Episode 160: Enter, Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons! (video link)
Earl Turcotte, chair of CNANW, explains to Metta how the nuclear weapons ban treaty was created. It will enter into effect as international law on January 22, and numerous NGOs are planning events to call attention to it and urge the Canadian government to sign and ratify it. People in other countries are doing similar things. We talk about the prospect that a NATO country can advance the disarmament process by taking a strong stand.
Episode 159: A World of Migrants, Subha Xavier (video link)
Subha Xavier studies the literary productions of migrants to Francophone countries from elsewhere. She and Metta discuss the psychological challenges of meeting unfamiliar and mixed expectations, as well as the pain of actual racism. She has been “curing” the ballots that were rejected in the recent Georgian run-off election of two senators, and found that these were disproportionately among black voters who welcomed her more because she is a “small brown woman.”
Episode 158: Democracy and War (video link)
Marc Eliot Stein is a web designer and fervent peace activist with World Beyond War, an effective organization that seeks the abolition of war. He and Metta are conversing here only hours after the insurrection at the US Capitol, and they agree that the democratic governance of the world (and of specific nations) requires the rejection of militarism. They discuss the potential for adopting a Green New Deal and recognize that that prospect will depend on greater cooperation about activists working against a comprehensive system that is causing multiple societal problems.
Episode 157: Maria Puerta Riera on Immigrants Voting in the US (video link)
Maria Puerta Riera is a political scientist from Venezuela who lives in Florida now and studies the voting patterns of various immigrant populations in the US. She and Metta discuss the support of Trump by many Cuban and Venezuelan immigrants.
Episode 156: Art Hunter on Living off the Grid (video link)
Dr Art Hunter is an engineer who has turned his home into a laboratory to experiment with efficient energy use. He shows Metta how he has managed to live off the electric grid for the past 300 days, both by conserving, storing, and generating energy in the household.
Episode 155: Populism, Reaction to Globalization? (video link)
Berkeley sociologist Ann Swidler, Globe and Mail columnist Doug Saunders, and Focus on Foreign Policy editor John Feffer join Metta in a conversation about the societal changes that lie behind the rise of right wing populist movements. Ann blames “localism” (as opposed to cosmopolitanism), which is a version of the theory that it is a (justifiable) reaction against globalization.
Episode 154: Ethnic Conflict (video link)
Paul Copeland, Martin Klein, Louis Kriesberg, and Doug Saunders discuss with Metta the challenge of protecting human rights in situations of ethnic conflicts around the world–currently especially in Myanmar, the Caucasus, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and even (with respect to indigenous rights ) in Canada, New Zealand, and the US.
Episode 153: Craig Smith on Corporations (video link)
Craig Smith is an engineer who has been president of a major construction company, which among other projects renewed the Pentagon. He is co-author of a book about global warming, Reaching Net Zero. He and Metta discuss the trend among corporations to become either carbon neutral or, in the case of Microsoft and some others, carbon negative. At the end, the conversation turns toward various proposals to make corporations more accountable in their governance to society’s wellbeing.
Episode 152: Peaceworking in Armenia (video link)
The Gandhian activist Jill Carr-Harris spent several months in Armenia after her cross-continent peace march was interrupted there by Covid. She had also visited Nagorno-Karabakh before the march, getting blacklisted by Azerbaijan for doing so without their permission. Soon the area was at war, and she recounts to Metta the history that led to it. She would hope for a revival of the OSCE’s “Minsk Group,” which was supposed to find a lasting solution to the frozen conflict that resulted from the previous war.
Episode 151: Climate Tipping Points (video link)
William Fletcher tells Metta about five tipping points — hypothetical moments when a linear rate of change breaks and a grave irreversible trend begins, such as a movement of the Gulf Stream, which changes the climate of Europe, or the breaking off of ice shelves in Antarctica, which enables ice on the continent to slip off into the sea and raise its level. Bill and Metta disagree as to whether the reduction of greenhouse gas emission can suffice to bring climate change under control.
Episode 150: The World in December 2020, Part 2 (video link)
In Part 2 of Project Save the World’s Global Town Hall, we discuss the challenge of improving democracy, especially the fact that big moneyed interests strongly influence the media so that voters are not well enough informed to make good decisions.
Episode 149: The World in December 2020, Part 1 (video link)
This is part one of Project Save the World’s monthly town hall. We discuss the power of billionaires and ways of making the global economy more equitable.
Episode 147: Trouble in the Caucasus (video link)
Irakli Kakabadze is a Georgian poet and peace activist who has recently co-founded a Gandhian foundation in Tbilisi. He tells Metta that the situation in the south Caucasus is alarming since the recent war over Nagorno-Karabakh. A coalition is developing among Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and possibly other countries — greatly to the detriment of Armenia. Indeed, he predicts genocide unless the international community intervenes.
Episode 146: Recap 3, December 2020 (video link)
Here we have excerpts from three of Project Save the World’s talk show, “World Repair Shop”: Craig Smith on Agriculture and Climate Change; Paul Copeland on the Rohingya; and Gordon Edwards and Susan O’Donnell on Small Nuclear Reactors. You can comment on this and other recorded conversations about serious global issues on our website, https://tosavetheworld.ca.
Episode 145: Colin Archer (video link)
Colin Archer was Secretary General of the International Peace Bureau for 27 years. Now in retirement, he and Metta discuss the organization’s history and the challenges of building coalitions that integrate activists across different issues and geographical spaces.
Episode 144. Walter Dorn on Novichok (video link)
Walter Dorn teaches military officers and is a devoted peace worker. He tells Metta about the new addendum to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which specifies Novichok as one of the forbidden chemical weapons. Everyone already knows that it is prohibited, but this added provision will make it easier for the OPCW to investigate alleged breaches. We speculate on the intentions behind Putin’s apparent choice of this agent: Is it meant to be detected just to send a warning to others? This one of Project Save the World’s daily talk shows on YouTube, which you can see live or later on https://tosavetheworld.ca.
Episode 143. Recap 2, December 2020 (video link)
Here are clips from four recent “World Repair Shop” talks. Ann Swidler talks about the factors making for NGO success in Africa; Koozma Tarasoff gives a short history of the Doukhobors; Rev. Joseph Cimpaya discusses his work improving agriculture in Africa; and Steven Staples discusses with Metta his plans for continuing Kingston, Ontario’s Peace Quest. Viewers are invited to discuss these topics on our website, https://tosavetheworld.ca
Episode 142. Recap 1, December 2020 (video link)
Project Save the World now holds daily talk shows, live on YouTube every weekday from 12:30 to 1:00 pm Eastern Time. Then at the end of the week, we make a composite one-hour-long show from the clips of that week’s show and broadcast it as a numbered “Recap.” This one features Adele Buckley on China in the Arctic, Kathrin Winkler on peace activism in Halifax, Subir Guin on the conflict between India and Pakistan, and Andrew Sheldon on his plans for a worldwide campaign on nonviolence.
Episode 141: Love our Trees (video link)
Eric Davies, Parag Kadam, and Theri Reichlin are young foresters who met as students in Toronto. They tell Metta and Adam Wynne about their current work. Eric is working with corporations, and he sees that they have much to contribute in urban forestry. Parag is interested in the economics of managing common property, including forests. Theri is teaching school children how to plant trees and look after them. They are all worried about the deterioration of biodiversity, especially in cities.
Episode 139: Saving Carbon in Soil (video link)
Tom Newmark runs a farm in Costa Rica with a lodge for visitors who want to learn about regenerative farming. He co-founded The Carbon Underground, an organization devoted to promoting improved methods of farming that sequesters carbon in soil — a technology that is probably the most promising of the many solutions to the climate crisis. Here he chats with Metta, Peter Meincke, and Adam Wynne about these possibilities.
Episode 137: Canada’s Arms Trade (video link)
Cesar Jaramillo is director of Project Ploughshares and Kelsey Gallagher works there studying the global trade in conventional arms. They discuss their concerns about Canada’s failure to obey its own laws regarding the export of weapons to countries at risk of misusing them.
Episode 136: The World in October 2020 (video link)
This is the October meeting of Project Save the World’s monthly Global Town Hall. We were celebrating the ratification by Honduras of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, for this was the 50th ratification, which means that in 90 days it will take force as an international law. Regrettably, it will not be binding on the very countries who are affected by it — those states that actually possess nuclear weapons. Therefore, we talked about the choices of next steps to bring them into line, and begin abolishing these hideous weapons. After that, the conversation spread out to cover a wide range of topics, as activists from Russia and Burundi shared their concerns.
Episode 135: Venezuela Now (video link)
Angel Alvarez and Maria Puerta, expatriates from Venezuela, join Alba Purroy, who remains in Caracas as a peacebuilder, in briefing Metta on the sources of the political impasse between two groups claiming the right to govern their homeland.
Episode 134: Von Hippel vs. the Nukes (video link)
Physicist Frank von Hippel worked with Soviet scientists to halt the nuclear arms race during the Cold War. Because Gorbachev shared their attitude, they largely succeeded, as he explains to Metta. He continues studying the safety aspects of nuclear power and promotes a ban on the reprocessing of nuclear waste to recover plutonium. Apart from its danger to human health, plutonium is a risk because of its potential effects on the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Episode 133: Jai Jagat and Armenia (video link)
Jill Carr-Harris led a group of Gandhian marchers from India, planning to reach Geneva a year later — but the pandemic struck. She tells Metta about their adventures in India, Pakistan, Nepal, UAE, and (especially) Armenia, where they learned about the tensions over Nagorno-Karabakh. Now that war has broken out again there, she wants Canadians to press for the CSCE to complete its peacemaking task.
Episode 132: The World in Sept. 2020 (video link)
This monthly Global Town Hall meeting discussed innovations to help reduce global warming; Covid-10’s effects in Nepal; the wearing of poppies in remembrance of wars; and the depletion of frogs because mosquitoes are being vanquished. Activists are invited to these events on the last Sunday of every month.
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.