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How Six Threats Form a System

Project Save the World is addressing six potential global catastrophes that could kill millions or billions of people in a short interval. We say that all six threats must be addressed with a single, comprehensive program of change — a “Platform for Survival, ” since all of them form a system of mutual causation. But not all of them cause all of the others; some interactions are potentially more dangerous than others. Here are the ones that I consider most worrisome. (If you want to comment, please go to our web site or join the Zoom discussion Sunday night (see events calendar on this page).

WAR AS CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING: War and weapons emit CO2, and military activities are a major cause of global warming, even in peacetime, ( Of the Pentagon budget for overseas operations, 40% is spent on transporting fuel which emits CO2.)

WAR AS A CAUSE OF FAMINE. Nowadays war –not weather or nature –is almost the only cause of famine. Warfighters cause famines as a weapon of war, .Ending it must be done by treating famine as a war crime.

WAR AS A CAUSE OF PANDEMICS Historically pandemics have occurred during wars, partly because soldiers on the move carry ge germs with them to spread.

Dr. Ronald St. John adds: “Agreed but in addition, armed conflict impedes the implementation of prevention or mitigation in the affected civilian population. Movement in the civilian population (e.g., refugees) can effectively spread an infectious agent. Case in point: the current Ebola outbreak an area of active insurgency in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. By the way, it is interesting to reflect that more and more armed conflicts are occurring within a country’s borders, rather than between sovereign nations, eg. Syria.”

WAR AS A CAUSE OF CYBER ATTACKS. The next World War will mainly will be targeted by computers from satellite information. War is the only likely cause of catastrophic cyber attacks.

GLOBAL WARMING AS A CAUSE OF PANDEMICS. As climate changes, animal habitat changes. Insects move into new areas, bringing Zika and other diseases, forests are felled and people move into land that had been the habitat of animals with viruses they had never met before

GLOBAL WARMING AS A CAUSE OF REACTOR EXPLOSIONS. No reactor can be entirely safe. Global warming is forcing us to abandon fossil fuel. If we switch mainly to nuclear, we will be increasing the number of reactors and the risk of their exploding.

FAMINE AS A CAUSE OF PANDEMICS. Malnutrition weakens the immune system, making people for vulnerable to infectious diseases. Hungry people contract diseases more readily, including rare ones such as AIDS or Ebola.

PANDEMICS AS A CAUSE OF WAR. Pandemics do not cause wars (sick people cannot pick fights), but vice versa. However, a pandemic can determine the outcome of a war, so germs can be used as weapons of war.

Dr. Ronald St. John adds: “I agree with the comment. However, As I noted above, conflicts seem to be more inside countries that between countries. There are many examples of infectious disease outbreaks determining the outcome of wars. During WWII, as the invading Japanese in the Philippines cornered the defending Americans and Filipinos on the Bataan Peninsula, malaria was a huge cause of morbidity and mortality among troops. However, the Japanese could reinforce and replace sick troops while the defenders were trapped an could not. The defenders were eventually forced to capitulate. (Just a little story for you).”

PANDEMICS AS A CAUSE OF GLOBAL WARMING. Pandemics cannot cause global warming but can determine the capacity to survive it. Sick people lack the resilience e.g. to farm or migrate and have to spend their money on drugs etc instead on capacity-building.

RADIATION EXPOSURE AS A CAUSE OF WAR. Any explosion blamed on another nation (correctly or mistakenly) could be a cause for going to war.

RADIATION EXPOSURE AS A CAUSE OF FAMINE. A huge reactor accident could irradiate millions of acres so that it could not be farmed, and even make seafood inedible.

RADIATION EXPOSURE AS A CAUSE OF CYBER ATTACKS. It is not always clear how an explosion happened. If it is attributed to a supposed enemy state or terrorist group, the response may be retaliatory strikes by cyber- weapons.

CYBER ATTACKS AS A CAUSE OF WAR. Ordinary cyber crime is common in civilian life, but a cyber ATTACK will cause and be the first battle in the next World War.

CYBER ATTACKS AS A CAUSE OF REACTOR EXPLOSIONS. A cyber attack against a reactor would be an ideal way to destroy an enemy’s population. Some rebels groups with suicide bombers are seeking ways to do it.

In their October 8th warning about the impending disaster of global warming, scientists at last made clear that the reduction of carbon emissions will not suffice to limit climate change to an acceptable level. Carbon must also be sucked out of the atmosphere and either sequestered or turned into carbon-free fuel. This approach is already overdue! The technology exists but needs to be promoted and vastly scaled up. Read this paper on the subject. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/06/carbon-engineering-liquid-fuel-carbon-capture-neutral-science/

You might have heard about this new event scheduled in Paris in November 2018 – https://parispeaceforum.org/about/
I thought you might be interested along with our Pugwash international allies

Sylvie, this is wonderful. I have signed up for it too. I’m so glad you called our attention to it.

Yes, I think Betty-Jane and Mustafa are completely right about your values. We have many, many problems to solve besides the six we have chosen. But we cannot do everything, so we opted to address only six threats that, if they happened, would occur as sudden catastrophes that could conceivably wipe out a billion people or so.

We intentionally omit chronic or gradual disasters (e.g. poverty, malnutrition, disease, overfishing) and things we cannot do much about now (e.g. being hit by a meteor). Still, there is a residual category called “Enablling Measures,” which deals with structural problems in governance, security, and finance that are so serious as to potentially make solutions to the six problems unattainable. For example, if inequality increases, there will be little opportunity to enact the changes that would solve the six threats. Or if we don’t have good security measures from the UN, we cannot do away with national armies, as we need to do for many other reasons. So we do include a few major changes that would vastly reduce poverty, though it is a chronic problem.

I thought the final draft of the platform came out well. Many thanks to those who finalized it.

The problem of plastics pollution was not specifically addressed, and I feel oceans awareness was lacking.

Thank you, Metta, for all your efforts in putting together “Save the World in a Hurry” and the wonderful speakers who spoke to the platform, which consisted of the 6 (six) areas of threat to the world: 1) nuclear war; 2) radiation; 3) global warming; 4) famine; 5) pandemic; and 6) cyber attacks. The important points about the 25 policies that were agreed to by all of us who attended “Save the World” on May 30 and 31, 2018 is that they are interconnected. So, while problems from one area of threat may overlap another area of threat, say global warming and famine, for example, so the solutions to the problems in one area may help solve the problems in another area.

The next steps needed are to get organized, to establish some efficient communication and decision-making strategies and be clear on what we would like to do with the platform. We don’t even have an official name yet, and are taking suggestions at this time.

Here’s an idea for a campaign slogan:
We Have Decided refers to that moment in time when a group of people have a meeting of the minds to agree to take a position on something important. We, the group of people who came together for Metta Spencer’s “Science for Peace”-inspired conference on the 6 threats to the world and the solutions needed to “Save the World in a Hurry”. We Have Decided. We, who represent all sectors of Canada, from medical workers to military, from climate change activists to cyber security techies. We Have Decided to create a platform for survival, the most important 25 global policy solutions necessary to share with the world.

Sharing starts now……

(Just tweeted: my twitter handle is @LizCisHere)
There is no reason to think that this is not within the #schoolofpossibilities and that we cannot effectively #connecthedots and that #asmallgroupoflikemindedpeople could get together and #changetheworld because #wecanchangetheworld and we need to #sparkthechange to #savetheworld

I was inspired this morning to write this because of what I read from Chris Martensen at peakprosperity.org which describes a grim future if we do not decide to do something about it. https://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/114097/facing-horrible-future

However, I was also inspired by the many excellent speakers at the first “Save the World” conference, including the former Canadian Ambassador, the Honourable Douglas Roche who said that “nuclear weapons…is the singular immediate threat” and who quoted that “a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought”.

The Platform for Survival’s 25 statements within the 6 areas of threat to world safety will require many good people to come together for a goodly amount of time. It will be quite a commitment, but hopefully quite a legacy to leave.

Liz Couture,
Richmond Hill
June 11, 2018
(New) Administrator, Global Warming Discussion, tosavetheworld.ca

Excellent, Liz. Many thanks. Indeed, we must have a campaign to promote what “We Have Decided.” I presume that is the name of an organization–“We Have Decided”? I think the next phase is to organize the “outreach” part — the systematic appeal to people to sign the Platform and participate in spreading it as the document that “we have decided” to support.
Thanks for participating in the Zoom conversation Sunday night. I have to say that I’m not very good at chairing meetings. (I do too much talking myself.) Maybe we’d better find someone else to chair our discussions. But I think Zoom conference calls are the easiest way for the largest number of people to participate. Shall we do it every month? I’d much rather hold two Zoom calls than go to one meeting downtown. Do others feel that way about it?

Excellent summary, Metta !

All ideas how to achieve permanent peace and prosperity in the world are possible if we have a global government. Without it, we are just discussing and expressing our feelings, and all will end one day with a nuclear holocaust.

The destruction of civil society through polarization and fragmentation, amplified and abetted by global communication technologies, particularly social media, is at the heart of the multiple crises we face. This event is a highly worthwhile attempt at rebuilding civil society. The organizes deserve applause.
Andrew Pakula, Toronto


Academia is an “Ivory Tower” — a pristine place where you have to justify each statement with meticulous reasoning and verifiable evidence in the pursuit of truth.

Democracy is “mud wrestling” — an arena of combat where you can employ emotion and rhetorical tricks in the pursuit of power.

Public policymaking is mud wrestling in an ivory tower. Here you must create rational, binding solutions for the problems of a howling, ill-informed mob. It’s not easy.

Science for Peace, as a public policymaking organization, conveys scientific discoveries to the masses. We admit unwashed street people into lecture halls and give them equal access to the microphone and equal voting power with eminent scholars. Nobody is comfortable in such a situation, and so “real” scientists may avoid Science for Peace events.

Our “How to Save the World in a Hurry“ forum especially reveals the difficulty of combining democracy with expertise. Nevertheless, we must combine them if we are to solve our global threats.

We face six existential threats: war and weapons (especially nuclear); global warming; famine; pandemics; nuclear reactor explosions; and cyber-attacks. To reduce the risk of these catastrophes, we must bring public opinion into alignment with scientific facts. And for that, we must let the mud wrestlers into the tower of knowledge.

The “How to Save the World in a Hurry” forum will do so. We are collecting the ideas of NGO activists, academics, and everyday citizens about all six threats. We seek advice both from academia and popular culture and are accumulating their policy proposals on our web site, http://tosavetheworld.ca/platform-for-survival/ .

Naturally, the listed proposals are not equally brilliant, and some scientists are so shocked by extreme ones that they quit the project entirely.
But we need smart policies, so we need scientific knowledge. We must study about 100 proposals before choosing the 25 best ones as our Platform for Survival. Before arriving at the forum, everyone is watching videos and reading articles from our bibliographies. Then for two days we will assemble to question the experts and discuss their recommendations before voting to choose our Platform.

Without education, democracy is mere populism. Scientists, you are educators and we need you. Please come back and enable democracy to create the kind of public policies that can save the world!
• • •
To see the current long list of 91 public policies, go to our web site: http://tosavetheworld.ca/platform-for-survival/. If you consider some of the ideas silly, then buy a ticket and come to argue against them. That’s how intelligent people practice democracy.
See you on May 30th.
— Metta Spencer

Thank you for explaining all of that, Metta. As a non-scientist, I was feeling a bit threatened to even show my face at this event, but after reading your post, I am confident that I will have something to add to the discussion. Looking forward to seeing you again, and best of luck with all your hard-working preparations.

Enabling Measures: Environmental Peacebuilding and Peace Parks Creation

What to do with many conflict areas and military battlefields across the globe? Let us transform them into peace parks that are a great form of cross-border conservation.

According to the IUCN, Parks for Peace can serve several purposes. They may celebrate the endurance of peace and the commemoration of peace in a region: for instance, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is a good example of a Park for Peace established to celebrate longstanding peaceful relations between Canada and the USA. They may also help to reinforce peace and cooperation: the Cordillera del Condor shows how transboundary conservation efforts can help foster peace and improve relationships between partners through working together. Finally, a Park for Peace could be used to promote peace at some point in future on the Korean peninsula.

The Republic of Korea, as President of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention Biological Diversity, launched the Peace and Biodiversity Dialogue Initiative (PBDI) in 2015. The proposed program became even more important after North and South Korean leaders hold a historic summit.

The next anticipated step would be to realize hopes of the global community that the two Koreas can use the most heavily militarized border in the world as an opportunity to build peace between them. According to the experts (Walters 2014), a strip of land 248 km (155 miles) long and 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) wide is fenced with barbed wire and in some parts still contain land mines. The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was established in 1953 as a part of a cease-fire agreement between North and South Korea, the United Nations (led by the United States) and the Soviet Union.

The ecosystems contained within the DMZ have largely regenerated from the impacts of war and are providing much-needed refuge for wildlife in one of the world’s most densely populated regions.

The Peace and Biodiversity Dialogue Initiative provides additional sources addressing a possible Korean DMZ Peace Park’s creation. More information: https://www.cbd.int/peace/information/resources/dmz/default.shtmlhttps://www.cbd.int/peace/information/resources/dmz/default.shtml

There are many types of Peace Parks, i.e.:
– established (Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park);
– established, but unable to sustain in the long-term (Red Sea Marine Peace Park);
– in the process of establishment (Trans-boundary Peace Park between Sierra Leone – the Gola Forest Reserve – and the Lofa and Foya Forest Reserves in Liberia), and
– proposed (Jordan River Peace Park).

The identification and designation of Peace Parks by cooperating jurisdictions should include only those areas where the agreed management objectives explicitly recognize both a protected area and a no conflict zone.

Peace Parks’ creation is a form of ecological diplomacy that is gaining prominence. “What we are trying to do is to frame environmental degradation as a common aversion mechanism for parties, which can in turn lead to cooperation. Once conflicting parties realize that a deteriorating ecology is a detriment to all sides they are more likely to co-operate. (…) The elegance of this argument is that we can also use the tools of ecological diplomacy to address conflicts, including those that have nothing to do with the environment,” explaines Saleem Ali, University of Vermont. Peace parks allow shared sovereignty of the environment, because it is based on science and can be de-politicised, can set the scene for other forms of cooperation in trickier areas such as competition for economic resources.

I think an anti-capitalist viewpoint would be a good place to start.

Despite the high quality of life that some of the so-called developed nations have achieved, the truth is that the world, considered as a group of countries located in a fragile and geographically limited biosphere, is threatened with extinction due to human conflicts and the depredation of the environment.
Notwithstanding the good and very important actions taken by groups and individuals in favor of a better world, deterioration at all levels continues to increase dangerously.
After more than thirty years dedicated to these matters, and since “an image is worth a thousand words” we have come up with a novel idea of designing a model city that has all the characteristics of infrastructure and organization inherent to the peaceful and sustainable society that we want for ourselves and our descendants, whose representation in the form of scale models, animated series, feature films, video games and theme parks, would constitute a model to follow to generate the necessary changes.
The prototype that we present has some characteristics that are opposed, sometimes in a radical way, to the religious, economic, political and educational traditions and customs that have been transmitted from generation to generation, yet are the causes of the aforementioned problems, and therefore must be transformed.
If you are interested in knowing about this project, or even participating in it, we invite you to visit our website https://elmundofelizdelfuturo.blogspot.com/ (written in Spanish and English), where we are working in that sense.

This would be a very good prototype if enacted properly; that is if all stakeholders in the region had been consulted and a balance of needs (as opposed to power demands) had been considered. Then a workable, sustainable prototype could be scaled.
I fear that even the best idea enacted top down will fail for lack of buy in. On the other hand it took a visionary mayor of Bogota to take huge political risk by building more transit and fewer roads to relieve traffic congestion – and came out on top, while few stakeholders initially supported him. I think all new moves initially require developing a constituency of supporters, and huge external funding. Developing constituency requires changing popular culture with infectious arts and media. Graphic imaging, music, theatre, film, television.

Your actions to protect the planet from war and nuclear war are very good, but leave out one very important factor – the military corporations which promote militarism in order to maintain high military budgets for their own personal gain. I suggest to include in your actions a) support for the Global Campaign on Military Spending http://demilitarize.org/, b) support for Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign, including divestment from nuclear weapons corporations, http://www.nuclearweaponsmoney.org.

We are forging ahead, preparing the open forum on “How to Save the World in a Hurry” for May 30 and 31, at the Bahen Center, at the University of Toronto. I hope you’ll come. And beforehand, we all need to do some thinking about the usefulness of various possible public policies that are being proposed.

For one, there’s the “Tobin Tax” — also known as the “Robin Hood Tax.” Joy Kennedy will discuss it with us in a Facebook Live lecture. If you can’t come, please watch it and send us your questions, which she will answer. It’s at 7 pm on Wednesday, March 7 on the Science for Peace Facebook page. See you then!

Susan, your comments are thoughtful and wise. I don’t expect we will fulfill your wish very often just because we are busy and rushed, so we don’t do everything we might do, but your ideas are good.

Best wishes.

Hello again Metta

I appreciate your efforts to understand and comment on my letter. The morning after I posted my ideas,
I read and felt those same ideas somewhat validated in a Chris Hedges, Truthdig article called,”The Bankruptcy of the American Left” https://www.truthdig.com/articles/bankruptcy-american-left/

But, I sensed you felt I was asking the Science for Peace group to do inner work or volunteer work at some such place as CAMH. Not at all. I respect your unique mandate and work.

I was solely suggesting SFP might want to broaden their audience by briefly acknowledging at their meetings or in their emailed public notices the diverse models of peacemaking that occur in society and how each of these models serve the other as well as the common good.
Having experienced emotional pain, and the positive benefits of inner work, I felt SFP was well placed to add a few words of encouragement to those who seek peace differently.

On the idea of “reducing armed forces by 80%”, here are some quick thoughts. I think the bulk of Canadian armed forces might be most useful deployed in UN peacekeeping missions, an important niche that we have some historical association and experience with. In terms of numbers, Cdn forces already are not large, but what should they be doing? If we embrace the “shift to Sustainable Common Security”, then we must contribute to global needs. Well trained Canadians under the UN banner are in demand. We should also be supporting the development of UN standing capacity through a new UN Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS) — these would UN hired, and not part of the Canadian forces, however.

I would never want to disagree with Robin Collins. Never! But here goes:

While it might be great for Canada to shift 100% of its current military into peacekeeping operations, it would not be necessary for all the countries in the world to do so, for we would then have 100 times as many soldiers on duty as would be required for any likely peacekeeping needs, or indeed all the activities of a more general UN Emergency Peace Service. So on the whole, countries could afford to reduce their military units by 80 percent and still be able to donate 10 percent of them or so to “Sustainable Common Security,” though I admit that I don’t know quite what that category consists of.

Anyway, it would be generous of Canada to contribute its forces to Sustainable Common Security, but if we look at the whole world, security would be IMPROVED by actually reducing the militaries of each nation by 80 percent. I personally would reduce even more, but let’s start with that.

Indeed one of the arguments for UNEPS and more UNPK is that they make national forces (more) redundant. So we’re not disagreeing (yet).

“Do you have a good idea to share about how to prevent disinformation campaigns on social media?”

No I do not. Primarily because you can’t stop misinformation from getting into the heads of Crazy Stupid People. You can’t yell “FIRE” in a movie theatre but you can cut and paste Pizzagate stories until your typing fingers fall off. You can’t stop Limbaugh, Hannity, and everybody else on FOX from lying in front of microphones and cameras. The Fairness Doctrine went away in 1987. In order to stop misinformation … we’d need a Time Machine.

Thank you, Susan Schellenberg, for your thoughtful and important suggestion. Your point is clearly valid: emotional wellbeing is conducive to good politics. Inner peace is certainly worth cultivating, both for its own sake and as a way of advancing “outer” peace. Each one of us has our own inner work to do in clarifying our understanding of the world and orienting ourselves to it in a more productive way.
On the other hand, while emotional wellbeing and mental health SUPPORT the quest for peace, I am not sure that they are PRECONDITIONS for peace. Nor am I sure that they are more readily attainable than external peace. In fact, I am almost certain that they are more difficult than ordinary peace work in the sense of political advocacy or protests against bad policies. Lots of actions can restrain a destructive, harmful person without turning him into a lovable, helpful person. Just locking someone up or excluding him from a group may occasionally suffice to let the constructive people get on with the work than the “bad guy” had been impeding.
I think this is the reason why most peace groups did not respond to your proposals as you had hoped. We think we can make more progress by working to advance particular political or social policies than by working on improving the personal qualities of each other. Anyhow, I thank you for your comments. Let’s see whether others reply to either of us.

Ms Schellenberg’s suggestion merits a less dismissive and more direct reply. Perhaps Science for Peace, Ms Spencer in particular, require a level of rigour and an outcome (“single piece of paper”) to spur action, but the suggestion that, “thought becomes chemistry in the body and can also widen into communities and beyond” is a rich vein and lends itself perfectly to the holistic approach Ms Spencer says is a key goal of the forum.
Many non-specialist people attending the forum may agree with Ms Schellenberg’s that “fostering of an attitude towards peace” is key to our species having a future. The quotation from Dag Hammarskjöld beautifully captures the necessity of society facing these threats collectively.
I confess my deep suspicion of experts and policy influencers. I try to avoid negativity, though, and so I often make the argument against relying on them by pointing out that even if the UN was granted complete power by all world governments immediately, the outcome would be disappointing because no power can impose change. Change on the scale we need must be accepted on a mass scale because, after all, it is everyone’s behaviour that put us here.
This is why Ms Schellenberg’s “difficult” offering makes sense to me: we/humans need to know more about our capacity for such woo-woo behaviours as hive mind.
Of course we like solutions. However, the notion that science can lead us to safety is too close to the notion that the common folk are ill-equipped to contribute. Let’s keep our powder dry and examine paths that may take more patience and faith than we think we have time for.
Wishing you well in this attempt to unify the smarty-pants.

I think there will be “peace project” options in the enabling measures, and possibly also in the war/weapons sections of the forum. Some of those present will certainly be “gunning” for sustainable common security — which essentially addresses the issue raised here.

Perhaps it is “every ones behaviour that put us there”, but each individual has the right, nay, the obligation to do what they feel is right under the circumstances. We (I hope) are not bees, to fall for the hive mentality.

My idea for the Science for Peace organization’s “Platform for Survival,” project does not directly involve the science aspect of your six objectives nor your mandate for hurry. My idea offers instead the fostering of an attitude towards peace making among large populations for the purpose of supporting your and other peace projects. Prior attempts to share the same idea with heads of other Canadian peace organizations, never merited replies or allowed me to feel heard. A failed outcome for which I willingly take half responsibility. But, because you asked, I hope my idea is better expressed and taken more seriously today.

For a start, your peace plan message is being distributed throughout a country whose official statisticians estimate that 1 in 5 of their citizens will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. a statistic that to me that implies many Canadians have already lost and or are striving to regain inner peace. A country as well whose current economics challenge it’s young’s need of an education, meaningful work, and the possibility of buying a home and starting a family. Stressors that cannot help but increasingly feed the above statistic.

Experience in the realm of that same statistic and concern for your peace aims allow me to imagine how difficult it will be for many similarly affected Canadian’s to move beyond the stigma associated with their isolation, disabilities and struggles to give a damn about your peace project.

For that reason, I suggest Science for Peace places a broader human face on the notion of peace and uses science to show how all efforts to create peace support their Platform for Survival work.

As an example, I suggest using scientific studies from the the field of psychoneuroimmunology that prove thought becomes chemistry in the body and can also widen into communities and beyond, i.e., groups as diverse as olympic athletes, cancer sufferers and business executives, apply visualization techniques to enhance successful outcomes in a range of their related endeavours.

J.K. Kiecolt-Glaser, et al., “Psychological Influences on Surgical Recovery: Perspectives from Psychoneuroimmunology,” American Psychologist 53 (1998): 1209-1218.
G.B. Miller and S. Cohen, “Psychological Interventions and Immune System: A Meta-analytic Review and Critique,” Health Psychology 20 (2001): 47-63.

If your organization in addition to your main goals builds on this fact and publicly recognizes in their meetings and emailed messages how the micro whether small individual attempts to find inner peace or macro such your own, “Platform for Survival,” project cannot be divorced or viewed as separate any more than self care can be separated from care of other and the planet.

For a Canadian Peace organization to acknowledge the work of finding inner peace as real work and of real importance to the entire global peace effort holds the possibility of allowing the marginalize to feel valued and more connected to your work. In creating meaning for others, your work will also give further meaning to the word peace.

On January 14, 2015, an email meant to inspire my coming year and sent by the respected activist organization called Avaaz. contained the following statement.
“ . . . Dag Hammarskjöld, the great UN leader, once reflected that we’d never make sustainable progress in our world until we all “walked the longest journey”. The journey within. Each of our capacities to create the world we dream of depends on our own journey, from fear to love, towards believing in ourselves, and leaving our demons behind. . .”

Prior to the Avaaz email, I had rarely heard inner emotional work publicly valued as “real work.”
Yet, from the 1980’s onward, mentors informed a similar change in my attitudes towards inner work and in doing so,
• Helped dissolve the stigma of my psychiatric experience,
• Convinced me that emotional work was actually revolutionary,
• Freed me to replace shame with pride and regard for the contribution an individual’s recovery work could offer the culture.

As a woman artist and writer whose childhood history of sexual abuses was silenced by a schizophrenia diagnosis then treated with a ten-year course of prescribed anti-psychotic drugs, The fact science did not bring me peace in the past prompts me to try to respectfully convince your Science for Peace organization that their goal to create a platform for survival cannot be divorced from the will for survival in each person or country they hope to save.

I agree with Ms Schellenberg that the requisite work for emotional wellness, in the face of the distrIbution of “scientific” medications is, indeed revolutionary. The importance of nature as a healing power is being recognized as well.bja

What if everyone taking part in this discussion and preparation for the conference agreed to write to theHeads of governments of the nine nuclear weapon states and the umbrella states stating that present deterrence doctrines are insane and that the nwstates must promise to take off alert status and pledge no first use as the first most urgent steps to abolition ?

Today ‘s announcement by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that the Doomsday Clock is now at Two Minutes to Midnight makes it even more urgent that we all use our creative abilities to bring hope and sanity to our planet.

I don’t know whether the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists mentioned this as part of the explanation for moving the clock’s hands, but this is definitely a scary development: The cyber experts say that it may be possible for a hacker to get into the system controlling nuclear weapons and launch one. I went to see Jon Lindsay at the U of Toronto’s Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict, and Justice studies, and he mentioned this as a topic he’s been investigating.

I’d like to draw attention to an older commentary from 1996, but a very important one, by John Burroughs. He clarifies that the obligation to eliminate nuclear weapons is not tied to an obligation for general disarmament, and that the twinning of these two elements in the NPT was not intended to stall nuclear abolition while waiting for universal weapons disarmament (conventional disarmament). See: http://www.lasg.org/legal/monitor-IV.html

To review for the SfP Radiation Exposure panel:
Alexander Belyakov. From Chernobyl to Fukushima: an interdisciplinary framework for managing and communicating food security risks after nuclear plant accidents.
Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. June 2015. DOI 10.1007/s13412-015-0284-2