Dr. Vandana Shiva is a physicist, ecologist, activist, editor, and author of many books. In India she has established Navdanya, a movement for biodiversity conservation and farmers` rights. She directs the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy. Her books include Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge, Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply, and her newest, Soil Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis. Shiva has been awarded several awards for her efforts including the Right Livelihood Award and the United Nations Environment Program [UNEP] Global 500 Award in 1993, and most recently the 2010 City of Sydney Peace Prize.
JOHN WARNER and Paul Anastas are the founders of green chemistry and co-authors of Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice, in which, they establish 12 guiding principles for chemists. In 1996 Warner left a lucrative job at Polaroid to found the nation's first doctoral program in green chemistry, and in 2007 he founded Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, an innovation incubator, in Wilmington, Mass.
Green Chemistry is a revolutionary approach to the way that products are made; it is a science that aims to reduce or eliminate the use and/or generation of hazardous substances in the design phase of materials development. It requires an inventive and interdisciplinary view of material and product design. Green Chemistry follows the principle that it is better to consider waste prevention options during the design and development phase than to dispose or treat waste after a process or material has been developed.
We're hearing a lot about the trouble Europe is in. The debt crisis in Greece, and perhaps Spain, Portugal, and Italy, is threatening the Euro and the European Union. What's really going on? How did it happen? How bad is it? How will they deal with it? And what does it mean for the rest of the world and for the US in particular?
We'll deal with those issues this Sunday, but that's not all. While the bad news of this Euro crisis makes headlines in the US, a quiet and successful revolution taking place in Europe does not. Europe seems to be finding a way to make capitalism and democracy work for people, not just for corporations. I think this is a critical unreported story in terms of its potential impact. Here's just a few things you may not have heard about.
The European Union, 27 member nations with a half billion people, has become the largest, wealthiest trading bloc in the world, producing nearly a third of the world's economy - nearly as large as the U.S. and China combined. Europe has more Fortune 500 companies than either the US, China or Japan.
European nations are rated by the World Health Organization as having the best health care systems in the world. Yet they spend far less than the United States for universal coverage, even as U.S. health care is ranked 37th.
Europe leads in confronting global climate change with renewable energy technologies like solar and wind power, conservation and "green design," creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the process. Consequently, Europe's ecological "footprint" (the amount of the earth's capacity that a population consumes) is about half that of the United States for the same standard of living.
Could the consequences of the Gulf oil spill end up as catastrophic as Chernobyl?
Just because we have the power, the technological know how, and the financial incentive to tap into a huge and powerful stream of crude oil a mile under the ocean, and pull that oil up through that ocean to the surface - does that in any way mean we should do it?
How is it that we humans do such things? How is it that this society at this moment is willing to act with such hubris and such arrogance and ultimately so little wisdom.
Here we are engaged in a nearly ten year war in Afghanistan, a nearly eight year war in Iraq, a collapse of our financial systems here and abroad, in which the life's work of millions of families has been wiped out, and where money that could have been used to deal with enormous problems we face around the globe has basically gone to conspicuous consumption of a small rapacious elite and otherwise disappeared.
Thomas Homer Dixon has written a couple of books one entitled THE INGENUITY GAP in which he asks whether we have the ingenuity to solve the problems created by our ingenuity. In that book he basically was hopeful that we do. In his next book THE UPSIDE OF DOWN, he had become a bit more cautious, and predicted that even if we do, we were unlikely to turn things around until we crashed. Are we now witnessing and participating in that crash?
In AMANDA LITTLE'S new book, POWER TRIP, she travels thousands of miles looking at the past and future of energy and she ends up optimistic. I'm going to ask her to share what she's learned and why she feels that way.
Joseph Cirincione joined Ploughshares Fund as president in March 2008. He is author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons and served previously as senior vice president for national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress and as director for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for eight years. He worked for nine years in the U.S. House of Representatives as a professional staff member of the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Government Operations, and served as staff director of the bipartisan Military Reform Caucus. He teaches at the Georgetown University Graduate School of Foreign Service and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
His previous books include two editions of Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Threats, (2005 and 2002), and previous reports include Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security (co-author, March 2005) and WMD in Iraq (co-author, January 2004). He is the author of over 200 articles on defense issues, the producer of two DVDs on proliferation, the former publisher of the comprehensive proliferation website, Proliferation News, and is a frequent commentator in the media. In the past two years has delivered over 150 speeches around the world and appeared in the 2006 award-winning documentary, Why We Fight.
Cirincione is an expert adviser to the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, chaired by former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry and former Secretary of Energy and Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger. He also serves as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism, headed by former Senator Bob Graham (D-FL) and former Senator Jim Talent (R-MO).