Category SfP Bulletin June 1989
The Bulletin … and Tributes
The Bulletin has been an extremely useful organ of Science for Peace and with our growing membership its value should continue. The present intention is to enlist a number of people to assist with the production of future numbers, which will appear at quarterly intervals. Names of those who have already agreed to act are listed in this number. Anyone who wishes to communicate ideas and information they believe to be of interest to Bulletin readers should contact the editor or editorial assistants. Letters relevant to Science for Peace will be especially welcome, though they may require editing for publication.
Sincere tribute is paid here to Brydon Gombay and to Gwen Rapoport who edited the Bulletin for years, doing a prodigious amount of work and building its character and reputation. Since Gwen’s resignation several people have combined to put out the Bulletin; these include the late John Dove, John Valleau and Derek Paul in Toronto, and Tony Arrott in Vancouver. These people deserve the members’ warm thanks for their efforts under difficult conditions.
Things look better! Undeniable. Canadian nuclear submarines cancelled; the US and USSR talking disarmament; China and the USSR rediscovering a misplaced amity; NATO nations mutually and critically reassessing their position. It may be that some members of peace organizations are beginning to hum a refrain to themselves: “We have a partial thaw, at least; things may get better; perhaps we can dare to revise our priorities; the environment needs healing; there’s a hole in the ozone; the world’s warming up; big things to get our teeth into — but not things that will destroy all life before the next millennium …” Most members of peace organizations are amateurs with other jobs and interests. Not enough of them are young people. It is easy to feel tired and want to move on to other concerns. But we can’t get tired. Not yet! The long haul is what will count. After all, the peace movement of the 1950’s with such marvelous intellectual leaders as Einstein and Russell somehow lost its way — and we had the Cold War.
If we do need a new dynamic, a fresh strategic objective to revive us, we have one — the actual possibility of global disarmament. Though popular consensus in many countries at least appears to favour it, we cannot assume that governments will consistently pursue and embrace it without a multitude of urgings and promptings. Organizations like Science for Peace can influence the disarmament process by consistent, rational, apolitical appeals, addressed to all nations. Remember that politicians repeatedly ask: “How can we possibly arrive at a rational disarmament process? Row can we trust the Other Side, or even persuade them to trust us? How can mutual obligations be safeguarded unless we have perfect surveillance systems and true goodwill?”
One way Science for Peace members can contribute is by attempting to devise both basic ideas and complete detailed scenarios on how world states can disarm. Already some of our members are very active in considering such measures (see the list of publications on page 6 of The Bulletin vol.9, no.1). But we need much, much more such activity. If all the peace organizations can exert such efforts governments will have less and less excuse for a posture of “despair” at the absence of such scenarios. Let us try to diminish the complaints of governments that “we have to maintain assured might because the rosy idea of world disarmament won’t work, since nobody is able to tell us how to do it.”
Let Science for Peace members try to become pre-eminent among those producing comprehensive plans on how to achieve international disarmament, conversion of the military-industrial complex into agencies for peace and security. And let the plans be of such a quality that citizens, diplomats, politicians, militarists and weapons vendors will all be compelled to recognise them as genuine possible ways out of the traps 20th century humans have built for themselves.
Science for Peace has already organized several very useful conferences relating to national and international peace and security matters. But we might also consider the establishment of study groups — “think tanks” — within our own organization to deal with particular questions on which our members can claim special expertise. These study groups could be so structured as to deal with a significant continuing problem — e.g. the global disarmament question, already noted — and the object would be to spend a period of several days to a week, with perhaps up to a dozen interested members of Science for Peace intensively considering all aspects of the problem. Their product would be a publication (book or detailed paper) which could be sold, but which would, above all, be aimed at the policy makers of Canada and other countries. There are a lot of people with marked, even extraordinary, scientific skills in Science for Peace. We should be seeking more creative ways to put their brains to use.
Professor John Dove and his wife Lois Hersum Dove have both been killed in a motor accident in Botswana. They were there partly on vacation and partly to visit their daughter Marion, who had been teaching in a school in Botswana.
John Edward Dove, 58, was born in Minneapolis, but his family soon after returned to England. He attended Repton School, and later Oxford University. While at Oxford he was stroke of the “first eight” of The Queen’s College Rowing Club at a time when they became “head of the river”. He graduated in 1953 with a first class honours degree in Chemistry, and stayed on to take a M.Sc. in 1954 and to complete a D.Phil. in 1959, working under the direction of Professor J. W. Linnett. Meanwhile, he was away from Oxford for a year as a Laming Fellow at the University of Goettingen. From 1960 to 1962 he carried out research as a Harkness Fellow in Professor G. B. Kistiakowsky’s research group at Harvard University. He and Lois were married in 1962.
John joined the Faculty of the Chemistry Department of the University of Toronto in 1962 as an Assistant Professor, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1966 and to Professor in 1976. Meanwhile he returned to the University of Goettingen in 1969-70 as NATO Senior Research Fellow and Heinemann Fellow, and again in 1976-77 as a von Humboldt Senior Fellow; in 1982-83 he was a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Heidelberg and Goettingen. John published more than fifty scientific papers on a wide range of subjects in chemical kinetics, as well as chapters in two books. His work involved several different experimental techniques, and he also pursued theoretical work on chemical reactions. In recent years he had been especially interested in astrophysical problems having to do with the chemistry of interstellar clouds. He directed the research of a succession of graduate students and several postdoctoral fellows.
John Dove played a number of administrative roles in the University of Toronto over the years. He was a member of the Governing Council of the University from 1972 to 1975, and for the last two of those years served as Chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee; he was also for five years Chairman of the Physical Sciences Division of Scarborough College (1977-82), and later Chairman of the Chemistry Graduate Studies Committee (1985-87). He was also cross-appointed to Trinity College, and took an active interest in the affairs of the College. He played various executive roles in the Canadian section of the Combustion Institute.
A very major part of the last years of John’s life was devoted to the cause of peace and disarmament through his work for Science for Peace. (This is a Canada-wide organization of physical and social scientists dedicated to research and education promoting a more peaceful world.) John gave unsparingly of his time and energy and made a prodigious contribution to the development of Science for Peace and its activities. He served as National Secretary for two years, and subsequently as Executive Vice-President. He was also for several years Conference Director of the organization, and recently organized the highly successful International Conference on Arctic Cooperation, which in October 1988 brought together experts from the USSR, the US, the UK and all the Arctic nations, including indigenous peoples. The Conference reflected John’s view that the preservation of the environment and society of the Arctic demanded international cooperation on the broadest possible range of issues. His devotion to the causes of Science for Peace has been an inspiration to his many friends and associates.
Lois Whitney Hersum, 57, was a daughter of the late Colonel LeRoy M. Hersum of Boston, Massachusetts, and Mrs. Anita Hersum (now of Toronto). As the daughter of an army officer she lived and had her early education in a wide variety of places in the continental United States and Hawaii. She graduated from Radcliff. College in 1953, and was subsequently employed in the biochemical research laboratory at the Harvard Medical School for a number of years before marrying John and coming to Toronto with him in 1962.
Lois had also been active within the University of Toronto, at first doing research in the Cardiovascular Research Unit of the Faculty of Medicine, and then, from 1965, as a lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry. At the time of her death she was a Senior Tutor in that Department. She was a Past President of the University of Toronto Arts Women’s Club, and also a member and past Treasurer of the U. of T. Women’s Association.
Lois was well-known as an accomplished musician with a special interest in early music. She played the viola da gamba, but was also at home on the renaissance flute, recorders, and the spinet. She was a performing member of the Toronto Early Music Player’s Organization (TEMPO), and also played with a number of amateur music groups.
Lois was an active member of Science for Peace, and not only supported John in his tireless work for the organization but also played her own very vigorous role in its activities; indeed it seems to have been Lois who first drew John’s serious attention to Science for Peace.
Lois and John led together a life which balanced serious scholarship with a dedication to the well-being of others and the preservation of what is fine in our culture. At the same time they were devoted to their family. They are survived by their son Christopher and their two daughters, Marion and Alice. John is also survived by his brother Michael and his sister Pat (Love), who live in England. Lois is survived by her mother Anita Hersum, and by her sister Cynthia (Radue) of Kinsey, Montana.
As former President of Science for Peace, I came to know John and Lois Dove as among the most devoted supporters of the cause of peace. John’s idea of devoted service was to work unsparingly in everything he undertook to do. I would sometimes worry that he did not spare his health in the spirit of dedication with which he addressed the various tasks he undertook for Science for Peace.
Many are the memories that remain with his friends of the undertakings that would not have been achieved without John’s dedicated and exemplary service. Perhaps most notably we remember how he led a team of devoted peacemakers in organizing and carrying through the conference last fall on how to restrict the military activities in the Arctic and increase peaceful cooperation. The result was an outstanding success. Just before John left for Africa, he wrote a letter to the Globe and Mail pleading the cause of the Innu being harassed by the low-flying exercises over Goose Bay.
John’s devotion to Peace is perhaps better expressed in poetry than in my banal prose:
The desire of the moth for the star
Of then the night for the morrow
The devotion to something afar
From the sphere of our sorrow.
The John and Lois Dove Memorial Lectureship
The John and Lois Dove Memorial Lectureship has been established to reflect their varied interests. Those wishing to remember them may make donations to the Department of Development and University Relations, 21 King’s College Circle, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, making cheques payable to the University and marking them “John and Lois Dove Memorial Lecture”.
The following is a slightly condensed and edited version of a message by Science for Peace President, Dr. Tony Arrott.
Science for Peace as a Reality
Science for Peace is a concept. What is its reality?
It is what it does. Science for Peace produces a Bulletin. There were Bulletins in May and June put out by John Dove, John Valleau, and Derek Paul in Toronto and in October, November, and February by the executive in Vancouver. Alan Weatherley has taken on the task of constructing an organization that will bring more people into the process of keeping the Bulletin going.
It is what it does. As national director of research, Paul LeBiond developed a network of local directors to foster useful peace-related research by Canadian scientists. One problem of a national organization that spans a continent is that of communication. Experiments in establishing an electronic network have so far been of limited success. LeBlond’s group identified areas of research including the dangers of nuclear war, peaceful uses of outer space, verification of nuclear explosions, seismology and the threshold levels for reliable detection, surveillance and sovereignty, probabilities and risks.
It is what it does. The International Conference on Arctic Cooperation was co-sponsored by Science for Peace and the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security (CIIPS). Delegates from ten nations included indigenous people with special knowledge of the region, physical scientists, technical experts, and social scientists. It was the right conference at the right time. It might have had more immediate impact if Science for Peace had obtained the endorsement of the manifesto on the Arctic which was prepared for but not considered by the conference. The conference was reported in the Bulletin, where it was hoped sufficient credit was given to Franklyn Griffiths who developed the programme, and to John Dove who was chief organizer. The conference was an achievement that would be enough to justify all the efforts that have gone into creating and sustaining Science for Peace. The Workshop on Chemical and Biological Warfare held in April (the work of Walter Dorn) took on added meaning following the revelations of the use of chemicals in the Iran-Iraq war. Conference participation and sponsorship have been a very important aspect of Science for Peace activities over the years.
It is what it does. Science for Peace is a publisher. The Arctic Conference will appear as a book. The Science for Peace Conference on European Security Requirements in 1985 led to the book “Defending Europe: Options for Security”. The ideas in the book are now coming to be accepted by NATO and Warsaw Pact nations as they move towards nonthreatening ways of defense. The weekly lecture series owes almost everything to the efforts of our Founding President Eric Fawcett over the last eight years. Eric coordinates the efforts of the now six different groups that combine to present a most stimulating set of lectures. “The Name of the Chamber was Peace” was a published selection of these lectures for 1986-87 when they were known as the Science for Peace Seminars. Derek Paul directs the publications committee. Its works were documented in the February Bulletin. Its latest publication — “Understanding War” by John McMurtry has been quite successful.
It is what is does. Science for Peace provides support for groups in various parts of the country. In New Brunswick the local chapter sponsors prizes for the New Brunswick Science Fair for any project which deals with the danger that weapons of mass destruction pose for humanity, and which promotes peace. In Ottawa, the local chapter sponsors a similar prize at the National Science Fair. This year local chapters are being organized in Hamilton and Edmonton.
It is what it does. Science for Peace provides support for individual efforts. Eric Fawcett runs Science for Peace International Network (SPIN). Arnold Simoni has a study group on “Comprehensive Integrated Disarmament Processes”. Derek Paul participates in Pugwash. Many members give lectures to public organizations. The President of Science for Peace addressed almost 500 people at the Vancouver Institute last October.
One of our organization’s most active (and younger) members, Walter Dorn, has regularly attended UN sessions since the Special Session on Disarmament in 1982 (UNSSOD II). He and Derek Paul prepared a brief for UNSSOD III which Derek presented at the UN in June, 1988: it discussed arms verification, bilateral and multilateral agreements, prohibiting development of new weapons, and open science. Walter chairs the working group on “International Surveillance and Verification”, with representatives from six peace groups which conducted the public forum on chemical and biological warfare in Toronto in April. Previously he had compiled “A Directory of Canadian Scientific Expertise: Peace and Security Aspects”, and two reports on Science for Peace workshops on satellite and airborne surveillance. This year he wrote a proposal for an Arctic monitoring agency, noted below. His book “Peace-Keeping Satellites: the Case for International Surveillance and Verification” (Peace Research Institute, Dundas, 1987, 182pp) creatively considers how satellite surveillance technology can directly enhance international peace and security. Walter’s work towards a Ph.D. in chemistry is supported by a fellowship from CIIPS. He is studying chemical sensors for detection of chemical and biological warfare agents.
I wish you all the best in your service to the cause of peace and my regards to all Science for Peace members who are striving to build a stronger and more lasting peace in which science can be dedicated to more noble and worthy causes, such as the advancement of our knowledge of the universe, the eradication of disease, and other real enemies of mankind.
It will be what it will do. The future of Science for Peace is the subject of today’s meeting. The comments and opinions of all are welcomed. Among other things, the organization should put its efforts towards encouraging young scientists, of whom Walter Dorn is a present fine example.
President, Science for Peace
May 6, 1989.
Nobody in Science for Peace cuts deeper than Anatol Rapoport — as we all know! The following extract from Rapoport (1968) “The Study of Conflict,” Can. Pap. in Peace Studies No. 1 provides a slight indication of his ability to get to the core of things:
“We must admit that it is extremely difficult to formulate a theory sufficiently general to encompass all possible sufficient causes of wars. With regard to necessary causes, however, … it is weapons. Without weapons wars could not be fought. We are told that, deprived of weapons, people would still fight with sticks and stones. This, however, need not concern us. We are concerned not just with fighting but with the sort of mass insanity that can destroy the entire civilization, the product of millenia of accumulated effort, in a matter of hours. And this can be done only with real, up-to-date weapons, not sticks and stones.”
(Education) “seems to be the only hope: to spread enlightenment sufficiently wide so that people can no longer be manipulated to give consent to policies that will surely eventually lead to their own destruction.”
“The American Revolution was ignited by the slogan ‘no taxation without representation’, a slogan suggested by democratic ideals … Ought not the present day version of the old slogan be ‘No annihilation without representation?”
John Polanyi (“The New Star Wars”, Globe and Mail, May 12, 1989):
“Star wars requires arms control because it posits a transition from abundant weaponry that has been rendered ineffectual through the erection of high-tech shields. If one side’s shield appears at any time to be superior to the other’s, the weaker party is placed in a threatening situation.”
“Mikhail Gorbachev’s (at Reykjavik) response to Ronald Reagan’s proposal of agreement to mutual deployment of SDI: ‘Ronnie, you really make an excellent case, but would you mind going over the bit about whom we are defending ourselves against?”
“There are two ways of reducing the destructiveness of nuclear weapons, both requiring the acquiescence and cooperation of the parties involved. One, anti-missile defense, involves crippling expenditures. The other, disarmament, comes free of charge. The former raises profound and legitimate fears. The latter — guaranteed by the sort of inspection procedures being proposed today — involves minimal risks.”
George J. Church (cover story, Time, May 15):
“As an senior American official puts it, the idea is to ‘let Gorbachev keep coming at us, making concessions, playing to our agenda.”
“Our policy must be to test the application of Soviet ‘new thinking’ again and again ‘with a view to determining’ whether the new thinking is real once we probe behind the slogans.”( Church quoting James Baker, US Secretary of State)
“The real danger is that the US, in taking a purely reactive attitude, will undermine its own interests by continuing to leave all the initiatives to Gorbachev.”
Strobe Talbot (“Why Kohl is right”, Time, May 15); said in Bonn of short-range nuclear missiles:
“The shorter the range the deader the German.”
“Nuclear weapons deter their own use. Arguably that is all they are good for. But tactical nukes, because they frighten allies whom they are supposed to protect, are good for even less.”
(on West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s pleas for negotiation over short-range nuclear weapons): “Once the Bush administration stops cursing Kohl under its breath, it will probably do what he is asking … Too bad the US will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into a decision that it should have reached on its own.”
Eduard Shevardnadze, quoted in an interview, (Time, May 15):
“Q: If you could get only one concession from the US in arms-control talks, what would it be?
A: A single concession will not suffice. And it’s not concessions we should be talking about, but rather a joint search for formulas that will ensure security … Conditions are now ripe for a breakthrough in the prohibition of chemical weapons, the reduction of conventional arms in Europe and cuts in Soviet and US strategic offensive weapons.”
George J. Church (Time, May 22), quoting US President George Bush:
“The United States now has as its goal much more than simply containing Soviet expansionism — we seek the integration of the Soviet Union into the community of Nations.” And “A new relationship cannot be simply declared by Moscow or bestowed by others … It must be earned.”
Martin Woolacott (“Germany no longer dancing to the British tune”, Manchester Guardian Weekly, April 30):
“Lord Ismay, NATO’s first secretary general is supposed to have said that the purpose of NATO was to keep the Americans in, the Russians out and the Germans down. Times have changed … but the Germans rightly feel that Washington and London have not changed enough.”
“The whole world really does want a reduction in the arms that threaten its existence, and Washington must do far more than it has to convince its allies and its own people that the US seeks that result no less than the shrewd Soviet leader.”
Toronto Star, April 23:
“The US does not have all the answers no matter what Washington says and we need to hear something more useful from Ottawa than ‘Aye aye , Sir’ … quit listening to Washington” (Eugene Carrol, deputy director of the Center for Defense Information, a non-governmental agency based in Washington, D.C. He was commander of the carrier strike force of the US Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean). Rear Admiral (retired) Carrol was speaking at the annual Vancouver Walk for Peace (30,000 marchers)
Psychiatrist: Why do you flail your arms around like that?
Patient: To keep the wild elephants at bay.
Psychiatrist: But there are no wild elephants here.
Patient: That’s right — Effective, isn’t it?
— From Peter Medawar “Advice to a Young Scientist”, Harper Colophon Books.
NATO — Problems … Progress?
“NATO at 40” has 900,000 troops in West Germany “to repulse an attack no one any longer believes is coming.” Sixteen NATO nations spend a total of 300 billion dollars a year in Europe of which the US pays at least half. The removal of the 360,000 US troops would be destablizing unless the USSR would “adopt a genuinely defensive military posture” (Editorial, Globe and Mail, April 7).
Before the recent NATO Summit, the US administration was so reluctant to discuss the West German proposal to negotiate a reduction in short-range nuclear missiles that President Bush declined to meet with the West German Foreign and Defense ministers. The US reluctance had persisted in the face of Gorbachev’s declaration of a unilateral reduction of short-range nuclear weapons by 500 this year. Even if such a reduction would, as the Americans claimed, still leave the Soviets with a clear advantage, a failure to respond except by noting that “It’s a good step, but a very small step” (James Baker, US Secretary of State), conveys a feeling of a vacuum among US policy makers. The Observer’s Patrick Brogan wrote that “… the United States needs a president with vision and power of leadership, to chart the course into new and difficult waters, and persuade the American people to follow him there.” (Globe and Mail, May 18).
In the event, at the NATO Summit at the end of May, President Bush proposed a cut of 20 percent (30,000 troops) of US forces in West Germany which, if matched by Soviet reductions of 50 percent, would bring Soviet and US troop numbers to 275,000 each, combined with destruction of 15 percent of existing weapons, including airplanes and helicopters.
To meet West German wishes, the proposal also indicated a willingness, when a US-Soviet agreement on conventional arms and forces is under way, to begin to negotiate “a partial reduction of American and Soviet land-based nuclear missile forces of shorter range to equal and verifiable levels.” (Globe and Mail, May 31)
This, at least at the level of public relations appears to have satisfied the NATO partners — perhaps even Great Britain. However, the words of NATO Secretary-General, Manfred Woerner, were perhaps an ominous indication that the NATO position remains a reactive rather than a proactive one in the search for permanent peace in Europe based on eventual full disarmament:
“We do not want to see a nuclear-free Europe … why? We want a Europe that is free from war. Nuclear weapons are war-preventing, not war-making. There have been no wars in Europe since the Second World War; there have been 150 wars outside Europe since the Second World War.”
However, Mr Woerner, it will take but one war in Europe, not started by nuclear weapons, but finished by them, to overshadow a thousandfold all the 150 wars you refer to …
Immediately following the NATO announcements, the Warsaw Pact countries have responded with an offer of troop and arms reductions of apparently the numbers proposed by NATO. It will be interesting to see how quickly real discussions and actions by both sides will follow. Soviet Foreign Minister, Shevardnadze, has already warned that 100,000 French and British forces in West Germany would have to be factored into troop agreements.
Nuclear Subs — continuing thoughts…
“Peace groups cheer move to scrap nuclear submarines” in Canada (Nick Pron, Toronto Star, April 27). “This has to be the most welcome decision the government has made,” (Nicholas Prychodko, Toronto Disarmament Network).
At a somewhat more considered level Ernie Regehr (“Misguided Policy Sank with Subs”, Toronto Star, April 30) writes:
“with the costs spread over a quarter century the subs would have claimed less than 100 million dollars a year during the Mulroney mandate — which means not even one-sixth of the defense spending cut comes from the still-born subs.”
“Their true value now is as a symbol of a government without a coherent security strategy.”
“The defense white paper, the official defense policy, is now effectively sunk along with the subs.”
“But we don’t need a new defense white paper. Canadians would be better served by a security green paper … with defense policy properly placed in the service of an overall security strategy, a security green paper could also emphasize economic, environmental and other non-military elements of security. Arms control and disarmament could be raised as key security objectives, addressing not only the nuclear threat, but also the runaway international arms trade that now fuels regional conflicts.”
There is more. In Nature, April 6, Seth Shulman and Ricardo Bonalume report on “Proliferation of Nuclear Subs” following a recent meeting at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), that Brazil and India (though no longer, Canada) plan to build or buy nuclear-powered subs. India has already leased one from the USSR, and retired vice-admiral K.K.Nayyav says that India constitutes 17 percent of the world’s population and that “we want to be there to be reckoned with.” Brazil is also said to want a strong nuclear submarine presence in the South Atlantic having been impressed by British nuclear subs in the Falklands War! Countries currently showing interest in nuclear subs reportedly have nuclear-power programmes and plentiful plutonium. The potential for future and continuing destablization is readily appreciated.
Meanwhile, there is already some present environmental threat from nuclear subs. Dale Grant (Globe and Mail, April 24) notes that “the recent sinking of another Soviet sub — an experimental Mitre class — off northern Norway brings the total known nuclear submarine disasters to seven.” In the same Globe and Mail, David Graft of Green-peace (“A nuclear time bomb lurks on the ocean floor”) writes of “the constant risk of environmental disaster. Once more a nuclear-powered submarine lies at the bottom of the ocean, condition unknown.” And “Two nuclear reactors containing hundreds of kilograms of highly radioactive nuclear fuel, and two nuclear warheads containing several kilograms of lethal plutonium, now sit on the bottom of the ocean. Whatever the condition of the submarine’s hull or the nuclear reactors today, these materials will inevitably be released into the marine environment sooner or later.”
Finally, we can feel alarm over prospects for sub miniaturization. Richard Compton-Hall (“The incredible shrinking submarine”, New Scientist, April 1989) describes efforts to develop new, smaller subs, using a toroid hull structure that is both five times stronger than one made of steel plates, and which can itself store fuel. This may result in an ultra-quiet, small but very spacious vessel, according to results with loot °types in Italy. These mini-subs displace up 150 tons and are 23-27 metres long. They carry torpedoes or a great range of other weapons, or a team of 16 commandos. They will be able to cover the Mediterranean and Adriatic from Italian bases. One version will cruise at 16 knots, have a 25 knot burst speed and an underwater range of 2000 nautical miles at 8 knots. They will be very cheap (estimated at 22 million pounds each) — i.e. “within the price range of several foreign navies.” Western naval experts “have already pointed to the danger they pose if they fall into hostile hands”. There is the further concern that if the technology can be scaled up for use with medium-sized subs (2800 tons) and performance coincides with that of nuclear-powered vessels, this technology could “challenge the large nuclear hunter-killers that are currently deemed, by submariners at least, to rule the seas from below.”
The End of Nuclear Testing?
There is plenty of popular sentiment these days against any further nuclear testing. Physicians have urged against it (Mark Leith, “Fight nuclear arms with a pen,” Toronto Star, March 24), many religious and peace groups are against it (Michael McAteer, “Peace group urges nuclear testing ban”, Toronto Star, March 29), and polls show that many ordinary citizens are against it. Why, then, does the Canadian Government continue to allow tests over our soil of a device which is the delivery system for a nuclear charge? For that is what the Cruise is — it has no meaning in any other context.
Happily, it now seems that there will be a UN conference to discuss converting the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963 to a total ban. This has occurred because more than the 39 nations (all non-nuclear) required have called upon the three nuclear states — the United States, the USSR and Britain — which negotiated the 1963 treaty (PTBT) to convene such a conference. To quote William Epstein (Globe and Mail, 20 April 1989): The task will not be accomplished quickly … the United States is likely to oppose the amendment. It may take several years to persuade it to come around … (However a) simple majority of the 58 parties to the agreement can bring an amendment into force, but it must include all three superpowers; in effect, each has a veto.” And, “The non-nuclear states are confident that their amendment initiative will succeed eventually, the planned conference will generate strong national and international pressures on the United States and Britain, where public opinion polls strongly favour a total ban. The same is true of Canada.” This last point is interesting when, as Epstein observes, the Canadian Government inexplicably opposes the amendment. As for the USSR, it has already declared that it would accept a total test ban if the treaty were enacted.
Epstein points out that if the amendment is approved by a majority — including the three nuclear states — it becomes binding on all parties signatory to the original PTBT. “This has obvious implications for the near-nuclear states — Argentina, Brazil, India, Israel, Pakistan and South Africa — as all of them have ratified the Partial Test Ban Treaty and none the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968). They would (therefore) be unable to ‘go nuclear,’ a boon to the cause of non-proliferation and a powerful incentive to the nuclear powers to ratify the amendment.”
Incidentally, this strategy which may legally “trap” the nuclear superpowers into a total ban treaty, has apparently been masterminded by a group called Parliamentarians for Global Action. If their plans succeed they will surely be prime candidates for a Nobel Peace Prize — and humanity will be their perpetual debtors.
More, and Still More, Weapons
Wilson Ruiz (“Canadian munitions sales to Latin America taking off,” Globe and Mail, September 9, 1988): “The president of (a Canadian) arms exporting company … said that sales of military products to Latin America and other Third World Countries help the Canadian armed forces to acquire a sufficient quantity of sophisticated and costly military equipment. He explained that the production in Canada of many modern weapons systems is often possible only if the production run is increased, so that each unit absorbs a smaller amount of the basic investment in tooling, labor and plant costs. In order to arm ourselves, we must help arm the world. That is the reality of the Canadian defence industry.”
Peter Calamai, Toronto Star, April 27 (“Moving trains may carry MX nuclear missiles near our border”): “… peace groups worry Canada couldn’t refuse a US request to allow MX trains across the border in a nuclear alert … ‘The government position is that we have the right to say no,’ said Project Ploughshares spokesman Bill Robinson, ‘but the chances of that happening under those conditions are very slim.”
Simon Rosenblum (Project Ploughshares) (“Leaner but meaner”): “The world will not be safer place if the superpowers produce nothing more than a ‘disarmament’ treaty that creates ‘leaner but meaner’ nuclear forces … The United States, in particular, seems determined to push ahead with the development and deployment of ever more dangerous weapons. One line of argument maintains that it must develop new nuclear weapons as ‘bargaining chips’ in order to force the Soviet Union to be more forthcoming at the negotiating table. But the Soviets are already there with their cards all laid out, offering balanced and far-reaching nuclear disarmament. The U.S. commitment to modernization reflects a strong attachment to provocative military strategies based upon the ‘utility’ of faster and more accurate weapons.”
Dale Grant, Toronto Star, April 24 (“Long-range missiles enter Mideast arms race”). In commenting on reported deployment of nuclear and other weapons in the Middle East and possible use by some countries in the region of anti-tactical ballistic missile systems (ATBMs), Dale Grant notes that: “Some have pointed out that destruction of unconventional warheads high in the atmosphere could spread chemical, biological or radioactive debris over thousands of kilometers, perhaps affecting distant countries … Others stress the one constant of the Mideast arms race. When one nation gets a new weapon, all the others want it, too.”
Time for Peace
John Polanyi, Globe and Mail, May 12 (“The New Star Wars”). In discussing “Brilliant Pebbles” — a new variant of SDI techniques: “Defensive systems are vulnerable because the attacker chooses the time and place for the encounter. This is the easier task, technically and strategically. If he is determined he will get through. Of the thousands of missiles available to him, precious few are really required. One or two missiles are capable of destroying ten major cities.”
Dr. George Ignatieff (former President, Science for Peace), The Humanist in Canada, Spring 1989 (“Give peace a chance”). Excerpts:
“It is now painfully clear that deterrence has become another way of continuing the arms race, resulting in an increasing diversion of resources to maintain an unstable military balance …”
“In particular, Canadians need to look for a new definition of peace and security as we approach a new century, recognizing the increased global interdependence of all nations, and refuse to be enticed into a FORTRESS AMERICA. There is no excuse for increasing our own deficit by investing in unusable military hardware when we could have a hand in the more coherent world vision.”
“Desperately needed, instead of the rather ambivalent attitude of the Canadian government fence-sitting between deterrence and peace, is a programme of education and action to consolidate, connect and accelerate the positive elements of a peace strategy I have outlined, putting restraints on the linked problems of militarism, pollution of the environment, and underdevelopment.”
“…now is not the time to let the opportunity slip of giving peace a chance by going back to the principles of the UN Charter and international cooperation which the Soviets are now evidently trying to accept as the basis of their new thinking in international relations. My sense of history and my experience over seventy years at least tells me that we owe it to the present generation and those who come afterwards, to seize this historic turn of events to Give Peace a Chance. Let’s not lose this opportunity by over-caution, cynicism, or following the example of the cold war zealots in other countries, while the new Administration in Washington is making up its mind. The stakes are too high.”
The following letter appeared in the Globe and Mail, April 28, 1989, entitled “Challenge for NATO”:
The editorial Missile Threat to Mr. Kohl (April 14) admirably points up the quandary now facing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization: whether to cling to the old policy of nuclear deterrence as the main source of security, or explore creatively the realities of “the remarkable improvements in East-West relations” you referred to.
The old policy of deterrence fuelled the arms race and led to a kind of security through military stalemate in Europe, but offered no solutions to the division of Europe politically and economically. The present quandary presents a challenge to all NATO members to free themselves from the vortex of weapon “modernization” and offer freedom from fear of mass destruction to the peoples yearning for it in Canada, as well as in Europe.
Now is the time to give peace a chance by seeking political solutions to what are essentially political problems, which do not yield to resolution through the development of new and more deadly missiles, which yield benefits mainly to those who make them, whether they cruise or proceed by Stealth.
— George Ignatieff, Former Canadian Ambassador to NATO
Richard Gwyn (“U.K. Labour party plans to soft-sell socialism,” Toronto Star, May 12). Neil Kinnock, British Labour leader has repudiated the former Labour doctrine of unilateral disarmament, including scrapping the Trident submarines (as promised in 1987). “Ironically, Kinnock might have done better to have remained a unilateralist. The Cold War now has gone into storage. Missiles kept on when there’s no enemy to use them against is an even greater act of futility — as Thatcher, who is struggling to force the West Germans to accept more short-range ones, is finding out.” Indeed, to judge from a more recent pronouncement (Manchester Guardian Weekly, 28 May), Kinnock appears now to have embraced fully the U.S. position: “We have made it categorically clear that for as long as the USSR has weapons so will the USA and vice versa.”
“Our conference has repeatedly voted to remain in NATO which we acknowledge is a nuclear alliance. We understand that the reason for having weapons of any description is partially in order to deter the prospect of an attack.”
Let the believers in the increasing use of nuclear energy in peaceful contexts be continually reminded of Windscale (a generation on and still a menace), Three Mile Island which, 10 years ago, just missed being a great human tragedy and Chernobyl … which didn’t miss! Stephen Handleman (“Chernobyl ‘fallout’ won’t quit,” Toronto Star, 30 April): “After years of official denials that any major health hazard resulted from the world’s worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl (April 26, 1986), Soviet people learned that more than 230,000 inhabitants in a zone stretching across three republics were still at risk from radiation.” Moreover, Ukrainian villages are still being evacuated, and calves without heads and pigs without eyes reported being born. One report claims average annual cancer rates in the Chernobyl region have doubled since 1986.
Patrick Donovan (Manchester Guardian Weekly, May 28) writes that: “Three years on the decontamination process still continues. The Soviets have been forced to isolate forever a chunk of the Ukraine. And they will pay the price of radiation-related sickness for generations to come.”
Four Final Notes
Thomas B. Allen (“A wasteland — but it’s only a game”, Manchester Guardian Weekly, May 21):
“What dangers do battlefield nuclear weapons pose for West Germany? It is impossible to know, of course. But some troubling speculative evidence can be found in the secret war games routinely played by U.S. strategists.
“Foreigners would inhibit the game … Imagine what the Germans would say if they were around the day one of us said: “Let’s write off Germany.”
A commercial war game called “Hof Gap” exists that uses “a game board, symbols, and playing pieces almost identical to those used in secret, Pentagon-sponsored games.” There is also a global war game called Strategic Analysis Simulation used by the U.S. Defense Department which examines ways “to keep a nuclear war going after a limited exchange” that is still used at the National Defense University, Washington D.C.
Paul Nitze (“Caution is in order — but not doing nothing”, Manchester Guardian Weekly, May 21):
“I emphasised (to Secretary of State, Baker) that the current U.S. position of insisting on German agreement to modernize Lance (missiles) while adamantly refusing to consider negotiations with the Soviets (over short-range nuclear missiles) could not today be agreed to by any conceivable German government.”
“We can both be cautious … and at the same time explore with the Soviets whether they are prepared to negotiate agreements … Caution and explorations of the possible are not necessarily contradictory aims.”
(Paul Nitze was special adviser on arms control to President Ronald Reagan.)
James Jackson and Christopher Redman (Time, May 29, “The Myths NATO lives by”) write that:
(i) Most Americans (81% in poll) believe the US would use nuclear weapons only if the USSR attacked US territory. (ii) The US could not effectively increase its land forces in Europe during a war by the six divisions in ten days it is pledged to since the Pentagon has stated the U.S. “cannot deliver even one full division within 30 days.” (iii) NATO could not “sustain” a conventional war in Europe because it lacks the stockpiles of munitions and fuel. (iv) There are strong doubts that, in functional terms, Warsaw Pact conventional forces are any longer superior to NATO forces. (v) “Devolution” of present US-dominated financial and command structures of NATO forces will soon begin.
The USSR Defense Budget has been announced as $142 billion, nearly four times higher than previously stated, and Gorbachev has pledged reductions in spending by $18.4 billion by the end of 1991. Some American estimates put the real value as $211 to $230 billion. Whatever the precise figure, the U.S. spends about $360 billion annually on its own defense budget. ( Toronto Star, May 31).
An Experts’ Workshop on “The control of chemical and biological weapons” was held at the University of Toronto on April 15,1989, as an activity of the Working Group on International Surveillance and Verification. Drs. George Ignatieff and Janet Wood (both members of Science for Peace) were co-chairs of the Workshop, Dr. Eric Fawcett was the formal representative of Science for Peace and Mr. Walter Dorn (Science for Peace) was coordinator for the Workshop as well as being chairperson of the Working Group. There were participants from Canada, the USA, USSR, UN, Middle East including government representatives, academics, and peace group members. The aim was progress towards permanent elimination of chemical and biological weapons with strict international controls and improved verification and compliance.
The essential results of the Workshop, condensed for Bulletin publication are as follows:
Discussion Group I: Overcoming verification challenges
Recommendations (arrived at in keeping with experience of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) are that personnel should be trained for inspection procedures required for existing and pending agreements on chemical and biological weapons, and that such training include international projects.
Discussion Group II: Evaluation, response and other measures to promote compliance.
It is recommended that, as an example for other nations and to strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention, the Canadian parliament legislate a national treaty binding on all subjects. Under the Chemical Weapons Convention a verification/compliance system would have three stages: data collection; data analysis and evaluation; response. Included in these stages would be specified standard procedures for data collection; impartial consideration of data within the verification agency (in cases representing either non-compliance or anomaly); upscaled reporting on anomalies, and possible penalties and sanctions against acts of noncompliance.
To avoid needless delay in ratifying the treaty, ratifying states might be invited to declare that the convention enters into force for them as soon as ten (or fifteen) other states have made the same declaration. A small inspection body could then be established that could expand as necessary, when (the) treaty enters into force for (a) majority of states.
Discussion Group III: Export controls and confidence-building measures.
Whereas Chemical Weapons Convention parties may consider acting in concert against export of scheduled chemicals to non-parties if Convention circumventions are indicated, export controls should not hinder the industrial use of chemicals for peaceful purposes, especially in developing countries whose economies could be damaged. To build confidence in a convention there should be exchanges of information and visitors between states or regions, and international meetings in connection with the World Disarmament Campaign.
Discussion Group IV: The role of citizen-reporting and non-governmental organizations (NG0s).
Citizen-reporting, as endorsed and required by governments, should supplement technological means of verification — the anonymity and safety of informants being guaranteed. The NGO activities should be organized to receive citizens’ reports and construct a global picture of chemical and biological weapons activities and report apparent irregularities. Each state signatory to the the Convention should be obliged to deposit information on antidotes to chemical and biological agents with a world health body responsible for distributing such information world wide. NGOs should work closely with policy-makers to provide citizens with the information they need for effective participation in treaty verification.
Those organizing this successful Workshop — including especially Walter Dorn — deserve much credit and our warm thanks for their highly effective efforts.
At the 71st plenary meeting, December 6, 1988, the following resolution was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.
The General Assembly…
- Decides to proclaim the “International Week of Science and Peace” which will take place each year during the week in which November 11 falls;
- Urges Member States and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to encourage universities and other institutions of advanced studies, scientific academies and institutes, and professional associations and individuals in the scientific community to hold, during that week, lectures, seminars, special debates and other activities conducive to the study and dissemination of information on the links between progress in science and technology and the maintenance of peace and security;
- Urges Member States to promote international cooperation among scientists by facilitating exchanges of experts and information;
- Requests the Secretary-General to draw the attention of Member States and interested organizations to the importance of the International Week of Science and Peace and invite them to report to him on their activities and initiatives in connection with this event, and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its forty-fifth session.
Aware that, in the absence of ethical control, science and its products can damage society and its future, I pledge that my own scientific capabilities will never be employed merely for remuneration or prestige or on instruction of employers or political leaders only, but solely on my personal belief and social responsibility — based on my own knowledge and on consideration of the circumstances and the possible consequences of my work — that the scientific or technical research I undertake is truly in the best interests of society and peace.
This is the famous Buenos Aires Oath, which grew from the efforts of Guillermo LeMarchand and others — mostly Argentine astrophysicists — who covered a conference on “Scientists, Disarmament and Peace”. Jeremy J. Stone (Journal of the Federation of American Scientists, 41, 1-4, May 1988) writes that “LeMarchand, especially, and some of his associates had wanted some kind of Hippocratic Oath for scientists from the beginning and his contribution to the conference was a paper detailing the efforts of the past to get one adopted at Pugwash, at the International Physicians Movement and in the U.S. He calculated that 1.7 billion hours per year were being spent by scientists ‘on the planet’s destruction’ and that 30% of the totality of the scientists, engineers and technicians of the world were working on R & D for military purposes.” “He urged the establishment of a ‘project to ethically bind people upon graduation’ to use their knowledge ‘only for the benefit of mankind.”
David Krieger of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation produced in 1988 the following oath:
As scientists, we are seekers of truth and explorers of our universe from its smallest particles to its largest spaces;
We pledge to use our intellectual gifts, and employ our skills for the benefit of humanity, placing the common good of our own species above that of any nation;
We promise never to knowingly contribute our talents to the creation of weapons or other tools of destruction, nor to military systems which support such weapons;
We shall seek to employ the benefits of scientific discovery to support life, and will speak out against scientific research and projects used for or threatened for destructive purposes;
Having had special access to higher education and training, we affirm our responsibility to educate our fellow citizens, clearly distinguishing between fact and conjecture;
We accept the obligations of this oath as a foundation for focusing the benefits of science for the good of humanity.
In addition to these oaths, the Institute for Social Inventions in London had already circulated (The Scientist, November 16, 1987) a Hippocratic Oath for scientists, engineers and executives. The oath — product of an “unusual alliance” of scientific luminaries and the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science is as follows:
I vow to practice my profession with conscience and dignity; I will strive to apply my skills only with the utmost respect for the well-being of humanity, the earth and all its species; I will not permit considerations of nationality, politics, prejudice or material advancement to intervene between my work and this duty to present and future generations; I make this oath solemnly, freely and upon my honour.
Among the initial signers of this oath were John Kendrew, Abus Salam and Maurice Wilkins (co-discoverer of the structure of DNA) — all Nobel Laureates.
It goes without saying that all three oaths (and there are others that are good) have many virtues. However, the Buenos Aires Oath may prove to be the one that endures.
Chandler Davis of Science for Peace also proposed in 1988 a Hippocratic oath for mathematicians based on the Buenos Aires Oath. And Eric Fawcett (Science for Peace) and Peter Wills (a New Zealand physicist) urge scientists to append the following endorsement to each of their publications:
It is the author’s wish that no agency should ever derive military benefit from the publication of this paper. Authors who cite this work in support of their own are requested to qualify similarly the availability of their results.
Armenian Earthquake Fund
Following an appeal to the Royal Society of Canada by a group of Fellows, the Society conveyed its condolences to the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR over the recent earthquake and asked how it might aid in reconstruction activities. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AVCC) has also asked the USSR Embassy how Canadian academics can help. Although Yerevan University was undamaged, a number of colleges were devastated. RSC and the AVCC support actions were taken in March. About $1000 was donated as a result of an appeal at the Science for Peace Board meeting of last December, this to go towards rehabilitation of scientific life in the devastated regions. Additional funds are sought, cheques to be forwarded to the Science for Peace Treasurer, made out to Science for Peace and marked “for Armenian Relief.” Among the uses of funds will be purchase in Canada of scientific equipment and exchange of relevant specialists. Please call the attention of your local colleagues to these needs and opportunities to help our colleagues in Armenia.
Science for Peace Members Honoured
George Ignatieff, Honorary President of Science for Peace, was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. The citation for his induction on June 5 emphasized his activities for peace, including his role in Science for Peace.
Ursula Franklin, Emeritus Professor of Engineering, University of Toronto, has been named winner of the 1989 Wiegand Award. This annual award recognizes Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to our understanding of the human dimensions of science and technology. Professor Franklin, nominated by the Canadian Association for Women in Science, pioneered the use of microradiography to study microstructure of metals and alloys. She has studied ancient materials from various cultures discerning much about early techniques of metal-working and ceramic firing.
Looking for Social Investment
Science for Peace was represented at the first Canadian Social Investment Conference by a delegation of one. Here I come with my report. The conference took place in Toronto, drawing people from across Canada. The roughly two hundred participants were divided between students, interested parties with no specialized knowledge of investment, and specialists of all sorts. The conference consisted of warm-up speeches the evening of 12 May and a full day of plenaries and workshops on 13 May.
What should “social investment” mean, and what kinds of expertise have developed? First, if Science for Peace is administering an endowment and seeks to preserve its money and draw dividends or interest, many would feel it anomalous for our organization to buy stock in General Dynamics or Litton Industries; some of us would even be reluctant to deposit in a bank which stood ready to make short-term loans to contractors with General Dynamics. Many organizations with large funds to manage are way ahead of us in scrutinizing the moral acceptability of conventional financial deals. I was especially impressed by a long account by Dr. Bonnie Green, whose job with the United Church of Canada is research into the ethical consequences of possible investments by the Church. She does research, she doesn’t study the market—and she doesn’t make value decisions. Telling her organization the relation of a firm to weapons-making does not determine how it will react: there are many manufacturers of nominally defensive conventional weapons which she personally would avoid but which would not be objectionable to the Church’s policy-makers on the issue.
This issue is called “ethical investment”. Ought one to boycott GE stock? Ought one to buy GE stock and argue at shareholder’s meetings against the company’s concentration on weapons of annihilation? Let me quote one of many pointed remarks made at the conference. Eugene Ellman, author of “The 1989 Canadian Guide to Profitable Ethical Investing,” said the Exxon Valdez spill was without consequences for ethical investors: none of them would have though of putting their money in Exxon even before the spill!! Where then …?
Several specialties have arisen in response to the felt need for ethical investing. Specialists offer advice on asset management to individuals and organizations, either by writing like Ellmen, or by consulting for a fee like Janet Freedman. Some specialists will research a company’s ethical performance for you for a fee. Other specialists run mutual funds committed to stated standards (no companies selling tobacco, no polluters, no union-busters, no companies with operations in South Africa, …) so that by buying into the funds we may dispense with researching the ethicality of each corporation on the Exchange. Such funds are relatively new and small in Canada: there are five, only one of which has been underway more than three years. But they are thriving.
Alongside the “ethical” investment people are the “alternative” investment people. The overlap includes many people; but the concept of alternative investment is genuinely different. Rather than choosing among conventional investments, some say, why not invest in activities that the existing conventional corporations don’t carry on at all? So there is a second array of specialties: managers of workers’ co-ops, and consumers’ co-ops, and credit unions, specialists in seeking capital for co-ops and for needed low-cost housing, for new socially beneficial businesses and, specifically, for women-run or minority-run businesses.
Where shall I fit the credit unions into the picture? Structurally, they are alternative investment, being co-ops doing what the banks do, only more democratically. Some, especially Toronto’s Bread & Roses Credit Union, aim explicitly to provide venture capital to socially beneficial enterprises. But they may also practise ethical investment in stocks and bonds of major corporations; Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, in particular, sponsors the Ethical Growth Fund. Those of us who are members of credit unions might question them as to whether ethical criteria are applied in investing the money we deposit!
Can one get full banking service in a bank or credit union committed to social betterment? Yes, in Vancouver; not yet, in Toronto. Are there agencies which seek out and evaluate socially needed housing construction ventures and evaluate them for the ethical investor? Just getting started in Canada. Can one get a major credit card from an institution whose profits are designated at least in part to contributions to non-profit, socially beneficial uses? Yes, in the USA; not yet, in Canada.
This or any other summary of the panoply of specialists pursuing ethical and alternative investment must stipulate that each trade described has very few practitioners indeed. Most of the people, and most of the organizations, are just getting started. The potential impact of this work is positive—and large, given the large total of pension funds which might be directed ethically. (It is now legally “permissible” for pension fund managers to apply ethical tests; it remains for the managers to “decide” to do so. The specialists, potential investors, and capital-seekers in this market-withina-market seem to get along uncommonly well. Let us wish long life to the Canadian Social Investment Association, now in formation, which is intended to keep them in contact and pulling together.
Report of National Executive (summary)
(The following will be a regular feature of the Bulletin in which highlights of the activities of the Board meeting and of the Executive will be reported. In this, the first report, the events at the AGM will be described.)
The Science for Peace AGM was held May 2 on the UBC campus. West coast members were joined by Eric Fawcett from Toronto.
In the review of the last year, there was unanimous agreement that the efforts of Walter Dorn, John Dove and Franklyn Griffiths deserved special notice. Many people contributed to the success of the Arctic and CBWW conferences and these events were the high points of the organization this year.
The key item of business, was the election of the new Board of Directors. The list submitted by the nominating committee was approved unanimously.
Difficulties involved with the moving of the National office were discussed from many points of view. The primary problems have been infrequency in production of the Bulletin and lack of maintaining membership lists. Mechanisms to solve these problems are in place. One such mechanism which was passed at the AGM establishes that prior to moving the National Office an executive elect be set at the new venue so that they can be integrated into their new offices.
Science for Peace gained a chapter this year centered at McMaster University: the Hamilton area Chapter. We welcome them. In addition, the AGM voted to explore an arrangement for joint membership in Science for Peace and the Canadian Peace Research Association: we will keep members informed as this develops.
The issue of a National Office for Science for Peace was discussed at the AGM — for several days, actually! A group in Toronto has begun to search for permanent housing at U of T and for money for staff. The question of whether the office should be in Ottawa was raised without resolution.
At the Board meeting which followed the AGM, Tony Arrott, George Spiegelman and Jim Foulks were reelected to their executive positions. Derek Paul was elected to the position of membership secretary which was created as an executive position and Eric Fawcett was elected as a member at large of the executive. Special thanks to Derek for his heroic work on membership was given.
In recognition of his service George Ignatieff was re-elected as Honorary President of Science for Peace.
Several projects were formally approved for sponsorship by the Board, these were: the conference on Ethical Choice at Guelph and the project to examine a Comprehensive Integrated Disarmament Process as directed by Dr. A. Simoni.
The Board also endorsed a proposal to empower the executive to create policy committees for Science for Peace. Such committees would research and propose national policy on specific issues. These policies would, upon approval of the Board, become official policy of the organization. Members wishing to submit ideas for issues, should contact G. Spiegelman.
There was considerable discussion about the details of the financing of Science for Peace. One proposal which was passed and might well be adopted by local chapters was to have the accounts for Science for Peace be placed in banking institutions with ethical investment funds.
After four and a half hours of lively and intense discussion, the meeting adjourned.
Report of BC Chapter
The recent activities of the B.C. Chapter of Science for Peace have focussed on the fact that since 1985 over 30 nuclear-capable U.S. warships have paid visits to Vancouver Harbour. It is U.S. navy policy neither to confirm nor to deny the presence of nuclear weapons aboard their ships, but standard armament aboard these ships includes AS-ROC anti-submarine missiles, Terrier anti-ship missile, Tomahawk cruise missiles, and air-dropped nuclear bombs. Members of the B.C. Chapter have lobbied vigorously to end these visits. Our efforts were rewarded in March when the Vancouver City Council passed a resolution requesting that the Federal Government adhere to Canada’s declared policy of not permitting nuclear weapons on Canadian territory. As of this writing, Council has received no official reply.
The issue of warship visits has become still more timely as the result of two recent developments. One is that a number of such visits is planned to coincide with the Vancouver Sea Festival this July. This event sees tens of thousands of families flock to the harbour. Considering the increasing frequency of serious accidents on board U.S. warships, combined with recent revelations that past accidents have posed a much greater danger of nuclear contamination than had been believed, the issue of safety is urgent. The second development is the revelation that the U.S. Navy is planning a major exercise for the fall. Named PacEx89, it will practice sinking Soviet ballistic missile submarines in their Sea of Okhotsk bastion and attacking Soviet naval bases on the Kamchatka Peninsula. In the past, such exercises have caused the Soviets to place some of their forces on war alert. By allowing U.S. warships to enter our ports only a month before, we give our tacit approval to this act of folly. It may be even worse: in 1983 and 1986 Canadian ships joined similar exercises. We have not been able to determine whether they will join PacEx89.
The Vancouver Branch urges all members of Science for Peace to lobby the Government and their Member of Parliament to protest the visits of nuclear-capable warships to Canadian ports, and to urge the Government to dissociate itself from aggressive naval exercises which might threaten improving superpower relations.
Report from Toronto Chapter
The past year has been a busy one for the Toronto Chapter. In addition to our normal activities, we have assumed some additional responsibilities associated with the move of the National Executive to Vancouver. The Chapter executive has met 11 times during the year and three Newsletter have been issued to our members. Two items have dominated our discussions: the status of the National office with the National Executive now in Vancouver; how to revitalize the Chapter through new activities, through greater participation by the members, etc.
The Chapter continues to carry out its usual activities but new initiatives have met with little success. On the positive side we can report the following:
- a workshop was organized for the Summit Citizen’s Conference;
- the Science for Peace Lecture Series was reorganized and re-named as the Forum on Peace and Justice and continues to flourish;
- a small number of our members were heavily involved in the organization of the successful Workshop on Chemical and Biological Weapons;
- letters were sent to the Prime Minister, with copies to selected federal and provincial politicians as well as the press, over the signatures of the founding president of Science for Peace and the chapter chair concerning both tritium sales and cruise missile testing.
On the negative side we can mention:
- attempts to form discussion groups for members met with little response and had to be abandoned;
- a Media committee set up to monitor news events and to promote the use of the media by Science for Peace was not able to function effectively (members too busy) and was dissolved;
- a membership campaign, discussed since last summer, has not yet been initiated.
The Toronto Chapter has accepted the responsibility to monitor the activities of the National office and to see that the office would continue to function as normally as possible. It is apparent that Science for Peace has grown to a size that it cannot be run effectively on a volunteer basis. A permanent office with full-time help is required. The realization of this goal as soon as possible is of high priority for both the National organization and for this Chapter.
Jim King, President Toronto Chapter
Report of the Nominating Committee
The nominating committee pursued its task with the help of e-mail and occasionally the telephone. We sought advice from our local colleagues and from representatives of Science for Peace chapters in other geographical areas. Of the 50 Directors on the Board, 20 were finishing their terms this year and Derek Paul has resigned. Those who had been active were asked if they would stand again: some were willing and able to, others could not for good reasons. It is a good exercise to introduce new people on to the Board, and we attempted to do this, seeing our mission to be to increase
- the fraction of women,
- the fraction of Francophones, and
- the representation from geographical areas other than Ontario and B.C.
Accordingly, we nominate for election to the Board of Directors
- Donald Betts
- Phyllis Creighton
- Chandler Davis
- Eric Fawcett
- Helga Guderley
- George Ignatieff
- Angelo Mingarelli
- Joanna Miller
- Robert Russell
- Luis Sobrino
- George Spiegelman
- Michael Steinitz
- Gerhard Stroink
- Israel Unger
- John Valleau
- Alan Weatherley
- Robena Weatherley
- Francis Weil
- Janet Wood
We have managed to increase the number of women by one, which brings the number up to ten — still far short of a desirable 50% representation. We asked several of our female colleagues to stand, but they declined, not for lack of interest, but because they were committed to many other initiatives and causes. Women are a potent political force, long neglected, but now very significant, and consequently there is much competition in their recruitment. We note that the participation by women in Science for Peace is rather poor and possibly reflects their perception that the organization is dominated by physical scientists and therefore male dominated. An arguable solution to attract more women would be to broaden the base of the organization to include more non-faculty and non-scientists. The Francophone numbers and the representation from other Provinces have been modestly increased. We recommend to future Nominating Committees that they continue their efforts in all these regards.
We propose that the following ex-directors be elected to the Advisory Council:
- Christian Bay
- Gian Brenciaglia
- Myriam Fernandez
- Derek Paul
We also propose that the present Executive be re-elected, i.e.
President: Anthony Arrott
Vice President: George Spiegelman
Secretary: Vera Webb
Treasurer: James Foulks
We respectfully submit this report.
Brian Turrell (Chairman)
“The Demilitarized Society: Disarmament and Conversion”, by Seymour Melman. Harvest House, Montréal, 1988, 132 pp.
In preparation for a recent talk I gave on the effects of military research on research, I examined recent levels of funding supplied by DND to various Canadian sectors (these statistics are available in a pamphlet from CanStats). A surprising feature of the information derived was that the level of funding to the NRC labs decreased dramatically. At the same time funding to private industry labs increased dramatically. This reflects a program described in the government’s White Paper on Defense which indicated a major effort would be applied to “help domestic industry establish a technology base from which to meet the Canadian Forces requirements for new equipment, resupply and life-cycle support” (page 78).
These developments towards militarization of Canadian industry are certainly to be viewed with alarm. Anyone needing an insightful, lively basis for condemning these developments should read Dr. Melman’s latest work, a short book consisting of a series of papers delivered in 1987 and 1988.
In the first two chapters of the book Melman documents the decay in US industrial capacity. This is old news, however the key link to military development is not generally made (the US government transfers to the military budget between 1947 and 1987- $7,620 billion — were slightly more than the total value of man-made items in the US — termed the Fixed Reproducible Wealth). While this information is of interest to Canadians, it is less relevant to us than the remainder of the book which, although it deals with US politics, is clearly transferable across national boundaries. In Chapter 3, Melman examines how to build the anti-nuclear war movement into a “politically competent winning peace movement”. His key point is embodied in the question of what is peace and he elaborates his view that in the present “permanent war economy” we cannot call ourselves at peace, even in the absence of overt conflict.
A hallmark of Melman’s work is that he is willing to attempt solutions to the problems he has so clearly described and the rest of this book deals with these problems. The central feature of the solution is to make the economic link and to engage in long term planning. Furthermore Melman points out that there exists a rather large body of work which can form the basis for long term plans for disarmament and for economic conversion. This work should form the basis of the peace movement’s long term goals.
Later chapters deal with the set of laws which would be required for economic conversion to take place and to remain in place and with strategic factors for designing a disarmament process.
— George Spiegelman
Analysis vs. Action: Reviews of “Out of Weakness”, by A.B. Schmookler, and of “INFACT Brings GE to Light.”
These reviews have been paired for the very purpose of exaggerating a fundamental dichotomy in peace activism, between inward, analytical approaches and outward, action approaches. Andrew Schmookler’s (1988) Out of Weakness: Healing the Wounds that Drive Us to War (New York, Bantam Books) represents the first, and INFACT Brings GE to Light (INFACT, 256 Hanover St., Boston, 02113) represents the second.
Out of Weakness presents a social evolutionary theory that the biological drive behind war is not instincts but cultural ecology. Knowledge and technology drive us into stratified social institutions and induce in us psychologies,of power. Natural selection processes then evolve cultures that enhance and perpetuate intergroup conflict. We can achieve peace by understanding, overcoming and changing the enculturation of conflict in our own personalities and in human societies generally.
On the critical side, it is not hopeful to argue that our cultures and personalities are prone to war and that we only have to change these to achieve peace. Also, it is disheartening to see a revival of “social evolution,” which was the scientific rationalization for the Nazi extermination of Jews, Gypsies, and others in the 1930’s and 1940’s and which is held to justify racism in South Africa, Brazil, Australia, Canada, and many other parts of the world where “civilized” peoples are dispossessing and displacing aboriginal peoples. On the positive side, Out of Weakness is captivating reading as a personal essay, a statement of growth, an exploration of a difficult theme. It is well-crafted. Its discussions of honour and boundaries, of dualistic thinking and the dynamics of child rearing, of struggle and revelation, are provocative to say the least.
In contrast, INFACT Brings GE to Light was conceived, researched, written, published, and distributed by a collective of peace groups and peace activists. It presumes and appeals to our existing values of right and wrong. And it is unequivocally dualistic: As the first and foremost of the corporate perpetrators and profiteers of the military-industrial complex, GE is bad. The book does have revelation and it does propose struggle, but as matters of fact rather than mysticism. The goal is to change GE, not human nature, and to allow people to secure their beliefs through the concrete actions of boycott.
The power of INFACT Brings GE to Light is its facts. The names, dates, and documents are all there. Our peace and our very existence are threatened, our economy is undermined, and our politics are corrupted, all as a matter of GE corporate policy and corporate profits. For example, did you know that two of the GE Board of Directors wrote the 1968 Republican platform plank that the Soviet threat requires the development of the B-1 bomber, for which GE was to get a $1,580,000,000 contract? Did you know that a head of NASA, a Pentagon Director of Research and Development, a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a U.S. Attorney General, and President of the United States were or became GE employees? Did you know that GE has the largest number of corporate lobbyists in Washington and the largest number of illegal toxic waste sites in U.S.? Did you know that GE’s corporate empire began when J.P. Morgan made $100,000 during the Civil War through the sale of defective rifles? Did you know that GE was convicted for price fixing with the Nazi Krupp weapons industries during World War II? Did you know that it was GE in 1944 which first conceived and proposed the plan for a permanent peace-time war economy? Did you know that GE owns RCA, Kidder-Peabody, and NBC? Did you know that GE is an entire nuclear industry all by itself, from mines and refining, to reactors, neutron triggers, and nuclear bomb testing? Would you be interested in knowing how GE manipulates policy and public opinion through interlocking boards of directors, government advisory committees, revolving door employment, business and policy groups, PACS and honoraria, lobbyists, and private club social networks? It all appears in INFACT Brings GE to Light.
F. W. Rudman
Babst, D. & Schulter, M. (1989). “Suicidal Defenses: Radioactive Weapons”. Global Security Study No.5, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Santa Barbara, Cal.
The authors use the results (so far) of the Chernobyl power plant nuclear disaster as a unit for extrapolative illustrations of “the amount of radioactive fallout that could be released by different types of nuclear strikes … (assuming) … no retaliation (which could) of course mean far greater destruction.” The hard facts of Chernobyl’s aftermath are: at least 27 nearby towns too contaminated for human habitation; 31 dead, 135,000 evacuated; beef, mutton and dairy produce in Great Britain, Ireland,
Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands still contaminated; destruction of 100,000 reindeer carcases as unfit to eat in Sweden; expectant mothers in the most contaminated areas warned to adhere to strict diets. Chernobyl showed the unpredictability of radioactivity fallout patterns and “raises doubts about the ability of evacuation plans and modern medicine to cope.” With this dreadful record in mind — to which is added the even more ominous predictions of increase in European deaths from cancer ranging from several thousands to a million — Babst and Schulter consider the probable general effects of nuclear strikes in terms of comparable releases of radiation and fallout. Two examples will suffice here: If one of Britain’s Trident submarines were to launch its missiles (by intention or in error) the fallout would be of the order of 71-225 Chernobyls; if either the US or USSR were to launch a major strike (5,000 megatons), fallout would equal that from 18,500 Chernobyls.
One can hardly be thankful for Chernobyl. But as an illustration of the enormity that some appear able to contemplate, it must be insistently pointed to as the most concrete and horrific example of nuclear disaster since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It must also bring yet again into sharp focus the sweeping safety assertions of those intent on furthering the “peaceful use” of nuclear energy. Is it, can it be, by any human and humane yardstick, worth the risk?
In a second paper (Babst, D., 1989), “Overkill Capacity and Self-Assured Destruction (SAD)”, Global Security Study No.6, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Santa Barbara, Cal.), Babst again uses the Chernobyl example in pointing out the enormous “inflation” in nuclear arms that has occurred since the US Navy’s 1958-59 claim that a nuclear force of 464 warheads would provide “adequate deterrence” (the US and USSR now have 25,000 warheads each). President Jimmy Carter said in 1979, “Just one of our … Poseidon submarines — less than 2 percent of our total nuclear force … carries enough warheads to destroy every large and medium-size city in the Soviet Union,” Babst cogently asks such questions as the following: as the planned MX and Midgetman systems are estimated to cost $15 and $31 billion respectively, “… is there any of the research money for them being used to assess how much global cancer producing radioactive fallout each system will produce?” He also makes a point of immediate relevance to North Americans. As a consequence of Chernobyl, radioactivity in air, water and milk increased in the U.S., and was greatest in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California and Vermont. Death rates were higher than expected in these areas during the 4 months after Chernobyl. Lastly, Babst points out that the arms race has never been founded on logic but on the false psychological notions and suppositions, and fears of politico-military leaders. Thus, Robert McNamara: “the twenty-five thousand warheads … did not come about through any plan … (but) … through the indiscriminate applications of continuing technical innovations and the persistent failure to recognize that nuclear weapons are not weapons in any traditional sense.”
— Alan H. Weatherley
- Dorn, W. (1989). “An international monitoring agency for the Arctic.” Information North 15, (1), 1- 4. Reviews the possible role of the Canadian civilian satellite RADARSAT, soon to be launched in relation to Canada’s role in Arctic security; especially in relation to arms control. “Arctic arms control is an area in which Canada should play a primary role … (and) is one in which Canada can negotiate outside the shadow of the United States.”
- Nixon, R. (1988). ’1999 — Victory without war.” Pocket Books, 336 pp. It is hoped to have this reviewed for the Bulletin.
- Rapoport, A. (1988). “The study of conflict.” Canadian Papers in Peace Studies No.l. Science for Peace, Samuel Stevens, Toronto, 28 pp. Contents include — peace and conflict studies, the predicament of human extinction, enlightenment and causes of war, weapons addiction, re-education, strategic thinking, game theory, system theory.
- McMurtry, J. (1988). “Understanding War.” Canadian Papers in Peace Studies No.2. Science for Peace, Samuel Stevens, Toronto, 68 pp. A critical essay which confronts the problem of understanding war, in terms of basic fallacies of the military paradigm, the “self” of national self-defense, identifying the national purpose and the national “enemy”, discovering the “just war” (e.g. war on disease, hunger, etc.), modes of war (from genocide to liberation), the political economy of militarism.
- Griffiths, F. (1988). “The Arctic as an international political region.” Canadian Papers in Peace Studies No.3. Science for Peace, Samuel Stevens, Toronto, 24 pp. Discusses and defines the nature of the Arctic as a region, Arctic regional development and policy implications.
- Kennedy, P. (1988). ‘The rise and fall of the great powers: Economic change and military conflict from 1500 to 2000.” Unwin Hyman, London, 677 pp.
The following publications are available from the Publications office (write to Derek Paul, Physics Dept., Univ. of Toronto, Toronto M5S1A7):
- “Offensive Light Infantry Forces at Fort Drum, New York: Why should Canadians care?” by Floyd W. Rudmin, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University.
- Forthcoming in July: Canadian Papers in Peace Studies 1989 No.1 “Militarism and the Quality of Life” by Alex Michalos, Professor of Philosophy, University of Guelph.
- April 1989 Workshop on the Control of Chemical and Biological Weapons: Recommendations developed by the Workshop; 3pp.
- Wm. Epstein, “The Linkage between a Nuclear Test Ban and Nuclear Non-Proliferation”, 2Opp.
- Third International Castigioncello Conference — “Nuclear Arsenals Reductions: Perspective and Consequences” September 22-25, 1989, Livorno, Italy. Information from Francesco Lenci (USPID Secretary General), c/o CNR Instituto di Biofisica; Via San Lorenzo, 26-56127 Pisa, Italy. Phone: (39-50) 513111. Fax: (39-50)501836. Limited to 120 participants. Letters of Application before August 15, 1989.
- “The Technologies of arms-control verification — a short course for non-scientists” September 18- 22, 1989, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of London. Queries to Dr. Jeremy Leggett; Registration; Pamela Manser; both, Tel. 01-589-5111, Telex 929 484, Fax 01-584-7596.
- International Peace Bureau (IPB), Annual Conference 1989, Brighton, U.K. September 1-2: “New Opportunities, new strategies: peace in an interdependent world.” Information, or to register: Conference Sec., Anna Rehin, 30 Prince Edwards Road, Lewes, Sussex, BN7 1BE, UK. (Tel 0273 476358); registration by July 27.
- “Eighth Convention for European Nuclear Disarmament”, Victoria-Gasteiz, Spain. Details from Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, 0602-784504.
- “Ethical Choices in the Age of Pervasive Technology — A World Conference”, October 25-29, 1989. Enquiries to University School of Continuing Education, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Tel (519) 824-4120 ext. 5196; Tel. registration ext. 3957; FAX 1-519-767-0758, before October 15, 1989.
- The Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility is holding an International Symposium on energy and sustainable development at the Botanical Garden, Montréal 14-17 Sept. 1989. Discount rates prior to 1 Aug: $50, or $25 for students and non-salaried. For information write C.P. 236 Succursale Snowden, Montréal H3X 3T4.
Full text version of all articles from PDF edition is also available.