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Noam Chomsky: Are We on the Verge of Total Self-Destruction?

World  (tags: environment, fossil fuel energy, green energy, nuclear war, nuclear crisis, chicken diplomacy, USSR, USA, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Noam Chomsky )

- 2087 days ago -
For the first time in the history of the human species, we have clearly developed the capacity to destroy ourselves. That's been true since 1945. ... there are more long-term processes like environmental destruction leading in the same direction, ...


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Lynn Squance (235)
Wednesday June 5, 2013, 9:15 pm
Having grown up in the "duck and cover" era, and being interested in history, I've often wondered just how close we have come to destroying the world through political ineptitude and pure arrogance. And being one that sees the effects of environmental degradation, our war with the planet, its animals and other occupants, it feels like we are going head first at an increasingly dangerous speed into oblivion. Chomsky is an interesting read and asks thought provoking questions.

Past Member (0)
Thursday June 6, 2013, 1:29 am
It's very very scary when I let my mind think about what we're doing to this world. I admit, I use escapism a lot!

P A (117)
Thursday June 6, 2013, 3:15 am
"he other issue is nuclear war. Itís been known for a long time that if there were to be a first strike by a major power, even with no retaliation, it would probably destroy civilization just because of the nuclear-winter consequences that would follow. You can read about it in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Itís well understood. So the danger has always been a lot worse than we thought it was." Oh dear - so I was right to be so worried all the time of the Cold War! Mind you every time another couple of countries get into a ...... machismo match .... such as India and Pakistan do tend to do on their borders (and other countries as well), I pray and pray and pray and pray for peace - and for all the diplomats trying to assure peace!

It is a very good piece by Noam Chomsky (as always) - and he puts the point of view of the alarming North Koreans quite well, mind you he did seem to miss out that they know NOTHING except what their govt tells them - and worship their leader almost as a god (well, they do if they want to live) - these all add to a nation moving as one because it dare do no other.


Gloria p (304)
Thursday June 6, 2013, 4:00 am
I love Noam so I saved it for later. Thank you Lynn.

Giana P (398)
Thursday June 6, 2013, 4:27 am
My father died with the words "We are doomed!" on his lips. How right he was!

Ben O (135)
Thursday June 6, 2013, 6:03 am
We're in deep shite, that's for sure!

Edwin M (346)
Thursday June 6, 2013, 6:34 am
My nature is one that likes to believe that as rational human beings we are aware of the destruction we have caused our planet and are willing to do whatever is necessary to preserve our planet and all life forms that share it, but having said that the actions of those creating this destruction do not confirm my beliefs. Thank you Lynn

Mike H (252)
Thursday June 6, 2013, 9:38 am
We are the most destructive species. I'm not sure we can change our ways.

Gene J (290)
Thursday June 6, 2013, 9:41 am
Yes, we are. We have been since the development of the atomic bomb. But that is not what is going to cause it I don't think. It is our profits before people 1%er's, the environmental assault that has been going on since the late 1800's, and the dire straits that most of the people on the planet live in now that will do it. We are the enemy within and most of us don't have a clue about that.

. (0)
Thursday June 6, 2013, 1:48 pm
Never was the phrase :"Those who are ignornant of history, are forced to repeat it" was true. The names, countries are different, but the possibilities are the same.

Sheryl G (359)
Thursday June 6, 2013, 3:49 pm
Already read, Noam Chomsky, always has his finger on the pulse of what it taking place. Thanks for placing this on, was going to do so myself. Just can't get to anything fast enough these days. But when one cares for a 5 year old, that is priority.

Lisa W (143)
Friday June 7, 2013, 5:48 am
We have to change our ways before it is too late, if it already is not. Ty Lynn

John De Avalon (36)
Friday June 7, 2013, 6:11 am
Throughout history as many civilizations have fallen as a result of environmental damage as have through military defeat at the hands of a more powerful invading foe.

Man will adapt and survive, we always have. But the days of the lifestyle we know and have grown up with are numbered.

pam w (139)
Friday June 7, 2013, 6:45 am
Environmental breakdown will continue. The planet will continue. Evolution will begin again. Humanity deserves to disappear.

Jaime Alves (52)
Friday June 7, 2013, 6:59 am
Noted, thanks.!

Jo S (619)
Friday June 7, 2013, 9:39 am
We are truely in a downward spiral. We are actually killing our planet and everything on it and I don't know if it can be reversed. Very scarey!
Thanks Lynn.
Noted & shared.

. (0)
Saturday June 8, 2013, 10:17 am
By the time people in power wake up and smell the coffee it will be too late. It is up to each of us individually to do whatever we can to protect the only home planet we will ever have.

Stephen Brian (23)
Sunday June 9, 2013, 9:53 am
Are we on the verge of destroying ourselves? In the ways Chomsky describes, no, not at all. His "factual basis" is completely off. Starting from the top:

Nuclear weapons are not some kind of magical "destroy the world" buttons. The bombs of 1945 would not destroy a large modern airport, let alone a city, or the world. The damage at Hiroshima was so severe because most of the city was made of wood. Even with the rise of fusion-bombs, the blast-radius has only risen by a factor of ~ 10, though now one missile can drop multiple bombs (up to about 4). Scientists did look at the possibility of a "nuclear winter", and found that it wouldn't happen. There was just a scare that entered popular media before they found that.

As for global environmental disaster, I think there is one, but nothing like what Chomsky described. Even assumming that CO2-based global climate-change is an issue (something the data has convinced me is false), Chomsky's description of the response could not be further off. The U.S. has done more to cut carbon-emissions than any other country on Earth, just not its own. Recently, U.S. government-funded labs developed molten salt-cooled nuclear reactors and, apparently, a thorium fuel-cycle. Pilot projects are ongoing in India and China, where neither regulatory structures nor politics double the cost and shut down reactors. The energy produceable by nuclear power is huge that no "renewable" source short of solar power could ever hope to power an economy that now uses that scale of power. Even solar cannot do that yet due to its low efficiency, but guess which country's manufacturers recently broke the efficiency-record. As for oil, ecuador is not the only country that deliberately limits its oil-production: The Saudis do it, Iran does it, and pretty much every major oil-producing country that depends upon a high price for oil does it.

It looks to me like Chomsky just ignored facts that contradict his claims so he could paint a picture that would make him look more informed and moral. Like usual, he outright played into a conservative stereotype of liberals:
You know he's doing something wrong when the other side describes him so perfectly in its condemnations.

SusanAWAY Allen (219)
Tuesday June 11, 2013, 1:07 pm
Loved this article. Noted and shared.
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