by Alyssa McDonald
13 September 2010
Do you consider yourself to be primarily a scientist or a political activist?
If the world would go away, I would be happy to keep to the science, which is much more interesting and challenging. But the world has an unfortunate habit of not going away and the problems are quite urgent.
What are your thoughts on President Obama?
He’s involved in war crimes right now. For example, targeted assassinations are war crimes. That’s escalated quite sharply under Obama. If you look at WikiLeaks, there are a lot of examples of attacks on civilians.
Is there any point in us being in Afghanistan?
We wouldn’t have asked in 1985: “Is there any point in the Russians being in Afghanistan?” The fact is that the invasion was a crime. Then comes the question: “Is there any point in continuing?” But that presupposes legitimacy. Putting aside questions of morality and legality and simply asking about the goals of the US government is a very narrow consideration.
Are we all doomed?
If there was an observer on Mars, they would probably be amazed that we have survived this long. There are two problems for our species’ survival – nuclear war and environmental catastrophe – and we’re hurtling towards them. Knowingly. This hypothetical Martian would probably conclude that human beings were an evolutionary error.