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Noam Chomsky: We Are Speeding Up The Apocalypse

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Noam Chomsky penned an article in today's issue of Salon magazine that cast a dire warning about the world's future if it continues down its current path of unrestrained use of fossil fuels. He discussed human kinds ability to destroy itself in so many ways now that it's just a matter of time before it becomes a reality if we don't shape things up. Not surprisingly, Mr. Chomsky does not have many kind words for the current state of affairs regarding the world's largest energy consumer, the United States.

    Mr. Chomsky also discussed the dire state of affairs with regards to nuclear proliferation throughout the world and cautioned that the threat of a nuclear conflict is very real. The fact that one nuclear strike will most likely start a nuclear war is not one that should be taken lightly. Throughout his article he explained the current state of affairs with regards to the Iran and North Korean nuclear crises, but I must admit that I was frustrated that he did not discuss the Pakistani and Indian tensions, which I find far more disturbing and something that could start a nuclear crisis in the near future. It is not reported on much, but the tensions between these two countries are the highest they have been in decades. The fact that both of these countries are nuclear armed nations bent on destroying each other definitely keeps me awake at night sometimes.

    Thoughts on Noam Chomsky's recent article and if humanity is destined for disaster, as he suggests?

    http://www.salon.com/2013/06/04/noam_chomsky_america_is_accelerating_the_apocalypse_partner/singleton/
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: Noam Chomsky penned an article in today's issue of Salon magazine that cast a dire warning about the world's future if it continues down its current path of unrestrained use of fossil fuels. He discussed human kinds ability to destroy itself in so many ways now that it's just a matter of time before it becomes a reality if we don't shape things up. Not surprisingly, Mr. Chomsky does not have many kind words for the current state of affairs regarding the world's largest energy consumer, the United States.

    Mr. Chomsky also discussed the dire state of affairs with regards to nuclear proliferation throughout the world and cautioned that the threat of a nuclear conflict is very real. The fact that one nuclear strike will most likely start a nuclear war is not one that should be taken lightly. Throughout his article he explained the current state of affairs with regards to the Iran and North Korean nuclear crises, but I must admit that I was frustrated that he did not discuss the Pakistani and Indian tensions, which I find far more disturbing and something that could start a nuclear crisis in the near future. It is not reported on much, but the tensions between these two countries are the highest they have been in decades. The fact that both of these countries are nuclear armed nations bent on destroying each other definitely keeps me awake at night sometimes.

    Thoughts on Noam Chomsky's recent article and if humanity is destined for disaster, as he suggests?

    http://www.salon.com/2013/06/04/noam_chomsky_america_is_accelerating_the_apocalypse_partner/singleton/
    No, I don't think that way. Sure there will be world wide conflicts and of course the US and others will continue to use fossil fuels. However if anyone has the guts to throw nukes around, that does not mean that then all of a sudden everyone goes nuts and as a revenge start throwing the same thing back. So I feel nukes remain only a deterrent for now; I guess our best defense is to show every month a clip of Nagasaki on TV and world wide cellphones etc.
    Related to fossil fuels, I do not think there is a real solution; jets will need this type of energy for years to come; they are the biggest poluters; especially in take off. Other forms of propulsion for aircraft are impossible to predict right now. On the car field of course there is something which can be done take Tesla etc. but still the range will stay a problem.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    Dutch you are right, we will be using fossil fuels for a long time, far past the time I have remaining on this earth. Even if the US and other "industrialized countries" stopped buring oil, the developing world will continue. Look at China, India, and other countries who are increasing their use of oil, who is going to make them stop? No one, that's who.

    Nukes are a danger and.."if ayone has the guts to throw nukes around"... it is Al Queda or another radical Islamic organization. If they ever get their hands on one they would not hesitate to try to smuggle it into Israel or the US, Great Britian, or wherever they have the best opportunity. They certainly would not worry about ..."revenge"... or someone..."throwing the same thing back"... They would not spend a minute thinking about that, they care only about doing as much destruction as possible.
  • Democrat
    Mojave Desert, NV
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    We used to burn wood, peat and dung for fuel. Then we discovered that charcoal burned hotter and was easier to transport. It was superior to what we'd been using.

    We replace widespread use of charcoal when we found coal deposits, because coal was a more efficient fuel than charcoal.

    Once we learned how to extract mass quantities of oil from the ground, we began using it for many purposes including fuel, for as fuel it was superior to coal in several ways.

    We haven't yet run out of coal, or charcoal, or wood or peat or dung. Unless technological progress deviates drastically from the historical norm, before we run out of oil we'll have adopted a superior fuel that will be in widespread use.

    The sky may not be falling.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    jamesn Wrote: Dutch you are right, we will be using fossil fuels for a long time, far past the time I have remaining on this earth. Even if the US and other "industrialized countries" stopped buring oil, the developing world will continue. Look at China, India, and other countries who are increasing their use of oil, who is going to make them stop? No one, that's who.

    Nukes are a danger and.."if ayone has the guts to throw nukes around"... it is Al Queda or another radical Islamic organization. If they ever get their hands on one they would not hesitate to try to smuggle it into Israel or the US, Great Britian, or wherever they have the best opportunity. They certainly would not worry about ..."revenge"... or someone..."throwing the same thing back"... They would not spend a minute thinking about that, they care only about doing as much destruction as possible.
    I have to admit that I'm not nearly as worried about Al-Qaeda as I am the tensions that are going on in India and Pakistan currently. The best Al-Qaeda can ever get their hands on would be a dirty bomb type WMD, not one that would be on the tip of a missile. They aren't a standing army that would have launch pads or any other delivery mechanism, they are a group of people that make a spectacular showing at blowing people and things up. India and Pakistan currently have dozens of nuclear weapons aimed directly at each other which are armed and ready to go. If any nuclear war happens in the near future, it will be because of them.

    With regards to the fossil fuels, we will continue to use them at our own peril. I'm not saying that I'm naive enough to think that we can get rid of them over night, but I am saying that America is by far the worlds largest consumer of oil. China might be catching up to us, but they also have 1.3 billion people to think about. We have 300 million people and use 10 million more barrels of oil a day than they do. We use 15 million more barrels of oil a day compared to India, with their 1.2 billion people. It is understandable that they are consuming more fossil fuels, but they still don't come remotely close to the United States daily consumption. It's easy to say that it's too hard of a problem to solve, so let's just kick the can down the road. The unfortunate thing about that is that scientists throughout the world are cautioning that we've reached a tipping point that may take hundreds of years to reverse. The United States needs to lead with this issue and fast.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    jared you are correct that Al Quada does not have ..."lauch pads or any other delivery mechanism"... but that would not deter them from using ANY kind of nuke/dirty bomb if they could get their hands on it. They would be happy to try to smuggle it to their target on a ship or in a shipping container or by whatever means they could utilize. Let's say they could get it onto a ship and sail it into a port. If they were intercepted before they reached land they would happily detonate it as close as possible to the target. If they are in a western port or even close to a western port or a western coast the prevailing west to east winds would spread the fallout and finish their job. A nuke exploding in New York, Washington, Tel Aviv, or London would be the best scenerio for Al Quada or another radical Islamic terrorist group.

    I do agree with you that India-Pakistan is the most likely scenerio of two official countries/governments who are most likely to start a nuke exchange.

    On oil consumption we are the leader no doubt but China, India and others are gaining quickly and they will not be slowed anytime soon. That is my point: that others countries will continue to increase their oil consumption NO MATTER what the US does. We have to develop a more economical energy system, because it is economics which can eventually win this issue. We can not MAKE other countries to do as we wish but when solar (or wind or geo thermal...etc) generated electricity is cheaper than petro energy then we can begin to win this battle.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    I by no means mean to downplay the threat of a dirty bomb being detonated within a major American city because it is a very real and dangerous threat. I will argue that the threat is still not akin to a nuclear missile threat. A successful dirty bomb attack will cause mass hysteria not only in the city it was detonated in, but throughout our entire country. However, a successful dirty bomb attack will not be able to actually level any major city or wipe out a significant portion of its population. It would be more chemically than physically destructive in nature, which means that the mortality rate would be much lower than an actual nuclear attack. And the radioactive fallout will be of a major concern, but it would still be no where near the amount of radiation that would be released with a successful ICMB attack on one of our major cities.

    Your scenario is one that can very easily happen. With the thousands of cargo ships entering American ports each and every day, it is amazing that an attack hasn't already taken place. Quite honestly, it is only a matter of time before something like this does happen and I caution that we need to be prepared for it. I truly fear that we will over react if a dirty bomb is detonated in America and launch an indiscriminate nuclear strike just to get even. It is a very normal reaction to demand retaliation, but who and what would we be retaliating against? Would our government risk world annihilation because a group of terrorists successfully detonated a dirty bomb in a major city? That's a question I sure hope we never have to answer.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    The bombs, global warming, population overload, wars, and famine, but no one seems to talk about the research in deadly viruses and bacteria. A good virus and bacteria infestation that rapidly spreads across the world could be possible. Billions could be die horribly without any known treatment to save them. There's even a scientific theorizing that it was bacteria that killed the dinosaurs prior to to the meteor holocost. Have you ever wondered whats beneath all that ice thats melting on our polar caps. Some latent bacteria or virus that is just waiting for the second chance to wipe out earths populations. However, we don't have to worry about what's under the ice, because secret labs in several countries are already with their dangerous versions of plagues. They say they are under control and they are being experimented on for creating cures. It's the experimentation that's going on making these bugs super dangerous that worries me.

    Anyway, you die only once. I just hope the finality of it all is quick and not gasping, bleeding out and boiling with fever from some super bug created by a researcher working on his PHD.