Racing to the Precipice

The warnings about the climate emergency are coming in fast and furious, yet public awareness and political action remain at a low level. The latest report is from the World Meteorological Organization, a UN agency. Its director said, “The impacts of climate change” are “often felt through water—more intense and frequent droughts, more extreme flooding, more erratic seasonal rainfall and accelerated melting of glaciers—with cascading effects on economies, ecosystems, and all aspects of our daily lives.” There is an urgent need for collective action to avoid irreversible tipping points. Meanwhile, The Guardian reports, fossil fuel corporations “are making astronomical amounts of money.” Politically, the mitigation measures taken so far are woefully inadequate. People are distracted. They know more about the World Cup than the climate crisis.

Interviewed by David Barsamian.

Speaker: Noam Chomsky

Noam Chomsky, by any measure, has led a most extraordinary life. In one index he is ranked as the eighth most cited person in history, right up there with Aristotle, Shakespeare, Marx, Plato and Freud. His contributions to modern linguistics are legendary. In addition to his pioneering work in that field, he has been a leading voice for peace and social justice for many decades. Chris Hedges says he is “America’s greatest intellectual” who “makes the powerful, as well as their liberal apologists, deeply uncomfortable.” The New Statesman calls him “the conscience of the American people.” He is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT and Laureate Professor of Linguistics and Haury Chair in the Program in Environment and Social Justice at the University of Arizona. At 94, he is still active; writing and giving interviews to the media all over the world. He is the author of scores of books, his latest are Consequences of Capitalism, Chronicles of Dissent and Notes on Resistance.

Share This Episode