Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Speaker on Globalization and Ecology comes to PCC

On Thursday, February 24th, 2011 Dr. Vandana Shiva spoke at Cascade's Moriarty Auditorium from 10am - 11:30am. Thursday afternoon, she spoke to students at Sylvania Campus. The above video, a recording of her Cascade talk, consists of her discussing the following:

  • Ideas of earth democracy and anthropocentrism (2:40)
  • The shift to corporatism and roles of WTO and patents (10:34)
  • Monsanto (14:00)
  • Gandhi and the history of colonization & the "industrialization of life"(15:58)
  • Chipko movement (23:18)
  • Pulse scarcity (26:08)
  • "Antifood" (29:58)
  • Overview of Navdanya’s objectives and seed saving (32:36)
  • The "seed famine" (36:23)
  • Global rise in food prices, rule of corporations and greed (41:40)
  • Q&A session begins (46:25)

Vandana Shiva is a philosopher, environmental activist, eco-feminist and author of over twenty books. Currently based in Delhi, Shiva has also written extensively in leading scientific and technical journals. Having received her dissertation in nuclear physics, she wrote in 1978 her doctoral dissertation on "Hidden variables and locality in quantum theory". In the 1990's she spoke out against Monsanto and other multi-national corporations that have ventured to alter the farming practices of developing countries. She is one of the leaders and board members of International Forum on Globalization, and a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the alter-globalization. She has argued for the wisdom of many traditional practices, as is evident from her interview in Ranchor Prime's Vedic Ecology.

Over the last twenty years Shiva has founded and promoted Navdanya International. Her organization's aim is to defend and protect nature and the rights of people to access to food and water and dignified jobs and livelihoods. Promoting local and ecological food models is critical to alleviating poverty, hunger, and safeguarding natural resources, including water, especially in this time of climate change chaos.

(Much of the above background was taken from either www.vandanashiva.org or her entry in Wikipedia).

Further Reading and Discussion

The PCC Library has put together a page with further reading resources to learn more about Dr. Shiva. Read up on her work and the issues surrounding this important speaker: PCC Library resources for Dr. Vandana Shiva.

Here are two recent other podcasts on topics about food. In some ways they dovetail nicely with Dr. Shiva's talk, in other ways they may contradict her ideas. Listen and enter the debate ...

  • KQED Radio: Fighting Food-Borne Illnesses

    Heli Perrett, microbiologist and author of The Safe Food Handbook, reflects on the ground rules for protecting consumers from unwelcome microbes. Even though you might not agree with her cautionary advice, you might enjoy her manner and responses to questions.

  • NPR: A Growing Debate: How to Define Organic Food

    During her talk Dr. Shiva spoke about how GM crops can “spread” to other farms and fields nearby, contaminating organic non-GM crops. For the past couple years, NPR has reported on GM crops and their impact on organic milk and eggs. Here’s the latest on that topic.