Peace Bus Arrives! Thirteen young Canadians and two leaders came to visit our site. The Peace Bus, sponsored by CISV, takes youth across Canada to learn about peace organizations and to volunteer at different events. They will soon be on their way to Prince Edward Island.
Nature Conservancy of Canada announces 83-hectare acquisition on Pugwash Estuary & the Chignecto Isthmus
Nature Conservancy of Canada announces 83-hectare acquisition PUGWASH – More than 80 hectares of land on the Pugwash Estuary and the Chignecto Isthmus have been acquired for conservation by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).
© Andrew Wagstaff - cumberlandnewsnow
Among those on hand in Pugwash for the unveiling of three new Nature Conservancy of Canada properties on July 16 were (from left) NCC Nova Scotia program director Craig Smith, Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane, Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong, John Carabaris and Bonnie Bond from the Friends of the Pugwash Estuary.
“With the protection of these properties, NCC’s land assembly at Pugwash Estuary takes another step forward as the largest assembly of private conservation lands along the Northumberland Strait,” said Craig Smith, Nova Scotia program director with the NCC. “We have been very pleased to work with landowners from the region who are supportive of our mission and our work to protect the incredible diversity and beauty of the Pugwash Estuary area. We are also pleased to expand the Chignecto Isthmus project, continuing our progress in building a wilderness corridor.”
The NCC now protects 455 hectares (1,124 acres) along the Pugwash Estuary, including 15 km of undeveloped shoreline that is prime habitat for wildlife species such as Canada Goose, Green-winged Teal, American Black Duck, Common Merganser, Bufflehead and Great Blue Heron, thanks in large part to the eelgrass on the muddy bottom of the estuary and the fish it attracts. Twenty-seven species of shorebirds also pass through the region.
The NCC also now owns 1,053 hectares (2,600 acres) in the Chignecto Isthmus to help maintain an ecological link between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick – a project that has gained international headlines as “The Moose Sex Project” – as a crucial protective corridor for many wildlife species such as bobcat, bear, moose and the provincially endangered Canada lynx.
Two of these projects came about through partial property donations to the NCC under the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program, which provides enhanced tax incentives for individuals or corporations who donate ecologically significant land.
Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong announced $140,000 of federal funding for the project from the Natural Area Conservation Plan on behalf of Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq.
“We really believe that conserving some of these really ecologically sensitive areas is really good for the economy as well,” said Armstrong. “If you look Pugwash, one of the biggest industries here is the retirement and summer cottage industry. A lot of people come here for tourism, they like to get back to nature.”
From nuclear bombs to killer robots: how amoral technologies become immoral weapons 27 August 2014 Emma Hansen
From nuclear bombs to killer robots: how amoral technologies become immoral weapons
27 August 2014
Until now, the first use of any new military technology has been extrajudicial in the purest sense, because no laws in existence govern such a situation. There has invariably been an interval of time during which a technologically inventive nation could operate with impunity.
The treaties adopted after World War I to govern aerial bombing, which were themselves reactionary, were suddenly insufficient when the Manhattan Project reached completion. The nuclear bomb presented a series of difficult legal questions—when generations of citizens, yet unborn, are deeply affected by any nuclear detonation, how is one to apply the principle of proportionality?—but an overwhelming desire to end World War II prohibited an impartial interpretation of international law.
Internationally-minded scientists who had worked on the bomb raised cries of lament, many of which are documented in the early issues of the Bulletin. More widespread, though, was an atmosphere of celebration: The war was over! With this celebration came acceptance of the strange new weapons that had brought a decisive end to the war and saved countless American lives, or so the story went. For the American public, the introduction of nuclear weapons was inextricably linked with Allied victory, making it difficult to view the weapons as immoral. Only later would revisionist historians cast doubt on the political impact of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings; only later would international law be interpreted with greater sobriety. The war may have been over, but with its end came the menace of a weapon whose debilitating effects on global security have not faded.
Because technologically advanced countries typically enjoy political and economic power, nations inventing new weapons are often able to shape the relevant international legal framework. This trend has continued with the introduction of emerging technologies since 1945.
Lethal drones. The first use of lethal force by unmanned aerial vehicles, like the first use of nuclear weapons, occurred in a climate of crisis. Following 9/11, President George W. Bush ordered the CIA to defeat Osama bin Laden by any means necessary. Bush relied on the newly introduced Authorization for Use of Military Force, which gave him sweeping powers and made any application of force acceptable by domestic legal standards. It was public knowledge that a CIA drone program was preparing to deploy Predator unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with antitank missiles, and that Al Qaeda posed an immediate threat to American security. The crisis mandated decisive action. American citizens probably did not anticipate that their government’s agencies would continue the drone strikes for more than a decade, or that they would target humans who could not be considered imminent threats to national security.
“Canadian Pugwash, Existential Threats to Humanity, and the 60th Anniversary of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto”
“Canadian Pugwash, Existential Threats to Humanity,
and the 60th Anniversary of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto”
The Lobster Factory, Thinkers Lodge
11 July 2015
Sandra Ionno Butcher
Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
On 9 July 2005 I spoke to Joseph Rotblat for the last time. It was the 50th anniversary of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, that famous message from some of the world’s leading scientists from both East and West which called out from the depths of the Cold War for people to wake up to the dangers of the nuclear age. That Manifesto would lead creative thinkers to Cyrus Eaton’s doorstep here in Pugwash, Nova Scotia. That Manifesto gave birth to the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, the organization with which Rotblat later shared the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize.
Rotblat’s prize hangs here in Thinkers Lodge, as Jo Rotblat intended, so that all who come to this place will gain inspiration from those early pioneers of the nuclear age. That medal is a reminder to us all of the work yet to be done to fulfil the mission set forward when Einstein added his signature to the Manifesto in what would be the final public act of his life. That medal is a reminder that great accomplishments can come when we work together in creative ways. The work set in motion with that signature and those of the other brave scientists who added their good names to the Manifesto continues today in various forms in some of the world’s leading hotspots, still drawing together the world’s leading thinkers around “the Pugwash table” – in a format and a process now recognized worldwide as a symbol of dialogue with purpose, in the hope that we might yet eliminate one of the greatest threats to humanity.
The Manifesto’s core challenges, now 60 years old this week, are very much on my mind as we sum up these days of discussion here at this Canadian Pugwash meeting: We have to learn to think in a new way. We have to remember our humanity and forget the rest. We have to gather together to discuss our different perspectives. We have to rid the world of nuclear weapons and ultimately of war itself.
The Manifesto was an appeal during some of the most dangerous days of the Cold War, urging us to stop the madness, urging us to avoid the arms race that did in fact come, reminding us that in a nuclear age we can never ensure that war will not spiral out and lead to profound and devastating results for the entire planet.
These messages have been renewed in recent years as states have started to address the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons once again. More advanced technology is available allowing us to better assess what might happen if multiple nuclear bombs were to explode, and drawing attention to the still hair raising possible impact of the accidental or intentional use of nuclear weapons.
Pugwash Statement on the Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement with Iran reached in Vienna on 14 July 2015
Please contact Cathy Eaton at Eatonmurph@aol.com if you want to share some stories. Please post your stories or memories that relate to Thinkers Lodge, the Dining Hall (Lobster Factory), Joseph Rotblat, the Conference Participants, Cyrus or Anne Eaton, or Eaton Park.
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