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Jane Goodall

      ... is known the world over for her work with chimpanzees.  The Jane Goodall Institute’s “Roots and Shoots” program gives young people a genuine role in creating their future. Now Dr.Goodall addresses the threat that nuclear weapons pose for all life on earth.  She is a Dame of the British Empire (the female equivalent of knighthood) and a United Nations Messenger for Peace.

Jonathan Granoff

      ... President of the Global Security Institute. The Institute is dedicated to the worldwide reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons, in a series of well-defined stages accompanied by increasing verification and control. Mr. Granoff and the Institute are currently working to renew and strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to which every country in the world except India, Israel and Pakistand is a signator and legally bound.

Excerpts3:29 secs

When you hear “Jane Goodall,” you think of a worldwide movement to abolish nuclear weapons, right?  Well, that’s where Dr. Goodall is focusing her attention. All of life is threatened by nuclear weapons, she has come to see -- no human, chimpanzee or any other life form is secure as long as there are nuclear weapons, Dr. Goodall says. She believes other environmentalists have not taken up this call because a nuclear holocaust is just too scary to even contemplate.

Dr. Goodall and her friend and colleague Jonathan Granoff have a better idea. They call us to liberate ourselves from the paralysis of this utterly reasonable fear. Get involved with others who know that this very moment in history is a critical time to address the growing threat of nuclear proliferation and nuclear weapons. Make yourself heard. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) comes up for its 5 year review in the spring of 2005. Strengthen that treaty, they say, and get serious about disarmament. That is the path to REAL security.

Every country on earth except India, Israel and Pakistan have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Mr. Granoff reminds us, noting it has been a huge success for decades in constraining the spread of nuclear weapons.  The vast majority of countries who pledged not to develop nuclear weapons have lived up to their word. And a strengthened treaty offers a framework in which to build, keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands both of states and non-state players.  Strengthen the NPT while we can, they urge.

But refraining from “going nuclear” is only half of the equation, Dr. Goodall and Mr. Granoff remind us.  When the countries WITH nuclear weapons signed, they promised to disarm. It has not happened. Since treaties are the bedrock of law, Mr. Granoff, an American lawyer, is particularly concerned that the U.S. not abiding by its treaty commitments undermines its very foundation -- the Constitution. And, of course, the rule of law is fundamental to a democracy. Mr. Granoff reports that even some of America’s very best friends are beginning to say “We did our part.  Now when are you going to live up to your part of the bargain?”

Dr. Goodall travels the world 300 days a year because she remains hopeful for the future.  Why? Four good reasons: the human brain that created destructive technology has also created amazing ways to improve the quality of life; nature is resilient -- give it a chance and entire species can come back from the very brink of extinction; young people have tremendous enthusiasm, dedication, power and courage and all around the world they are making a difference; and finally, Jane Goodall puts her faith in what she calls the indomitable human spirit -- people working diligently at the seemingly impossible. For 35 years, passionate people have been gathering again and again and again to discuss the abolition of nuclear weapons. They are never going to give up.  Neither can we.

[This Program was recorded January 28, 2005, in Atlanta, Georgia, US.]

Conversation 1

Jane Goodall and Jonathan Granoff suggest to Paula Gordon and Bill Russell that the horror of possible nuclear war is what keeps environmentalists from talking about it. Luck is how the world has avoided a nuclear conflagration, they say.

Conversation 1 RealAudio7:34

Conversation 2

Mr. Granoff considers what would happen if the world reversed what is spent on military expenditures and on sustainability. The human disconnect between the clever brain and the compassionate heart make us a dangerous creature, Dr. Goodall says. Mr. Granoff worries we haven’t taken a look at the true dynamic that nuclear weapons generates -- terror and fear. Dr. Goodall explores the possibilities that reside in language and stories. Mr. Granoff describes the profoundly positive effect that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty has had for decades. Treaties are the supreme law of the land, he (a lawyer) says, then reports on countries who did not develop nuclear weapons and who are now urging the U.S. to honor its commitment to disarm.

Conversation 1 RealAudio11:31

Conversation 3

When one thinks about the threat of nuclear annihilation you can’t be apathetic, Dr. Goodall says, even if you’re scared.  She offers suggestions for what people can do once awakened. Mr. Granoff talks about what he sees as a plague of indifference. Dr. Goodall traces the evolutionary path of humans and strongly objects to values underlying a narrow minded materialist, consumer approach to life. She describes alternatives. Humans find fulfillment in serving one another, Mr. Granoff insists, or face dire consequences.

Conversation 1 RealAudio10:11

Conversation 4

We are social beings who must learn to live within increasingly complex, disjointed societies, Dr. Goodall observes, expanding on enormous problems created by poverty and an unequal distribution of wealth. Mr. Granoff proposes harmony and justice as a path away from today’s dis-ease generated by not fulfilling our capacity for love and compassion.  Platypuses make an appearance. Dr. Goodall tells the story of Roots & Shoots. Mr. Granoff relates the rarely-heard story of the extraordinary success of inspections in Iraq prior to the US invasion.  Truth in a democracy is liberating, he insists, worried about dysfunctional consequences of one party running a government.

Conversation 1 RealAudio12:12

Conversation 5

“Security” is a multi-dimensional concept, Mr. Granoff continues, with examples. Chimpanzees are certainly no longer secure, Dr. Goodall says.  She describes the devastating bushmeat trade that has resulted from timber companies invading African forests, and rich people around the world buying and eating humanity’s closest kin, the Great Apes -- chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas -- and other wild creatures. Mr. Granoff compares how biological and chemical weapons are constrained to the very different approach applied to nuclear weapons. Dr. Goodall compares chimpanzee aggression in captivity and in the wild. The “Middle Power Initiative” is described. Law makes people more secure than war, Mr. Granoff insists, and Dr. Goodall describes how rules govern chimpanzee life.

Conversation 1 RealAudio12:09

Conversation 6

The human community has found that the rule of force alone does not bring security, Mr. Granoff concludes, favoring bringing people into the political process and assuring justice in order to achieve security.  Dr. Goodall gives four powerful reasons she continues to have hope for the future.

Conversation 1 RealAudio4:41


Special thanks to Matthew Werner, Assistant to the President/Program Associate at the Global Security Institute; and Nona Gandelman, VP/Director of Communications, Brandon Ivey and others at the Jane Goodall Institute including Mary Lewis, Vice President for Outreach & Assistant to Dr. Jane Goodall DBE.  Both organizations were wonderfully supportive and enthusiastic colleagues in assuring both that this Conversation happened and that, in short order, we had the materials with which to be well prepared.

Our appreciation to The Carter Center in Atlanta both for the courteous welcome they extended to us and for hosting high-level representatives of key governments to the “Atlanta Consultation II: On the Future of the NPT” (Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty). We are enlightened by having been included in the public sessions, when the Middle Powers Initiative organized an Extraordinary Strategy Consultation on the NPT 2005 Review Conference, in cooperation with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, January 26-28, 2005, at The Carter Center in Atlanta, GA, US.

Laina Adler at HarperSanFrancisco was her usual responsive self when we had an urgent need for Dr. Goodall’s The Ten Trusts, written with Mark Bekoff, and we thank Ms. Adler.

Related Links:
For more information about the catastrophic threat posed to the world by nuclear weapons, visit the Global Security Institute’s website. You can also identify resources there and better understand strategies for bringing genuine security to the world by disarming and abolishing nuclear weapons.

Visit the Jane Goodall Institute for wildlife research, education and and conservation’s website where you can learn more about Dr. Goodall’s work with chimpanzees, find out how to become a Chimpanzee Guardian to an orphaned chimp, join the fight to end the Bushmeat trade, find Dr. Goodall’s schedule and her books and learn how to get involved with the Institute.

Be part of the excitement young people around the world are generating as part of the Jane Goodall Institute’s “Roots & Shoots” program.

Among the books she has written, Dr. Goodall describes her life and research at Gombe, Tanzania, and beyond in Africa in My Blood:  An Autobiography in Letters and Beyond Innocence:  An Autobiography in Letters, both edited with an introduction by Dale Peterson, both published by Houghton Mifflin Company. The Ten Trusts, by Dr. Goodall and Mark Bekoff, is published by HarperSanFrancisco.

The Federation of American Scientists provides the text of the NPTWikipedia has a summary of the history of the NPT.

The BBC offers a short Q&A on Iran and the NPT. The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) provides a lengthy overview of Iran's nuclear history. The CIA’s public information on Iran.

Reza Aslan argues (in No god but God and in our conversation) that the religion on which the Iranian theocracy is based is distinct from Shiaism and should properly be called “Khomeinism” after the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini.

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