Leymah Gbowee employed ingenious--and entirely peaceful--tactics in her women-led movement to end civil war in Liberia. The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner is speaking out in a new PBS series about how she mobilized a nation of women to force dictator Charles Taylor out, and convinced warring factions to put the guns and machetes down.
My mother and father had me marching for peace. I was just a few months old in my mother's arms. My parents, wearing long hair and chanting songs, like remnants of the '60s, spent 1971 doing what they could to put an end to a civil war and help a new state--Bangladesh--emerge as independent.
Well, that didn't take long. The afterglow of Obama's Nobel Peace Prize win for "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people" has already faded. The President has stirred up controversy by nominating "Big Ag" lobbyists from Monsanto and CropLife USA to key agriculture posts--an upsetting turn of events given Obama's promise that lobbyists wouldn't receive positions in his administration.
The world today is facing an unprecedented set of crises.
The most recent to burst upon public awareness is that of global warming, and it is indeed a matter of urgency and of critical importance. We have, according to the latest scientific estimates, only seven years in which to level off our greenhouse gas emissions - and then begin to reduce them sharply - if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. This alone requires a massive transformation of our infrastructure, our economy, our energy use, our way of life, our society.