Author: Oregon PeaceWorks

How We Could Use Peace and Diplomacy to Break the Cycle of Insecurity

ROGER PEACE – Continuation of the current system of big power competition and rival blocs bodes ill for the future. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has set its “doomsday clock” at 100 seconds to midnight, closer than it has ever been, based on nuclear and global warming threats, an indication of how close humanity is to “destroying our world with dangerous technologies of our own making.” Moving toward mutual security and cooperation will set the clock back and allow humanity to move forward. 

Get Mad About Nuclear Madness

DAVID SWANSON – But right now there’s not a single U.S. Congress Member seriously sticking their neck out for peace, much less a caucus or a party. Lesser evil voting will always have the strength of logic it has, but none of the choices on any of the ballots includes human survival — which merely means that — just as throughout history — we need to do more than voting. What we can’t do is allow our madness to become meanness, or our awareness to become fatalism, or our frustration to become a shifting of responsibility. This is all of our responsibility, whether we like it or not. But if we do our very best, working in community, with a vision of a peaceful and nuclear free world before us, I think we just might find the experience likable. If we can form pro-peace communities everywhere like the one we’ve been part of this morning, we can make peace.

Putin, Biden Not Trying Hard Enough to Avoid World War III

BRAD WOLF – We have it within our means to not only “avoid World War III,” but to fundamentally change the world and create an enhanced quality of life for all. We have “weapons” of our own, nonviolent and effective. Hopefully, we will unite and realize the power we have before we all are boiled alive. There is literally no time like the present.

Active Today or Radioactive Tomorrow?

ROBERT MOORE – It’s not too soon to conclude that continued reliance on nuclear energy to generate electricity can be weaponized, as we never know when a plant might become a military target. If a conventionally powered power plant had an accident or became a military base, the area near it could recover. That’s just not the case with nuclear energy.

Stick to your guns? No, stick to your songs

BRAD WOLF – The resolution to endless war just might be found in the eternal mystery of music, its ability to attract, to rebuild, to connect. It calls to something deeper than reason, since too often we can reason ourselves into or out of anything we wish. It offers the chance to regain our fundamental nature, a trading of swords for symphonies. Why not Bach? Why not his “Prelude”? And after Bach, on to Liszt. Once we quietly listen, we may come out the other side and remember who we truly are.

Nine Stupid Nations

WINSLOW MYERS – “Stupid” is the most harsh and humiliating adjective that can be flung at a person, let alone a nation-state. What’s the usual response to being called stupid? Nothing positive. We just go into reaction and resistance. I’m sorry, but there is no other word to describe the obstinate refusal of the nuclear powers to cooperate to dismantle their nuclear arsenals even as the climate emergency sweeps across the world.

Is Curiosity the New Form of Patriotism?

MELINDA BURRELL – In our dynamic world, we need to get comfortable with complexity. Good solutions to our myriad problems require it. Is that the 21st century version of patriotism? If we love our country and want to help it succeed, is our best tool our choice to be inquisitive about people and issues?

Despite the Cultural Differences, There’s Common Ground Between Boomers and Zoomers

DR. JOSEPH PRESTON BARATTA – Dr. Baratta identifies himself as a member of the Love Generation―those Americans who reached adulthood in the Sixties―and he is sometimes asked what he would tell the young people in Generation Z (born since 1996), who feel that their concerns about climate change and other pressing global challenges are not being heard by their government or the United Nations. He reaches out to Gen Zer’s, and his analysis provides some answers.

Disinformation Threatens Our Democracy

DR. ARNOLD OLIVER – If Confucius were still around he might well have plenty to say about the English language in general, and our political lexicon in particular. A number of the terms commonly used in American politics conceal more than they reveal and seem almost designed to confuse.

Some Public Relations and Ad Firms are Refusing Fossil Fuel Clients

SUZANNE BEARNE – In 2019, Ms Ventura’s feelings started to shift when she decided to certify her business as a so-called “B Corp” organization. This is a global certification scheme whereby firms aim to meet the best possible social and environmental standards. “As a B company, we know that in order to fulfill our corporate purpose we cannot turn a blind eye to these questions: Who am I selling to? What am I selling? Will I be proud of what I am selling in 10 years?,” says Ms Ventura.

Ukraine Crisis: Background of US Involvement

RICK STERLING – There are significant parallels between the international crises in Cuba in 1962 and Ukraine today.  Both involved intense confrontations between the USA and the Soviet Union or Russia. Both involved third party countries on the doorstep of a major power.  The Cuban Missile Crisis threatened to lead  to WW3,  just as the Ukraine crisis does today.

It’s Time to Stop the MAD-ness! 

JOHN MIKSAD – Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed 77 years ago this week. The two bombs the United States dropped on those cities killed some 200,000 human beings, most of whom were civilians. Comparing those bombs to the weapons of today is like comparing a colonial era musket to an AR-15. Now we can snuff out the lives of billions with the push of a button. When you consider the other species we’d annihilate, the number of lives lost “mushrooms” into the trillions. The result would be the destruction of a large portion of life on the planet. 

Why Is There More Media Talk About Using Nuclear Weapons Than About Banning Them?

KARL GROSSMAN – It’s of critical importance—indeed, existential importance—to the world: the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. And a coalition of peace organizations in the United States is charging that media are acting like the treaty “does not exist.” The Nuclear Ban Treaty Collaborative is waging a campaign to encourage press coverage of the treaty, which, it argues, “provides the only pathway to a safe, secure future free of the nuclear threat” (Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance Newsletter, 6/22).

Limitations on DACA Program Reveal “Constricted Moral Vision”

ANDREW MOSS – A gross injustice against young immigrants is slowly working its way through the courts. It centers upon a federal judge’s ruling last year that the DACA Program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was “unlawful,” a ruling that puts in doubt a program that has given tens of thousands of young people brought here as children a temporary, renewable reprieve from deportation. Judge Andrew Hanen’s ruling allowed existing DACA recipients to apply for two-year renewals while the court case moves through appeals, but it prohibits approval of any new applications. 

Manchin Poison Pills Buried in Inflation Reduction Act Will Destroy a Livable Planet

THE CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY – A proposed climate and energy package would require massive oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, reinstate an illegal 2021 Gulf lease sale and mandate that millions more acres of public lands be offered for leasing before any new solar or wind energy projects could be built on public lands or waters.

Climate Change: If you want to know who changed Manchin’s mind–you did

BILL MCKIBBEN – For decades now, when asked about the point of one climate protest or another, I’ve usually said something to the effect of: we fight to change the zeitgeist, people’s sense of what is normal and natural and obvious. Yes, we fight to block this pipeline or divest that pension fund, and each of those is important: but they add up to something more, a slowly moving weight that eventually shifts from one side to the other. That’s what happened last night when Joe Manchin caved. Now the Senate finally—for the first time in more than three decades—seems set to pass actual serious climate legislation.

The War in Ukraine Underscores the Need to Strengthen the International Security System

LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – The Ukraine war and the response to it are profoundly troubling. Russia’s military assault upon its neighbor clearly constitutes a major war of aggression that shares many features with such wars of the past. Neither the Russian peace movement nor the Western peace movement has been able to affect it—the former because of government repression and the latter because of divisions within is ranks. Consequently, the war has already been immensely destructive and might well become far more so. As in the past, this kind of tragic situation illustrates the necessity for an effective international security system. Although the United Nations is supposed to provide that system, it lacks authority to do so thanks to the crippling control the great powers have exercised over the world organization. Therefore, the Ukraine war highlights the need to strengthen the United Nations as a force for peace.

‘Public Pressure Works’: Postal Service To Boost Electric Vehicle Purchases After Backlash

KENNY STANCIL – Pressure from progressive advocacy groups and lawmakers bore fruit on Wednesday, July 20, when the U.S. Postal Service announced that it would be making 40% of its new delivery vehicles electric, up from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s initial plan to electrify just 10% of the mail agency’s aging fleet.

Weaning the State Department from War-Making

RALPH NADER – Other than being an adjunct booster of overseas Pentagon military operations and refortifying its vulnerable embassies, what does the U.S. State Department stand for and do anymore? Sometimes it’s hard to see much difference with the much larger Department of Defense (DOD). Its more belligerent statements or threats since Bill and Hillary Clinton’s days have made the DOD sound almost circumspect.

Financial Sector Addresses Meeting on Nuclear Ban Treaty

ICAN: INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS – For the first time ever investors were directly represented at a conference of parties to a humanitarian disarmament treaty. The Italian asset manager Etica Funds, on behalf of a group of 37 investors presented a group statement to the first meeting of states parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

We Are Witnesses to the Best and the Worst of Human Aspirations

WINSLOW MYERS – We can look upward and outward from the echo-chamber of despair, greed, fear, and cynicism that mark our era. We can dare to set new planetary goals—feeding all the hungry, finding homes and work for refugees, demonstrating the advantages of representational government, and deploying the technologies of wind, solar, and battery to move beyond fossil fuels. The scientists that pulled off the Webb have provided the most powerful possible example of setting a high goal and then learning how to work together to achieve it.

Grassroots Organizing Should Dump Biden and Clear the Path for a Better Nominee in 2024

NORMAN SOLOMON – It’s time to create a grassroots groundswell that can compel Joe Biden to give public notice — preferably soon — that he won’t provide an assist to Republican forces by trying to extend his presidency for another four years. A pledge to voluntarily retire at the end of his first term would boost the Democratic Party’s chances of getting a stronger and more progressive ticket in 2024 — and would convey in the meantime that Democratic candidates and the Biden presidency are not one and the same.

Can Biden Make Lemonade out of Lemons on his Middle East Jaunt?

KEVIN MARTIN – This week’s trip by President Joe Biden to Israel, Palestine and Saudi Arabia offers several opportunities to “go big.” With his critical domestic agenda mostly stalled at home, his trip to the Middle East offers potentially historic opportunities for foreign policy breakthroughs that would dramatically increase regional and global peace and security. The president should go big and go bold, and add at least one stop to his itinerary – Tehran. He has several opportunities to make some lemonade out of lemons, if he displays unusual boldness.

The Illusion of Military Dominance

KEVIN MARTIN and BRAD WOLF – We posit no sexy title for our strategy. Peace, and only peace. That’s it. We can split the atom and rocket to the stars. Surely we can resolve our disputes without incinerating each other. We need set our minds, money, and resources to it. Dominance is for tyrants. It must fall and humanity must prevail. Peace is everything.

French Nuclear Power Crisis Frustrates Europe’s Push to Quit Russian Energy

LIZ ALDERMAN – Outages at EDF, Europe’s biggest electricity exporter, have sent France’s nuclear power output tumbling to its lowest level in nearly 30 years, pushing French electric bills to record highs just as the war in Ukraine is stoking broader inflation. Instead of pumping vast amounts of electricity to Britain, Italy and other European countries pivoting from Russian oil, France faces the unsettling prospect of initiating rolling blackouts this winter and having to import power.

European Parliamentarian from Ireland Presents the Peace View on Ukraine

CLARE DALY and JAMES W. CARDEN – [Stunning and invaluable perspectives are presented in the interview you are about to read.] Two weeks ago the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted to approve Ukraine’s candidacy for membership in the European Union. Only days before, the EU- and NATO- member state Lithuania enacted a blockade of Russia’s Eastern European enclave, Kaliningrad. Meantime, Russia’s military gains in eastern Ukraine have been met with ever more promises of Western aid for Ukraine. To discuss these and other developments, on Thursday, June 23rd, I spoke with Clare Daly, a courageous and outspoken member of the European Parliament from Ireland, and a stalwart opponent of the trans-Atlantic militarist consensus that has both Washington and the European Parliament in Brussels firmly in its grip.

Offshore Wind Installations Surged Threefold Last Year

MARIA GALLUCCI – Offshore wind power is surging around the world as countries adopt ambitious clean energy policies and as wind equipment costs decline. That growth is expected to explode over the next decade, even as the industry faces supply-chain snags and other headwinds. Those are the main takeaways from two new reports charting the recent progress and future trajectory of global offshore wind development.

3 Oil Companies Pull Out of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

OLIVIA ROSANE – Three oil companies have canceled their leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. “These exits clearly demonstrate that international companies recognize what we have known all along: drilling in the Arctic Refuge is not worth the economic risk and liability that results from development on sacred lands without the consent of Indigenous Peoples,” the Gwich’in Steering Committee said in a statement.