 088: Farming to Save the World (Video Link)
Tony McQuail is a prominent organic farmer in Ontario. He and Metta discuss how to feed the future human population of 11 billion by agricultural methods that include “cocktail crops,” farming without plowing, and the herding of livestock with electric fences. And yes, such practices also protect wildlife, reduce floods, and sequester large amounts of carbon in the soil. To reverse global warming, good farming is probably the quickest solution.
Episode 087: Hanford’s Legacy (Video Link)
Trisha Pritikin probably began being exposed to radiation while in utero. She began feeling sick as a teenager and is still partly incapacitated. But she’s a lawyer and when the government finally revealed the cause of her illness she became a plaintiff — along with thousands of other downwinders. Now she chairs an organization, Core Hanford, that fights for the victims’ rights.
Episode 086: Arctic Permafrost and Trees (Video Link)
David Price models ecological systems for the Canadian government–mostly forests. He and Robin Collins discuss with Metta where to plant a trillion new trees. They agree it’s best to pay to have them planted in tropical areas, not in the Arctic. But David doubts the value of woolly mammoths in Siberia.
Episode 085: Energy, Climate, and War (Video Link)
Michel Duguay, an engineering professor at Laval University, reassures Metta that there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to electric grids. He does worry about the use of coal energy and about the record of mass killings, but he hopes genomics will solve warfare.
Episode 084: Soap Operas for Social Change (Video Link)
William Ryerson heads the Population Media Center, which develops serial melodramas with messages: mainly stories that lead people to change their minds about various reproductive health issues. He and Metta agree that television shows are highly influential, informing (or misinforming) people in powerful ways. The best and cheapest way to reduce population growth is through story-telling.
Episode 083 : The Crime of Aggression (Video Link)
Noah Weisbord, a law professor at Queens University, worked on the committee that defined the crime of aggression (previously called (the crime against peace”) that is now an enforceable international law. A ruler who starts a war can be personally arrested, tried, and imprisoned. Noah and Metta discuss the effort to combine forgiveness with justice.
Episode 082 : Europe and Peace Today (Video Link)
Reiner Braun is co-president of the International Peace Bureau. He updates Metta on the exciting and dangerous current period, when a new world order is developing in which the US is declining and China, among others, is rising. Europe’s response to Trump is to go it alone, developing their own military. What will become of NATO?
Episode 081 : Beckwith’s Climate(Video Link)
Paul Beckwith is a Canadian climatologist who produces frequent videos about global warming. While Metta Spencer is especially concerned about where to cultivate an additional trillion trees, Beckwith is more interested in the potential for using the oceans to manage the excess carbon in the atmosphere.
Episode 080 : Miyawaki Forests(Video Link)
Shubhendu Sharma founded a company in India, Afforestt, to build tiny forests all around the world, using methods developed by the Japanese botanist Miyawaki. They are dense natural forests comprising trees that grew in the region hundreds or thousands of years ago. Metta Spencer asks Shubhendu to estimate the carbon sequestration of his forests but he declines to do so, and they argue a bit over philosophy.
Episode 079 : School Strike for Climate(Video Link)
Audrey Hayden, Genevieve Langille, Jasmine McRorie, and Freyja Moser are high school students in London, Ontario. On Friday September 27 they organized a protest march as part of the worldwide campaign to alert humankind to the existential crisis posed by global warming. Every Friday after school they also protest, and here they discuss with Metta Spencer the attitudes of the adults who react to their disruptive actions.
Episode 078 : Israeli Elections(Video Link)
Meir Amor is an Israeli-born Canadian professor in Montreal. Abraham Weizfeld is a political scientist/author who lives in Montreal and Nablus, Palestine. Weizfeld considers the recent elections a significant improvement in that it puts the Palestinian party into a more powerful position. Amor thinks that the changes will not amount to much.
Episode 077 : The Trouble with Reactors(Video Link)
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.
Episode 076: Marching to Geneva(Video Link)
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.
Episode 075: Refugees in Canada(Video Link)
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.
Episode 074: Modi’s India (Video Link)
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.
Episode 073: Transnational Organizing (Video Link)
John Feffer edits “Foreign Policy in Focus,” a publication of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington D.C. He called to ask Metta about what he sees as a trend: an increasing difficulty for leftish and liberal democratic internationalists to cooperate across borders, whereas the burgeoning nationalistic movements are easily knitting their projects together on a global scale. Actually, Metta asked most of the questions and decided to make this into a public conversation for you and others who read Peace Magazine and follow our website, https:tosavetheworld.ca .
Episode 072: AIDS in Africa (Video Link)
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 there has been a shortage of people.
Episode 071: Peacekeeping Ladies (Video Link)
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.”
Episode 070: Nonviolence in Québec (Video Link)
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.
Episode 069: Peace and Nationalism (Video Link)
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.
Episode 068: Sustainable Transport (Video Link)
Ashrith Doman (Transportation Engineer, Hatch) 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.
Episode 067: Carbon Capture (Video Link)
Adele Buckley (Formerly V.P, Technology and Research, Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology) and Sandra Odendahl (President and CEO, CMC Research Institutes) 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.
Episode 066: Improving Peacekeeping (Video Link)
David Last (Professor of Political Science, Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario) 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.
Episode 065: Hacking the Bomb (Video Link)
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 (Associate Professor of International Politics, University of Leicester) addressed that question in his book (Hacking the Bomb) and discusses it with Hans-Christian Breede (Associate Chair of Public Administration, The Royal Military College of Canada) and Metta Spencer, who chairs Project Save the World.
Episode 064: Canadian Peace Work 2019 (Video Link)
Erika Simpson (Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Western Ontario) and Metta discuss their common concerns as academic Canadian peace researchers — the recent meeting of the Canadian Peace Research Association, the recent prepcom for the NPT review conference (which fails, portending another failure next year) and Erika’s research at NATO.
Episode 063: Update from Ukraine (Video Link)
Andre Kamenshikov (a Russian peace worker in Ukraine) and Metta discuss the attitudes of the people they know about such issues as climate change, the conflict in the Donbas region, the trees along Russia’s border with China, and why Andre envied his high school friend for living closer to the subway.
Episode 062: Beautiful Trouble (Video Link)
Nadine Bloch (puppet-maker, peace educator, and author of Beautiful Trouble and The Synergizing Nonviolent Action and Peacebuilding Guide) shows Metta Spencer that a successful campaign requires two different kinds of approach – conflict resolution and the ability to acquire people power by demanding social change.
Episode 061: Creating Real Security (Video Link)
True peacekeeping puts the protection of people first, but nowadays more civilians than soldiers are killed in wars. However, wars are not necessarily inevitable. It is cheaper and more effective to look for impending conflicts and intervene early to prevent them, and to codify the procedures for peace operations. Col. Paul Maillet (ret. Canadian Forces; President, Civilian Peace Service Canada) and Metta Spencer discuss the possibilities in this hour-long chat.
Episode 060: Peacebuilding (Video Link)
Kai Brand-Jacobsen (Director of Peace Operations, PATRIR) co-founded Peace Action, Training Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR), a peace institute in Romania that not only does research and teaching but carries out operations around the world in preventing and managing conflicts. Kai tells Metta about some of their innovations, such as bringing experts out of their “silos” to work together on all of the issues that are the background circumstances that lead to war.
Episode 059: Social Media Risks (Video Link)
Lisa Schirch (North American Research Director for the Today Institute) has a new book about the trade-offs that are involved in maintaining freedom of speech on social media and preventing hate speech, fake news, and even the misuse of personal information. Unfortunately, journalists know that “if it bleeds, it leads.”
Episode 058: Famine in Africa (Video Link)
Daniel Maxwell (Henry J. Leir Professor in Food Security, Friedman School of Nutrition, Tufts University) is in Nairobi on a field trip hunting for factors producing famine in Africa—especially South Sudan. He looks for underlying vulnerabilities, not just the “triggering events.” And yes, he tells Metta that hunger can start wars — or at least the political unrest that often leads to war. The Arab Spring was one such case.
Episode 057: Gandhi: Justice, Technology (Video Link)
We talk with Carl Kline (Satyagraha Institute) and Anand Mazgaonkar (National Alliance for Peoples Movement, Ahmedabad, India) first about working with the poor, and then about Gandhi’s view of technology. Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan (Nonviolence International) discusses the effects of social media in Myanmar.
Episode 056: Sustainable Buildings (Video Link)
Paul Dowsett (Principal architect, Sustainable) and the president of a carpenter’s union, Michael Yorke (resident District Council of Ontario) discuss with Metta Spencer their preferred building materials (mainly wood, nowadays) to reduce carbon emissions and keep heat inside or outside the house, depending on the time of year. If you live in a high-rise they are looking to replace your balcony.
Episode 055: A.I. and You (Video Link)
The Killer Robots are Coming! (Unless we stop them now.) Cesar Jaramillo and Branka Marijan of Project Ploughshares are working internationally to create binding regulations that will require a human being to be in charge of any weapon that may target another human being. They explain to Metta Spencer what we’re up against.
Episode 054: Venezuela (Video Link)
On April 6, 2019 the streets of all major cities in Venezuela were filled with protesters supporting Juan Guaidó’s presidency of the country and demanding that Maduro step down. Four Venezuelans living in Canada discuss the prospects of this change with Nestor Garrido (Venezuelan journalist) who had been in Caracas streets all that day.
Our four guests are Yuriria Lanza (Venezuelan IT professional), Isaac Nahon-Serfaty (professor of Communication, U of Ottawa), Angel Alvarez (political science professor), and Francisco Wulff (economist). They are convinced that the opposition remains strong and committed to nonviolence, so they still are optimistic.
Episode 053: Afforestation and our Climate (Video Link)
To prevent runaway climate change, we must sequester vast amounts of carbon. There are only two methods that can be scaled up sufficiently to do so: regenerative agriculture and forestry. Gaurav Gurjar (Forester) works with Afforest, a company in India that creates Miyawaki forests, which grow extraordinarily fast and sequester far more carbon than ordinary forests. He explains their method to Metta Spencer.
Episode 052: The Right to Assist Nonviolence? (Video Link)
This is an era of nonviolent struggle and Dr. Maciej Bartkowski (Senior director of education and research, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict) is a scholar who studies how to make such struggles succeed. He does not much use vague words like “democracy” or “peace” or “justice” but insists that organizers establish specific goals of a kind that everyone can know when they have been achieved. And when it comes to helping movements in other countries, his organization, the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, argues that there is indeed a right to assist campaigns abroad that are working to liberate themselves.
Episode 051: Biodiversity and food (Video Link)
Harriet Friedmann (Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Toronto) is a specialist on the world’s food system. She and Metta Spencer talk about the importance of diversity for the future of humankind. We depend on an enormous range of species, but many of them are dying out because of industrial agriculture, using monoculture. Harriet has ideas about how to reverse this trend.
Episode 050: Killing for Fun (Video Link)
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (author, Assassination Generation) reminds Metta Spencer that in previous wars, few soldiers actually fired their weapons. The military learned how to train them to overcome their reluctance by using video games — the same thing that is training juveniles to kill schoolmates today, with astounding frequency. He advises: turn off the TV too.
Episode 049: Can Drones plant a trillion trees?(Video Link)
We have 12 years to save the world from the worst of global warming. Carbon sinks are essential—suck carbon out of the air and sequester it. The British company Carbon Bioengineering is planting trees all around the world with their drones. They expect to plant one billion per year soon. But we’ll need a trillion trees. Can it be done? A discussion with Prof. Sandy Smith (Professor of Forestry, University of Toronto) and Eric Davies (Graduate student in Forestry, University of Toronto) in Toronto and Elena Fernandez-Miranda (BioCarbon Engineering) and Eman Hamdan (BioCarbon Engineering) in Oxford, England.
Episode 048: The UN and Peacekeeping (Video Link)
Walter Dorn (Professor of Defence Studies, Canadian Forces College) is a professor at the Canadian Forces College, where he teaches military officers. He also does a lot of work for the United Nations overseas, mainly developing technologies for peacekeepers’ use in the field. He and Metta Spencer discuss his work and the prospects for various ways of improving the United Nations.
Episode 047: After the INF Treaty?(Video Link)
Theodore Postol (Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Douglas Roche (retired Canadian Senator) and Sergey Rogov (Academic Director, USA/Canada Institute) are all deeply worried because the US and Russia have both declared their intention of ending the INF Treaty, which banned ground launched, medium-ranged missiles. It appears that we will have another nuclear arms race, with risks comparable to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Episode 046: Antibiotics and Politics (Video Link)
Dr. Laura Kahn (physician and research professor, Princeton University) and Dr. Ronald St. John (Director, Public Health Ontario) are both experts on public health emergencies such as pandemics. Dr. Kahn has studied the increasing resistance to antibiotics. They discuss these global threats with the host, Professor Metta Spencer.
Episode 045: Gandhian Sustainable Development Goals (Video Link)
Jill Carr-Harris (co-leader of Ekta Parishad) is a Canadian who is, with her husband, Rajagopal, a leader in today’s Gandhian movement in India. She and Metta talk first about her recent trip to the Caucasus, where a Gandhi Centre is playing a key role in resolving conflict. Then they describe their upcoming march from New Delhi to Geneva in support of the sustainable development goals. If you’re interesting in joining, see their web page, jaijagat2020.org.
Episode 044: Electric Vehicles (Video Link)
Jose Etcheverry (Associate professor of Environmental Studies, York University) does love his car! He sits behind the wheel talking about it to Metta and pointing out the sustainability aides in the parking lot around him. They even talk about the coming of electric self-driving taxis and how it may make it easier for mobility-challenged people to move around the city or go to conferences two hours away.
Episode 043: Nuclear Divestment (Video Link)
Some companies — and there are lists showing which ones — make a lot of money by helping build and maintain nuclear weapons. When Metta spoke with Alyn Ware (Parliamentarian Network for Nuclear Disarmament), he was hosting a meeting in Basel, Switzerland for organizations that intend to get investors to take their money out of these companies and force them to quit that horrible business. That’s a promising way of promoting the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Episode 042: Nuclear Disarmament (Video Link)
Aaron Tovish (Zona Libre, Mexico City) used to manage “Mayors for Peace,” an organization to which 7,000 cities now belong. Refusing to allow their cities to be targets of a nuclear war, those mayors demand that the weapons be abolished. And today Aaron occupies the Swedish embassy in Mexico City, still campaigning against nuclear weapons.
Episode 041: Radioactivity Risk (Video Link)
This week, we have Angela Bischoff (Ontario Clean Air Alliance), Richard Denton (Co-chair, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War), and Gordon Edwards (Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility) on the podcast. These three Canadians happen to know what certain types of rays do to the human body and don’t want it to happen to them. You won’t want it either after you hear what they say.
Episode 040: COP24 (Video Link)
Every year there’s a meeting of all the states that are committed to reducing greenhouse gas. In 2018, they met in Katowice, Poland, only months after the world’s leading climate experts had warned that there are only twelve years left before the problem becomes irreversible. What can be done? Adam Koniuszewski (Co-founder, The Bridge Foundation, Geneva) attended the COP24 meeting and is fighting the $5 trillion annual subsidies given to the fossil fuel industries. Good for him!
Episode 039: Russia Today (Video Link)
Russians hate politics nowadays. Even Putin does, according to Ignat Kalinin (Senior editor, RT television, Moscow). Ignat is a journalist who himself stopped covering military affairs for newspapers and now is editor in a special department of RT that tries to help ordinary people solve their daily problems.
Episode 038: World Beyond War (Video Link)
Some wars never happen. People prevent them from happening. Of course, that takes planning and effort but David and Greta are organizing people all over the world to prevent wars, and their movement, World Beyond War, is growing fast. Our guests this week are David Swanson (David Swanson (co-founder, World Beyond War) and Greta Zarro (staff member, World Beyond War).
Episode 037: The War in Yemen (Video Link)
Aden, in southern Yemen, was the hometown of Dr. Qais Ghanem (retired professor of medicine, Ottawa University). So Metta asked him and his friend Paul Maillet (retired Colonel, Canadian Forces; now peace-building worker) to explain what made that country into the battlefield of 2018. Blame the Saudis, but it’s not only their fault.
Episode 036: Climate Change and Non-State Actors (Video Link)
What happens when Donald Trump or some other climate change denier gets elected to run a state? Bad things, frankly. But the president can’t keep cities, provinces, and corporations from making big changes that reduce global warming. Our guest this week is Matthew Hoffmann (Director of Environmental Governance Lab, U of Toronto).
Episode 035: Active Nonviolence (Video Link)
Gene Sharp needed an assistant to oversee the translation of his books about civil resistance, so he hired a 20-year old refugee from Afghanistan who believed that war was sometimes necessary. She soon changed her mind and works now to promote alternative ways of fighting. Our guest this week is Jamila Raqib (Director of Albert Einstein Institution)
Episode 034: Popular Resistance (Video Link)
Kevin Zeese (Baltimore lawyer and movement organizer) runs movements in the US to prevent wars and legalize marijuana. He learned quite a bit from organizing the Occupy movement and now he gives courses on how to do it and hosts a weekly talk show.
Episode 033: Arctic Security (Video Link)
The ice is melting there, but the people and even the nations in the Arctic get along together surprisingly well. Metta speaks with Adele Buckley (former VP for Technology Research, OCETA) and Ernie Regehr (Senior Fellow, the Simons Foundation)
Episode 032: The Cyber Impact (Video Link)
It is possible, some experts think, for certain hackers to get control of a ballistic missile and launch a nuclear war. Of get control of an electric grid of a whole country and shut it down for months. But some of people think there ought to be a law – an international law that all countries will adopt and obey. Metta speaks with Branka Marijan (program officer, Project Ploughshares) and John Daniele (VP, Cybersecurity GTA).
Episode 031: The Corporation as Criminal (Video Link)
Harry Glasbeek (Professor Emeritus, York) tells Metta about the woman who held a wedding ceremony, marrying a corporation. And why not? After all, a corporation is legally a person.
Episode 029: Chemical Weapons (Video Link)
There is a treaty prohibiting any country from making or keeping chemical weapons of war. But that’s not quite the end of the matter. Metta speaks with Jeremy Littlewood (Chemical and Biological Weapons researcher) on the topic.
Episode 028: Lethal Autonomous Weapons (Video Link)
The killer robots are coming – unless we stop them! They will be programmed to pick their victims and exterminate them. Now is the time to protest, before any of them are on the loose. Metta discusses with Erin Hunt (Mines Action Canada) and Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan (Mines Action Canada).
Episode 027: Assessing the Risk of Global Threats (Video Link)
Project Save the World aims to reduce the risk of six global threats: war and weapons; global warming, famine, pandemics, major radiation exposure, and cyber attacks. But are they all equally risky? How can we know which problems are really serious? Fortunately, Mark Sedra (Adjunct Professor, Balsillie School) has been thinking about that.
Episode 026: The Paris Agreement (Video Link)
Now that all the countries have agreed what to do to stop climate change, everything is going to be all right, isn’t it? Huh? Isn’t it? Metta discusses with Catherine Abreu (Director, Climate Action Network).
Episode 025: Pipelines and Politics (Video Link)
Remind me again why we went to war in Afghanistan. Oh, yeah. Same reason as usual. Metta discusses with John Foster (Energy Economist) and Millie Morton (Economic Development Sociologist).
Episode 024: Faith Communities (Video Link)
After Karen Hamilton (Organizer, Parliament of the World Religions) finished coordinating the Canadian Council of Churches, she began organizing a “parliament of world religions” for about 10,000 people.
Episode 023: Globalization and Separatism (Video Link)
Are people in different parts of the world coming closer together or dividing into more distinct countries? Metta discusses with Robert Schaeffer (Prof. at Cal Poly U.) and Thomas Ponniah, Prof. at George Brown College).
Episode 022: Famine (Video Link)
Can you have a famine when there’s plenty of food? Yes, if people can’t get it. Indeed, the only cause of famine nowadays is that someone is deliberately keeping an enemy from being able to get food – as an act of war. Alex deWaal (Executive Director, World Peace Foundation) wants that to become recognized as a war crime.
Episode 021: Israel, Palestine, and Nuclear Weapons (Video Link)
Abraham Weizfeld lives half time in Montreal and half time in Nablus, Palestine. He is, year-round, a Jewish activist who, with his Palestinian friend Joseph Maleh, defends the rights of Palestinians. Here we talk also about Israel’s nuclear weapons and the whistle-blower we all love, Mordechai Vanunu.
Episode 020: Humanitarian Aid and Singing (Video Link)
Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford, MD (past CoChair, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) is a major international activist working against nuclear weapons. Nowadays she and a colleague go to high schools in Victoria, British Columbia and teach the students about the risks of nuclear war, which they had rarely heard about before. And they take along a choir! After the lecture, everybody joins in and sings together.
Episode 019: Nuclear Weapons (Video Link)
Dr. Ira Helfand, MD (CoChair, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) is a double Nobel prize winner, in a sense. He is co-chair of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the award in 1985, and he work not also with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. So guess what he and Metta Spencer discussed when they met in a Zoom conference call?
Episode 018: Project Drawdown (Video Link)
Project Save the World loves Paul Hawken, the fellow who set a lot of researchers the task of listing 100 ways to reduce the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They did a spectacular job, calculating the cost of various measures and rank ordering them in terms of effectiveness. Everybody in the world should read Hawken’s book, Drawdown. Metta discusses it with David Burman (Drawdown workshop leader), Liz Couture (Drawdown workshop leader), and Peter Jones (Professor of Design, OCAD University).
Episode 017: Project Ploughshares (Video Link)
Cesar Jaramillo is the executive director of an organization based in Waterloo, Ontario that studies warfare and the effects of owning weapons. He recalls arriving in Canada as a refugee from his native Colombia, which was at war against a guerrilla movement at the time. These days he is chiefly trying to persuade the Canadian government not to sell armored personnel carriers to Saudi Arabia.
Episode 016: Building Codes (Video Link)
Did you know that buildings are the source about thirty percent of the greenhouse gas that is warming our planet? So what can we do to make our homes and offices sustainable? These engineers specialize in low energy buildings. Metta discusses with Greg Allen (engineer specializing in low energy buildings), Steve Kemp (engineer specializing in energy codes and net-zero energy buildings), and John Straube (Professor of Building Science, University of Waterloo).
Episode 015: Basic Income (Video Link)
Inequality is increasing in all the western industrialized states and there is every reason to expect that trend to continue, especially over the next few years, as automation takes jobs away from a large part of the population. One possible solution is to provide a basic level of income to everyone. Ontario was experimenting with this idea when we held the conversation, but a few months later a new government came to power and shut down the program. So who is ready to explore the idea next? Metta discusses with John Mills (Advocate of Basic Income) and Tom Cooper (Director, Hamilton Round Table on Poverty Reduction).
Episode 014: Korea and the Kim-Trump Meeting (Video Link)
When Trump met the leader of North Korea in Singapore, Metta called and old friend in Seoul to ask how people felt about what was going on. Metta discusses North Korea with John Feffer (Editor of Foreign Policy in Focus, of the Institute for Policy Studies), Marius Grinius (Former Canadian Ambassador to North and South Korea and Ambassador for Disarmament), and Lester Kurtz (Professor of Sociology, George Mason University, now living in Seoul on sabbatical).
Episode 013: Yemen (Video Link)
For several years Saudi Arabia has been at war against a group of Houthi fighters in Yemen, and the whole population has been suffering. Cholera was sweeping the country, in the summer and fall of 2018 and food could not be brought in through, so people were starving. Yusur reached a young journalist in Sanaa, who explained this tragic situation. Metta discusses with Yusur Al Bahrani (Journalist living in Yellowknife, Northweat Territories, Canada) and Ahmed Jahaf (Journalist living in Sana’a, Yemen).
Episode 012: Peace Studies (Video Link)
Many universities teach courses about peace and conflict, and the faculty members who specialize in these matters meet annually to share their research findings. Two of our panelists had just attended the2018 conference and the third panelist was a Saskatchewan anthropologist who talked about her experience in East Timor doing peace work. Metta discusses with Susana Barnes (Adjust Professor of Anthropology, University of Saskatchewan), Christopher Hrynkow (Professor of Religious Studies, University of Saskatchewan), Florence Stratton (Retired Professor of English, University of Regina), and Peter Venton (Former Economist for the Government of Ontario).
Episode 011: Yemen (Video Link)
The UN isn’t broken, but let’s fix it anyway. It has done many wonderful things to benefit humankind, and with some structural changes, it can do even more. A group is already meeting quietly, planning to propose some changes in the next few years. One proposal is to create a parliamentary assembly where the population of the world can be represented in a more democratic way. Metta discusses with Robin Collins (Group of 78, Canadian Pugwash Group, and World Federalist Movement), John Trent (Retired Professor of Political Studies, University of Ottawa), and Fergus Watt (Executive Director, World Federalist Movement of Canada).
Episode 010: UN Emergency Peace Service (Video Link)
If the United Nations had a service ready to go overseas at a moment’s notice to prevent a war or protect people from an insurgent movement, the other countries would not feel it necessary to maintain such expensive armies of their own. They could just call the UN for help whenever trouble was looming. Such a peace service should not just be military; it should be able to mediate conflicts in advance too. Metta Spencer discusses with Robin Collins (Group of 78, Canadian Pugwash Group and World Federalist Movement), Timothy Donais (Associate Professor of Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University), and Peter Langille (Author of Developing a United Nations Emergency Peace Service.
Episode 009: Preventing Cyber Threats (Video Link)
The United Nations told a group of experts to devise a set of rules for countries to adopt that would prohibit anyone or any state from attacking another country with cyber war. Unfortunately, it seems that not all countries want such a treaty or international law limiting aggression online. What do you think should be done next? Try again? Metta discusses with Jack Gemmell (Toronto lawyer), Paul Meyer (Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament), and Allison Pytlak (WILPF).
Episode 008: Monitoring Nuclear Power Safety (Video Link)
How close do you live to a nuclear power plant? Could it explode? Or do the radioactive materials that are used to produce energy travel through your town or leak into your water system? How do you know? Have you asked? Host Metta Spencer discusses Angela Bischoff, (Clean Air Alliance), Pippa Feinstein (Toronto lawyer, Water Keepers), and Brennain Lloyd (NorthWatch).
Episode 007: Pandemics and Climate Change (Video Link)
Don’t feed the monkeys! If they bite, they may have a new virus to pass on. In fact, because of global warming and the great increase in transportation internationally, we are increasingly vulnerable to new diseases transmitted from animals. So what is being done to protect us from worldwide epidemics such as Zika and Ebola? Metta discusses with Dr. Ronald St. John (Former Director General of Canada’s first Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response, Public Health Agency of Canada), Dr. Sweta Chakraborty, and Dr. Bryna Warshawsky (Public Health Ontario).
Episode 006: Famine and Food Security (Video Link)
Do you think food ought to be free? Metta talks to two Canadian experts, Haroon Akram-Lodhi (Professor of International Development, Trent University) and Mustafa Koc (Professor of Sociology, Ryerson University), who have just such a goal in mind.
Episode 005: Food and Regenerative Farming (Video Link)
Farming is now a major source of global warming, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The earth can contain carbon if it is not plowed or eroded by wind or water. And there are ways of growing food that protect the soil and make it into a carbon sink instead of a source of climate change. Host Metta Spencer discusses with Lloyd Helferty, Agricultural Engineering Technologist), Jodi Koberinski (Regeneration International, Climate Smart Food), and Joanna Santa Barbara (New Zealand Activity).
Episode 004: Girls’ Education, Population and Climate (Video Link)
If you worry about global warming, be sure to send your daughter to school. She will have a career and bear fewer children, which in turn will reduce the emissions of greenhouse gas. Host Metta Spencer discusses with Malcolm Potts (Professor of the Graduate School, Public Health, University of California, Berkeley), William Ryerson (Director, Population Media Center), and Aysan Sev’er (Professor Emeritus of Sociology, University of Toronto).
Episode 003: Forests Can Reduce Climate Change (Video Link)
There are three trillion trees on the planet, but the numbers are declining, just when we need about two trillion more. Trees can suck CO2 out of the air and tuck it away in their roots and wood, where it won’t warm the planet. These guest speakers are all tree-lovers who know the value of a forest. Host Metta Spencer discuses with John Bacher (Presere Agricultural Land), Marc Barash (Journalist, former editor), and Sandy Smith (Entomologist, Professor of Forestry, University of Toronto).
Episode 002: Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (Video Link)
According to polls, about three-quarters of the world’s population want all nuclear weapons to be destroyed and forbidden ever to be produced again. So if we live in a democracy, why isn’t this happening? Host Metta Spencer discusses with Douglas Roche (Former Ambassador for Disarmament; Canadian Senator) and Earl Turcotte (Former diplomat for Canada and United Nations).