The world faces two potentially existential threats, according to the linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky.
“There are two major dark shadows that hover over everything, and they’re getting more and more serious,” Chomsky said. “The one is the continuing threat of nuclear war that has not ended. It’s very serious, and another is the crisis of ecological, environmental catastrophe, which is getting more and more serious.”
Chomsky appeared Friday on the last episode of NPR’s “Smiley and West” program to discuss his education, his views on current affairs and how he manages to spread his message without much help from the mainstream media.
He told the hosts that the world was racing toward an environmental disaster with potentially lethal consequence, which the world’s most developed nations were doing nothing to prevent – and in fact were speeding up the process.
“If there ever is future historians, they’re going to look back at this period of history with some astonishment,” Chomsky said. “The danger, the threat, is evident to anyone who has eyes open and pays attention at all to the scientific literature, and there are attempts to retard it, there are also at the other end attempts to accelerate the disaster, and if you look who’s involved it’s pretty shocking.”
Chomsky noted efforts to halt environmental damage by indigenous people in countries all over the world – from Canada’s First Nations to tribal people in Latin America and India to aboriginal people in Australia—but the nation’s richest, most advanced and most powerful countries, such as the United States, were doing nothing to forestall disaster.
“When people here talk enthusiastically about a hundred years of energy independence, what they’re saying is, ‘Let’s try to get every drop of fossil fuel out of the ground so as to accelerate the disaster that we’re racing towards,’” Chomsky said. “These are problems that overlie all of the domestic problems of oppression, of poverty, of attacks on the education system (and) massive inequality, huge unemployment.”
He blamed the “financialization” of the U.S. economy for income inequality and unemployment, saying that banks that were “too big to fail” skimmed enormous wealth from the market.
“In fact, there was a recent (International Monetary Fund) study that estimated that virtually all the profits of the big banks can be traced back to this government insurance policy, and in general they’re quite harmful, I think, quite harmful to the economy,” Chomsky said… see more