Downloading videos



Last week, I asked people to vote for the two topics that interested them most. Here are the results:

Food: 16
Suicide: 11
Hospitality: 10
Nudity: 7
Nuclear issues: 1

It may be difficult to do a formal debate on these topics at this stage but we can certainly discuss them.


We appeared on TV

Self-fulfilling prophecy

I am very worried by the easy dismissal of the possibility of eliminating nuclear weapons. I don't see this as realism but as defeatism.

I think that members of the class underestimate the potential power of the international community if and when it can become unified behind the goal of eliminating weapons. I also believe that the extent to which the U.S. as been an obstacle to positive change and, accordingly, the importance of the change in the U.S. position is being underestimated in this class.

If the global community cannot come together on issues such as the elimination of nuclear weapons and confronting global warming, we are, frankly, doomed. Are you really willing to accept this fate? Don't you think that accepting it as inevitable makes it more likely to come to be?


Notes on a podcast

I listened to the following podcast:
Can we eliminate nuclear weapons?

Speaker: Ambassador Richard Burt, Kate Hudson, Professor Mary Kaldor, HM Queen Noor

This event was recorded on 20 November 2009 in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall is the time finally right to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons? Leading proponents of nuclear disarmament discuss why achieving Global Zero – a world without nuclear weapons – is both necessary and realistic.
  • We are no longer in the Cold War:
    • Now conservatives as well as liberals are supporting the elimination of nuclear weapons.
    • U.S. and Russia have agreed for the first time that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is a constructive goal. Both have about 10,000 weapons a piece (90 to 95 percent of the worlds stockpile)
    • President Hu of has called for the elimination of nuclear weapons. China is calling for the U.S. and Russia to make deep cuts. This could lead to a sort of reverse domino effect. (U.S. and Russia --> China --> India and Pakistan, etc.)
    • U.S. does not need nuclear weapons because it can depend on conventional weapons. This is different from the Cold War.
    • The possibility of failed states present a greater threat than we had in the cold war. What if Pakistan, for example, were to be taken over by the Taliban?
  • We cannot stay where we are. Either the countries that have nuclear weapons eliminate them or more countries will acquire them. Moreover, it may still be possible to move toward elimination now, but it is likely to be more and more difficult as the number of nuclear powers increase.
  • It may be possible to hide nuclear weapons that have already been make but it is probably impossible to develop a nuclear program today without detection.