Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Monday, May 09, 2005

Practicing What We Preach

UN delegates and staffers puff away under the no smoking signs down on the UN's lower level in the windowless Vienna Cafe,

But I was shocked recently when two of us WILPFers were taking a coffee break in the Cafe, and a couple of young, devoted environment-protecting NGOers joined us and lit up. In fact, one guy casually flicked his ashes into my friend's full, steaming coffee cup. When he realized his gaffe he was embarrassed and got on the long food line to fetch a fresh cup .He was a good guy just breaking one little no smoking rule and subjecting all the non-smokers to the well known risks of second hand smoke. What's the big deal? Why get so exercised over trivial acts when we face nuclear annihilation?

Somehow it was a big deal. If these gung-ho environmental activists could happily sit blowing smoke into my face right under a big no smoking sign I wondered how the nuclear States could ever be convinced to follow the rules of the NPT.


  • Then again, if "no smoking" signs really worked so would "no nuke" signs and the disarmament battle would be a whole lot easier. Whatever techniques can actually help convince people to obey the non-smoking signs might provide some useful insight into whats required for the bigger battle...

    By Anonymous Geeps, at 12:07 PM  

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