Noam Chomsky: ‘In a couple of generations, organized human society may not survive.’

Noam Chomsky: ‘In a couple of generations, organized human society may not survive.’  

 

 

 

 The elegant simplicity of his campus office — a small round table with several straight-backed chairs, a laptop on an uncluttered desk — contrasts with his reputation as one of the world’s leading public intellectuals. Now aged 90, Noam Chomsky continues to write, and is co-teaching a course on politics and global crises at the University of Arizona.

 

Apart from his paradigm-creating work in linguistics, Chomsky has been an outspoken and cogent critic of American foreign policy and its connection with human rights violations and military aggression around the world. With his colleague, the late Ed Herman, Chomsky developed a “propaganda model” of the corporate mass media to help explain the economic and political elite’s ability to maintain ideological legitimacy. A range of “filters” — corporate ownership, advertising dependence, establishment-oriented sourcing practices, flak from right-wing critics, and ideological anti-Communism — cause news media to function as a propaganda system reinforcing elite power.

 

 

Noam Chomsky: ‘In a couple of generations, organized human society may not survive. That has to be drilled into people’s heads constantly.’


In recent years, Chomsky has turned his prodigious mind to the existential threat of global warming, a “threat to the perpetuation of organized human life,” on par with nuclear war. Now, in an exclusive interview with National Observer on Jan. 22, Chomsky directly addresses the specific relationship between media and the climate crisis. Read More

 

 

 

 

But Homo sapiens have not failed, yet

Our house is on fire. I am here to say, our house is on fire.

According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), we are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes. In that time, unprecedented changes in all aspects of society need to have taken place, including a reduction of our CO2 emissions by at least 50%.

But Homo sapiens have not failed, yet 

And please note that those numbers do not include the aspect of equity, which is absolutely necessary to make the Paris agreement work on a global scale. Nor does it include tipping points or feedback loops like the extremely powerful methane gas released from the thawing Arctic permafrost.

At places like Davos, people like to tell success stories. But their financial success has come with an unthinkable price tag. And on climate change, we have to acknowledge we have failed. All political movements in their present form have done so, and the media has failed to create broad public awareness. Read More

Davos, This is ridiculous

Christiana Figueres is a Costa Rican diplomat who spearheaded the 2015 Paris climate accord. Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old Swedish student leading a global school strike for climate.

DAVOS, Switzerland — Climate change is an existential threat to humanity and already a matter of life and death for many, but it is just one issue among many on the agenda at this year’s World Economic Forum. It should be the number one priority and should sit at the center of every conversation in Davos.

This week, the two of us — from different generations but united by the same concern for our planet — will jointly address delegates at the summit. Climate change action has never been so urgent, as we are quickly approaching tipping points of no return. In that context, we will talk about leadership, outrage and optimism. We believe these are inspirational times for transformational change. Read More

 

 

A Nation of Active Citizens

Below you will find an opinion piece written by Cletus Springer, one of the regions outstanding thinkers.
 
Cletus is from St. Lucia, his point on ‘A Nation of Active Citizens’ is relevant to all Small Island Developing States, in fact, if is applicable to all democratic states, countries and territories.
 
As a resident of the Cayman Islands I find his words totally on course for us to use as a guide for the intelligent development and growth of this rapidly changing British Colony.
 
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Towards a Nation of Active Citizens: 
 
As we move towards the 40th anniversary of Saint Lucia’s Independence, I would like to posit that the single biggest challenge that our young county must address is how to build a nation of Active Citizens. 
 
I was inspired to put forward this imperative for our collective reflection, following my own musings on two separate FB posts by 2 dear friends over the past month. The first of these documented Barbara’s disappointment over WASCO’s non-response to a report she’d made about a damaged mains near her home. The second was a post by Jerry George who reported that a significant hazard to passers-by on a city street, that had earlier been highlighted by Mark Hennecart, had been addressed. 
 
While these civic-minded actions by Barbara and Mark had different outcomes in terms of the immediacy of response, they nonetheless provide potent examples of the importance of active citizenship. 
 
A long time ago, when was a Form 1 student at St. Mary’s College, my Civics teacher, Emsco Remy (Dr.) tutored us on the difference between “active” and “passive” citizens. As I recall, the former is one who fulfills his/rights and responsibilities and takes an active role in bettering his/her  community/country. The latter is one who really couldn’t give a damn (as Daddy-CIS) would say. 
 
It is my contention that the majority of our people are passive citizens. And we need to figure out why this is the case, so that we can set about addressing the problem. 
 
We need to do this sooner, rather than later, otherwise, we will most certainly find ourselves in a persistent state of underdevelopment,(with inter alia, unsolved crimes, because witnesses are unwilling to come forward; recurrent epidemics of vector-borne diseases and episodes of flooding due to indiscriminate waste disposal; road fatalities due to wanton disregard of traffic laws; low levels of educational achievement because our students and teachers are unwilling to fulfill their responsibilities to themselves; and low productivity because workers and employers alike, ignore their responsibilities – one to give a fair day’s work and the other to give a fair day’s pay). 
 
I can think of no better time for such a discussion to take place than NOW. And it needs to take place at all levels, and in every nook and cranny of our country.

On Ecological Amnesia

 

The destruction of the buffalo resulted from a campaign of biological terrorism unparalleled in the history of the Americas. The policy of the federal government of the United States was explicit: exterminate the buffalo and destroy the commissary of the great cultures of the plains. Over 100 million bison were slaughtered. A decade after Native resistance collapsed, the general who orchestrated the campaign advised Congress to mint a commemorative medal with a dead buffalo on one side, a dead “Indian” on the other. 

It takes a world to maintain a biosphere.

As I thought of this history, standing in that tall-grass prairie, what disturbed me most was the ease with which we have removed ourselves from this ecological tragedy. Today, the good and decent people of Iowa live contentedly in a landscape of cornfields claustrophobic in its monotony. Read More

Anthropogenic Climate Change: The Size of Our Solutions Does Not Match the Size of Our Problems

Thoughtless hyper-industrialization, renegade waste of energy and resources for profits combined with an oligarchic political system have yielded the perfect storm, wherein the systems responsible for creating the problems are never challenged. 

While the engines that created the conditions for climate breakdown continue unabated, the same engines prohibit any decent evaluation of the core problems and possible solutions. 

The private media is virtually silent on the emergency. Schools continue to thump the theology of markets and indefinite ‘growth,’ while industry continues to propel corporate expansion for higher profits, producing greater waste and pollution. Read More