WHAT'S NEW IN INES?
Dateline: September 8, 2001
This is the weekly electronic information service of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility
Editor: Tobias Damjanov, e-mail:
WNII is archived at: http://inesglobal.org/archive.htm
INES homepages: http://inesglobal.org http://www.inesglobal.com/
INES International Office
INES Chair: Prof. Armin Tenner [Please note that the first "1" in q18 is the number one, while the last "l" is an "L"]
CONTENTS of WNII No. 35/2001
From the Editor
Dear WNII readers,
Again, I have to apologize for the delayed mailing of this WNII issue. Seemingly, my INES-owned computer equipment is aging, i.e. crashes become a day-by-day business. Also, my university-based server is going somewhat nuts sometimes, I am afraid: Last week, I could get into the Internet but was not able to send or receive emails. For two days, I even could not log in at all. As a result, I am faced with literally hundreds of email messages after one week which I have to check as to what might be of interest for the forthcoming WNII issue.
Hope you understand.
Yours, Tobias Damjanov WNII Editor
MEMBERSHIP AND PROJECTS' NEWS
"An Ethical Career in Science and Technology?"
On the eve of Science Year, Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) UK has launched its new booklet "An Ethical Career in Science and Technology?" challenging UK Science to take much greater responsibility for the consequences of its work.
An SGR press release stated that UK science and technology is dominated by commerce, much of which is arguably inconsistent with goals of social justice and environmental sustainability e.g. arms development and manufacture, fossil fuel extraction, increasing aircraft and car use, and intensive agriculture.
With the launch of "An Ethical Career in Science and Technology?" SGR is trying to encourage a shift in the direction and thinking of UK science and engineering.
SGR Chair Dr. Stuart Parkinson was quoted as saying: "Too much of the scientific agenda is decided by narrow commercial and military interests, whilst ethical concerns are sidelined. With 'An Ethical Career in Science and Technology?' SGR is furthering its mission of making ethics an integral and high profile aspect of science, and calls on the UK government to likewise reflect this in its Science Year project."
The support for such a shift is reflected by the prominence of the contributors to the booklet, who include
- Professor Sir Joseph Rotblat, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate,
- Dr. Tim Berners-Lee, major architect of the World Wide Web,
- Dr. Mae Wan Ho, Director of the Institute of Science in Society (I-SIS).
The need for such a shift is also evident in interviews reported in the booklet with scientists who have had to deal with ethical problems in their work: "In the end I can't see how true scientists can serve two masters: the search for truth and pursuit of profit." (Edward Milner, P.9)
The booklet discusses the wider ethical concerns of employment, and how to deal with ethical dilemmas that may arise, as well as more specific issues such as genetics, climate change, arms, militarisation of space, animal experiments, cleaner technology, information technology, sustainability, and science funding. It also provides views and comments given in a number of interviews with scientists who have encountered moral dilemmas in their work.
SGR UK will distribute copies of the booklet to all Careers Offices and Student Unions in Universities across the UK.
The booklet is downloadable at: http://www.sgr.org.uk/ethics.html
Printed copies can be ordered from:
USA: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), The Sunflower, No. 52, September 2001
Back issues: http://www.wagingpeace.org/sf/backissues.html Events are listed at: http://www.wagingpeace.org/calendar/events_current.html
The September issue of The Sunflower covers the following:
To read "The Sunflower", please send an email to Carah Lynn Ong, Director of Research and Publications: or go to: http://www.wagingpeace.org/sf/index.html (The newsletter is also now available in pdf format online)
SPECIAL SECTION ON US MISSILE DEFENSE POLICY
"Beyond Missile Defense: Countering Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction" (Source: Nuclear Policy Project Flash, Volume 3, Number 30, August 6, 2001) http://www.brookings.edu/comm/policybriefs/pb86.htm or: http://www.brookings.edu/comm/policybriefs/pb86.pdf
Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, writes in a new policy brief (Policy Brief #86 - August 2001) that while the Bush administration has rightly observed the need for missile defense and the inadequacy of the 1972 ABM Treaty, it is myopically approaching the dangers facing the US by ignoring other types of threats. To protect against other terrorist threats, O'Hanlon argues in favor of intelligence, infrastructure and border policy improvements. He states that if the Bush administration decides to pursue an ambitious system, it will drive the PRC and Russia to do things that will complicate the US strategic outlook while also creating domestic budgetary problems. He states that a Global Protection Against Limited Strikes, or GPALS, system (as envisioned by the first George Bush administration) might cost $120 billion to $150 billion to develop and deploy, or, $7 billion per year over twenty years, a $5 billion per year increase. O'Hanlon argues in favor of spending portions of the $5 billion increase instead on meeting other threats the US may face. He concludes, "A balanced, multi-faceted agenda for countering a variety of threats to the United States-including but not limited to defense against long-range missiles-makes more sense than an overly ambitious missile defense system."
The article in full is also available as an rtf-formatted email attachment from the WNII Editor.
"Reframing the Debate on Missile Defenses"
This is an article by Dan Plesch , currently a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, specializing in U.S. security policy. Until September 1, 2001, he was director of the British American Security Information Council, which analyzes defense policy.
His article is available from: http://www.fpif.org/commentary/0108nuctreaty.html or: http://www.fpif.org/pdf/gac/0108nuctreaty.pdf
Also, it is available as an rtf-formatted email attachment from the WNII Editor
Missile shield plans and the Middle East (Source: BITS' NEWS-Press-Report 2001.33, 7 September 2001)
The United States is studying a plan for a missile defense system in the Middle East in cooperation with its regional allies, according to Mohammed Hassanein Heikal, a prominent Egyptian journalist. Reporting in the monthly Wejhat Nazar, he said the plan was raised in an 80-page report submitted recently to US President George W. Bush, which was entitled "Navigation through turbulence."
The system recommended would start being deployed in association with the Gulf Cooperation Council, which groups Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Egypt, Jordan and Turkey would be encouraged to join the system later when circumstances permit, he said, quoting from the report. Israel would also be involved at some point.
The report called for encouraging Turkey and Jordan and other friendly countries to use the Arrow missile, which is made in Israel in cooperation with the United States, Heikal said. Heikal's article did not say which potential enemies the system would shield against but US officials frequently raise the specter of threats from Iraq and Iran.
Conference on Sustainable Food Security (Report)
The International Conference on Sustainable Food Security for All by 2020 was held at Bonn, Germany, from 4-6 September 2001. The conference was organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and its 2020 Vision Initiative, in collaboration with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the German Foundation for International Development (DSE-ZEL) in cooperation with the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ-BEAF). Over 800 participants attended the meeting, including heads of state, government ministers and other senior officials, as well as representatives of academic and research institutions, United Nations bodies, intergovernmental organizations, business and industry, non-governmental organizations, and the media. Young people and developing country farmers were also in attendance.
A comprehensive Summary Report of this conference has been published in the "Earth Negotiations Bulletin" (Volume 58, Number 01-3), which is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.
Coverage of the conference can also be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/sd/Food_Related/SDCGI/
Andreas Toupadakis: Why Scientists Need Encouragement Today
WNII reader Andreas Toupadakis has sent in this very interesting article which unfortunately is one the one hand much too lengthy to be published in full her. One the other hand, its contents would be considerably distorted if edited. So, "Why Scientists Need Encouragement Today" is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.
5th UNCTAD/Earth Council Policy Forum on Trade and Climate Change
The 5th UNCTAD/Earth Council Policy Forum on Trade and Climate Change: the State of the Greenhouse Gas Market took place from 29- 31 August 2001 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The meeting brought together over 300 executives, officials and representatives from the private and public sector in over 30 countries. The Forum was organized jointly by UNCTAD and the Earth Council, in conjunction with the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA).
A comprehensive Summary Report of this conference has been published in the "Earth Negotiations Bulletin" (Volume 56, Number 01/3 September, 2001), which is available from the WNII Editor as an rtf-formatted email attachment.
Coverage of the conference can also be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/climate/riopolforum/index.html
Global Military Spending Rose 8% In 2000 After Steady Decline Following Cold War (Source: BITS' NEWS-Press-Report 2001.33, 7 September 2001: WallStreetJournal.com August 30, 2001)
Global military spending is rising at an alarming rate after years of decline following the end of the Cold War a decade ago: "The highest rates of increase, once again, were in countries with enormous unmet social and economic needs in Africa and south Asia," Undersecretary- General for Disarmament Affairs Jayantha Dhanapala said.
He quoted figures released in June by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute that reported that military spending by the world's nations rose to US$798 billion in 2000 from $780 billion in 1999. "All together, arms sales to developing countries exceeded $36 billion last year, an increase of 8 percent," Mr. Dhanapala said at Macquarie University in Sydney. (..) The U.S. sold almost half the weapons purchased last year by developing countries, followed by Russia, France, Germany, Britain and China, the U.S. Congressional Research reported earlier this month. The three leading purchasers were the United Arab Emirates, India and South Korea.
According to the Stockholm Institute, there were 25 major armed conflicts in the world last year -- 23 of them inside poor countries "that could least afford such a tragic waste of precious human life and scarce economic resources," Mr. Dhanapala said. "The tragedy of these numbers becomes all the more apparent when we consider that half the world struggles to survive on less than $2 per day," he said. (..)
Yet today, some 30,000 nuclear weapons reportedly remain in arsenals around the world, many on hair-trigger alert, he said. There are also an estimated 550 million small arms in circulation around the world. (..) "A new phase of the global nuclear-arms race -- likely to be accompanied by a missile race and the weaponization of space -- is another risk, now that the future of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty is in jeopardy as a result of the stated intention of the U.S. to withdraw as a party," Mr. Dhanapala said. (..)
INES WEB AND E-MAIL SERVICE
All INES e-mail addresses and homepages are available upon request from:
New Website: INESAP/NAPF Project "Moving Beyond Missile Defense" (Source: "The Sunflower" No 52/September 2001)
Current plans to build missile defense systems against the projected "missile threat" pose serious problems in the coming years for international security and stability; arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament. "Moving Beyond Missile Defense," a joint project of the International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation (INESAP) and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), is developing alternatives to the emerging missile race.
The Project has now launched its own website at: http://www.mbmd.org
New email: INES Council member Hugo Estrella
Please note that INES Council member Hugo Estrella has the following new email address:
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