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[This essay is excerpted from Noam Chomsky’s new book, Who Rules the World? (Metropolitan Books).]

In January 2015, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists advanced its famous Doomsday Clock to three minutes before midnight, a threat level that had not been reached for 30 years. The Bulletin’s statement explaining this advance toward catastrophe invoked the two major threats to survival: nuclear weapons and “unchecked climate change.” The call condemned world leaders, who “have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe,” endangering “every person on Earth [by] failing to perform their most important duty — ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization.”

Since then, there has been good reason to consider moving the hands even closer to doomsday.

As 2015 ended, world leaders met in Paris to address the severe problem of “unchecked climate change.” Hardly a day passes without new evidence of how severe the crisis is. To pick almost at random, shortly before the opening of the Paris conference, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab released a study that both surprised and alarmed scientists who have been studying Arctic ice. The study showed that a huge Greenland glacier, Zachariae Isstrom, “broke loose from a glaciologically stable position in 2012 and entered a phase of accelerated retreat,” an unexpected and ominous development. The glacier “holds enough water to raise global sea level by more than 18 inches (46 centimeters) if it were to melt completely. And now it’s on a crash diet, losing 5 billion tons of mass every year. All that ice is crumbling into the North Atlantic Ocean.”

Yet there was little expectation that world leaders in Paris would “act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe.” And even if by some miracle they had, it would have been of limited value, for reasons that should be deeply disturbing.

When the agreement was approved in Paris, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who hosted the talks, announced that it is “legally binding.” That may be the hope, but there are more than a few obstacles that are worthy of careful attention.

In all of the extensive media coverage of the Paris conference, perhaps the most important sentences were these, buried near the end of a long New York Times analysis: “Traditionally, negotiators have sought to forge a legally binding treaty that needed ratification by the governments of the participating countries to have force. There is no way to get that in this case, because of the United States. A treaty would be dead on arrival on Capitol Hill without the required two-thirds majority vote in the Republican-controlled Senate. So the voluntary plans are taking the place of mandatory, top-down targets.” And voluntary plans are a guarantee of failure.

“Because of the United States.” More precisely, because of the Republican Party, which by now is becoming a real danger to decent human survival.

The conclusions are underscored in another Times piece on the Paris agreement. At the end of a long story lauding the achievement, the article notes that the system created at the conference “depends heavily on the views of the future world leaders who will carry out those policies. In the United States, every Republican candidate running for president in 2016 has publicly questioned or denied the science of climate change, and has voiced opposition to Mr. Obama’s climate change policies. In the Senate, Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, who has led the charge against Mr. Obama’s climate change agenda, said, ‘Before his international partners pop the champagne, they should remember that this is an unattainable deal based on a domestic energy plan that is likely illegal, that half the states have sued to halt, and that Congress has already voted to reject.’”

Both parties have moved to the right during the neoliberal period of the past generation. Mainstream Democrats are now pretty much what used to be called “moderate Republicans.” Meanwhile, the Republican Party has largely drifted off the spectrum, becoming what respected conservative political analyst Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein call a “radical insurgency” that has virtually abandoned normal parliamentary politics. With the rightward drift, the Republican Party’s dedication to wealth and privilege has become so extreme that its actual policies could not attract voters, so it has had to seek a new popular base, mobilized on other grounds: evangelical Christians who await the Second Coming, nativists who fear that “they” are taking our country away from us, unreconstructed racists, people with real grievances who gravely mistake their causes, and others like them who are easy prey to demagogues and can readily become a radical insurgency.

In recent years, the Republican establishment had managed to suppress the voices of the base that it has mobilized. But no longer. By the end of 2015 the establishment was expressing considerable dismay and desperation over its inability to do so, as the Republican base and its choices fell out of control.

Republican elected officials and contenders for the next presidential election expressed open contempt for the Paris deliberations, refusing to even attend the proceedings. The three candidates who led in the polls at the time — Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson — adopted the stand of the largely evangelical base: humans have no impact on global warming, if it is happening at all.

The other candidates reject government action to deal with the matter. Immediately after Obama spoke in Paris, pledging that the United States would be in the vanguard seeking global action, the Republican-dominated Congress voted to scuttle his recent Environmental Protection Agency rules to cut carbon emissions. As the press reported, this was “a provocative message to more than 100 [world] leaders that the American president does not have the full support of his government on climate policy” — a bit of an understatement. Meanwhile Lamar Smith, Republican head of the House’s Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, carried forward his jihad against government scientists who dare to report the facts.

The message is clear. American citizens face an enormous responsibility right at home.

A companion story in the New York Times reports that “two-thirds of Americans support the United States joining a binding international agreement to curb growth of greenhouse gas emissions.” And by a five-to-three margin, Americans regard the climate as more important than the economy. But it doesn’t matter. Public opinion is dismissed. That fact, once again, sends a strong message to Americans. It is their task to cure the dysfunctional political system, in which popular opinion is a marginal factor. The disparity between public opinion and policy, in this case, has significant implications for the fate of the world.

We should, of course, have no illusions about a past “golden age.” Nevertheless, the developments just reviewed constitute significant changes. The undermining of functioning democracy is one of the contributions of the neoliberal assault on the world’s population in the past generation. And this is not happening just in the U.S.; in Europe the impact may be even worse.

The Black Swan We Can Never See

Let us turn to the other (and traditional) concern of the atomic scientists who adjust the Doomsday Clock: nuclear weapons. The current threat of nuclear war amply justifies their January 2015 decision to advance the clock two minutes toward midnight. What has happened since reveals the growing threat even more clearly, a matter that elicits insufficient concern, in my opinion.

The last time the Doomsday Clock reached three minutes before midnight was in 1983, at the time of the Able Archer exercises of the Reagan administration; these exercises simulated attacks on the Soviet Union to test their defense systems. Recently released Russian archives reveal that the Russians were deeply concerned by the operations and were preparing to respond, which would have meant, simply: The End.

We have learned more about these rash and reckless exercises, and about how close the world was to disaster, from U.S. military and intelligence analyst Melvin Goodman, who was CIA division chief and senior analyst at the Office of Soviet Affairs at the time. “In addition to the Able Archer mobilization exercise that alarmed the Kremlin,” Goodman writes, “the Reagan administration authorized unusually aggressive military exercises near the Soviet border that, in some cases, violated Soviet territorial sovereignty. The Pentagon’s risky measures included sending U.S. strategic bombers over the North Pole to test Soviet radar, and naval exercises in wartime approaches to the USSR where U.S. warships had previously not entered. Additional secret operations simulated surprise naval attacks on Soviet targets.”

We now know that the world was saved from likely nuclear destruction in those frightening days by the decision of a Russian officer, Stanislav Petrov, not to transmit to higher authorities the report of automated detection systems that the USSR was under missile attack. Accordingly, Petrov takes his place alongside Russian submarine commander Vasili Arkhipov, who, at a dangerous moment of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, refused to authorize the launching of nuclear torpedoes when the subs were under attack by U.S. destroyers enforcing a quarantine.

Other recently revealed examples enrich the already frightening record. Nuclear security expert Bruce Blair reports that “the closest the U.S. came to an inadvertent strategic launch decision by the President happened in 1979, when a NORAD early warning training tape depicting a full-scale Soviet strategic strike inadvertently coursed through the actual early warning network. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski was called twice in the night and told the U.S. was under attack, and he was just picking up the phone to persuade President Carter that a full-scale response needed to be authorized right away, when a third call told him it was a false alarm.”

This newly revealed example brings to mind a critical incident of 1995, when the trajectory of a U.S.-Norwegian rocket carrying scientific equipment resembled the path of a nuclear missile. This elicited Russian concerns that quickly reached President Boris Yeltsin, who had to decide whether to launch a nuclear strike.

Blair adds other examples from his own experience. In one case, at the time of the 1967 Middle East war, “a carrier nuclear-aircraft crew was sent an actual attack order instead of an exercise/training nuclear order.” A few years later, in the early 1970s, the Strategic Air Command in Omaha “retransmitted an exercise… launch order as an actual real-world launch order.” In both cases code checks had failed; human intervention prevented the launch. “But you get the drift here,” Blair adds. “It just wasn’t that rare for these kinds of snafus to occur.”

Blair made these comments in reaction to a report by airman John Bordne that has only recently been cleared by the U.S. Air Force. Bordne was serving on the U.S. military base in Okinawa in October 1962, at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis and a moment of serious tensions in Asia as well. The U.S. nuclear alert system had been raised to DEFCON 2, one level below DEFCON 1, when nuclear missiles can be launched immediately. At the peak of the crisis, on October 28th, a missile crew received authorization to launch its nuclear missiles, in error. They decided not to, averting likely nuclear war and joining Petrov and Arkhipov in the pantheon of men who decided to disobey protocol and thereby saved the world.

As Blair observed, such incidents are not uncommon. One recent expert study found dozens of false alarms every year during the period reviewed, 1977 to 1983; the study concluded that the range is 43 to 255 per year. The author of the study, Seth Baum, summarizes with appropriate words: “Nuclear war is the black swan we can never see, except in that brief moment when it is killing us. We delay eliminating the risk at our own peril. Now is the time to address the threat, because now we are still alive.”

These reports, like those in Eric Schlosser’s book Command and Control, keep mostly to U.S. systems. The Russian ones are doubtless much more error-prone. That is not to mention the extreme danger posed by the systems of others, notably Pakistan.

“A War Is No Longer Unthinkable”

Sometimes the threat has not been accident, but adventurism, as in the case of Able Archer. The most extreme case was the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, when the threat of disaster was all too real. The way it was handled is shocking; so is the manner in which it is commonly interpreted.

With this grim record in mind, it is useful to look at strategic debates and planning. One chilling case is the Clinton-era 1995 STRATCOM study “Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence.” The study calls for retaining the right of first strike, even against nonnuclear states. It explains that nuclear weapons are constantly used, in the sense that they “cast a shadow over any crisis or conflict.” It also urges a “national persona” of irrationality and vindictiveness to intimidate the world.

Current doctrine is explored in the lead article in the journal International Security, one of the most authoritative in the domain of strategic doctrine. The authors explain that the United States is committed to “strategic primacy” — that is, insulation from retaliatory strike. This is the logic behind Obama’s “new triad” (strengthening submarine and land-based missiles and the bomber force), along with missile defense to counter a retaliatory strike. The concern raised by the authors is that the U.S. demand for strategic primacy might induce China to react by abandoning its “no first use” policy and by expanding its limited deterrent. The authors think that they will not, but the prospect remains uncertain. Clearly the doctrine enhances the dangers in a tense and conflicted region.

The same is true of NATO expansion to the east in violation of verbal promises made to Mikhail Gorbachev when the USSR was collapsing and he agreed to allow a unified Germany to become part of NATO — quite a remarkable concession when one thinks about the history of the century. Expansion to East Germany took place at once. In the following years, NATO expanded to Russia’s borders; there are now substantial threats even to incorporate Ukraine, in Russia’s geostrategic heartland. One can imagine how the United States would react if the Warsaw Pact were still alive, most of Latin America had joined, and now Mexico and Canada were applying for membership.

Aside from that, Russia understands as well as China (and U.S. strategists, for that matter) that the U.S. missile defense systems near Russia’s borders are, in effect, a first-strike weapon, aimed to establish strategic primacy — immunity from retaliation. Perhaps their mission is utterly unfeasible, as some specialists argue. But the targets can never be confident of that. And Russia’s militant reactions are quite naturally interpreted by NATO as a threat to the West.

One prominent British Ukraine scholar poses what he calls a “fateful geographical paradox”: that NATO “exists to manage the risks created by its existence.”

The threats are very real right now. Fortunately, the shooting down of a Russian plane by a Turkish F-16 in November 2015 did not lead to an international incident, but it might have, particularly given the circumstances. The plane was on a bombing mission in Syria. It passed for a mere 17 seconds through a fringe of Turkish territory that protrudes into Syria, and evidently was heading for Syria, where it crashed. Shooting it down appears to have been a needlessly reckless and provocative act, and an act with consequences.

In reaction, Russia announced that its bombers will henceforth be accompanied by jet fighters and that it is deploying sophisticated anti-aircraft missile systems in Syria. Russia also ordered its missile cruiser Moskva, with its long-range air defense system, to move closer to shore, so that it may be “ready to destroy any aerial target posing a potential danger to our aircraft,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced. All of this sets the stage for confrontations that could be lethal.

Tensions are also constant at NATO-Russian borders, including military maneuvers on both sides. Shortly after the Doomsday Clock was moved ominously close to midnight, the national press reported that “U.S. military combat vehicles paraded Wednesday through an Estonian city that juts into Russia, a symbolic act that highlighted the stakes for both sides amid the worst tensions between the West and Russia since the Cold War.” Shortly before, a Russian warplane came within seconds of colliding with a Danish civilian airliner. Both sides are practicing rapid mobilization and redeployment of forces to the Russia-NATO border, and “both believe a war is no longer unthinkable.”

Prospects for Survival

If that is so, both sides are beyond insanity, since a war might well destroy everything. It has been recognized for decades that a first strike by a major power might destroy the attacker, even without retaliation, simply from the effects of nuclear winter.

But that is today’s world. And not just today’s — that is what we have been living with for 70 years. The reasoning throughout is remarkable. As we have seen, security for the population is typically not a leading concern of policymakers. That has been true from the earliest days of the nuclear age, when in the centers of policy formation there were no efforts — apparently not even expressed thoughts — to eliminate the one serious potential threat to the United States, as might have been possible. And so matters continue to the present, in ways just briefly sampled.

That is the world we have been living in, and live in today. Nuclear weapons pose a constant danger of instant destruction, but at least we know in principle how to alleviate the threat, even to eliminate it, an obligation undertaken (and disregarded) by the nuclear powers that have signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The threat of global warming is not instantaneous, though it is dire in the longer term and might escalate suddenly. That we have the capacity to deal with it is not entirely clear, but there can be no doubt that the longer the delay, the more extreme the calamity.

Prospects for decent long-term survival are not high unless there is a significant change of course. A large share of the responsibility is in our hands — the opportunities as well.

Noam Chomsky is institute professor emeritus in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ATomDispatch regular, among his recent books are Hegemony or Survival andFailed States . This essay is from his new book, Who Rules the World?(Metropolitan Books, the American Empire Project). His website iswww.chomsky.info.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Nuclear Weapons 
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  1. “Americans” agree by a 5:3 majority that “warming” concerns are a bigger issue than the economy? Really? They never polled me or any of mine. I asked all of them, no one was called for that poll. I have a poll that says the opposite by the ratio of 5:1. My poll is as good as their poll. Show that it is not.

    Therein lies the problem with “warming”. Too many lies.

    • Agree: Kiza
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
  2. expeedee says:

    Noam Chomsky is a multi millionaire, a fraud, and an overpaid philosopher who, like many of the elites, are part of the 1% establishment. Of course, he would like to save the planet by imposing heavy taxation on carbon that will hurt working Americans and further reduce their standard of living. How about instead every American citizen getting the same amount of carbon credits so the rich have to reduce their standard of living as well-maybe not being able to fly as often or cutting back on heating their pools or mansions.

    I don’t doubt that global warming is a threat, but the US contributes only 25%of carbon emissions and if we cut that in half by extraordinary measures and sacrifice, the problem will still persist. Chomsky needs to give his pious lecture to the Chinese and the Indians.

    Nuclear war is a much more immediate threat due to the reckless expansion of NATO by a Marxist President Obama and continual war games and confrontation with Russia. Plus Europe is in turmoil and there is now a world-wide jihad to increase instability.

    Liberals like Chomsky, Michael Moore and all the Hollywood loudmouth elites should all be rounded up and placed in re-education camps to learn humility and sacrifice.

  3. DanF says:

    I am sick of hearing about Carbon Emissions, because if there was seriously a problem it would mean the developing World needs to make the sacrifice. If you add up the U.S., Japan, EU, and all other OCED nations not previously mentioned (like Canada, Mexico, Chile, etc…) you have 37% of total emissions in 2015.

    That means 63% of emissions come from out side of those nations. In fact since 2007 the total emissions from: U.S., Japan, EU, and all other OCED nations not previously mentioned (like Canada, Mexico, Chile, etc…) has gone down!

    So, if Liberals, Progressives, Greens, etc… really cared about climate change they need to focus on the rest of the world and stop trying to raise my taxes, add economically destructive regulations, and raise my energy bill! That or admit this whole thing is a bunch of B.S. designed to increase taxes and control of the government over the citizens.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-12/about-those-carbon-emissions

    I agree Clinton and the Neocon’s in the U.S. establishment both are capable of and want a War with Russia.

    Nations have been ignoring the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty since 1970 when it came into force. Heck North Korea actually signed it then pulled out, a route Iran & Saudi Arabia both are likely will follow in the next decade*. India, Pakistan, and Israel never signed it.

    *This is a funny paradox. If Iran doesn’t make a bomb, but Saudi Arabia thinks they are, they get the bomb from Pakistan. Then Iran will have to make the bomb because the Saudi’s have it. At the same time if Iran does build the bomb. The Saudi’s will again have to get the bomb from Pakistan as they cannot let Iran have something they do not have. So, the only “safe” path is both nations “actually” believing the other is not getting the bomb. Which if you believe that there is this bridge I can sell you….

  4. If this “global warming” causes Washington D.C. to be submerged, I say let nature take its course.

  5. Based on Hillary’s record of militarism and her friendship with the neoliberal power structure including fracking oil companies and her past support of the so-called “free trade” “treaties” which are treasonous sellouts of national sovereignty and legal systems to corporate arbitration tribunals, he should not be saying she is acceptable at all. Instead he is largely following the politically correct mantras on this election. Bear in mind also that Hillary is a war criminal based on her role in Libya.

  6. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Groovy Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:
    @expeedee

    I trust neither side in the global warming debate.

    There is an long interview with Freeman Dyson in Yale 360. Dyson talks about how he was involved with climate modeling research at Los Alamos. He discusses the very serious technical issues involved with modeling crucial meteorological -environment interactions that he claims have not been resolved to this day and as a consequence makes it impossible to determine if global warming is caused by humans. However, Dyson argues that data is very conclusive that the planet is heating up.

    Perhaps Ron Unz can post the Yale360 interview with Freeman Dyson on Unz Review.

    It is hard to get the Native Born White Ametican Working Clasd worked up about Global Warming when the Global Warming Crowd=The Democratic Party is openly waging a violent race war against the Historic Native Born White Ametican Working Class.

    Barack Obama….Hillary Clinton…Susan Rice….Victoria Nuland should be prosecuted for War Crimes in the Ukraine…

    I see things like this:1962=2016…it’s really fucking dangerous and scary.

    JFK who almost caused the death millions of Americans and Russians was also the inspiration for the passage of The 1965 Immigration Reform Act which was reprobate Teddy’s permanent monument of demographc extermination to his brother JFK….If the 1965 Immigration Reform Act had not been passed the narcissistic homosexual war criminal Kenyan Foriegner would not have had a snowballs chance in hell of ever being elected POTUS-and the Historic Native Born White American Majority would still be a 90 percent racial majority in the US in 2016.

    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
  7. @Jim Christian

    I think this is the report of the poll: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/01/world/americas/us-climate-change-republicans-democrats.html?_r=0

    Key paragraph:

    During the darkest days of the recent recession, concern about climate change became subsumed by economic anxieties. But concern about the environment is now back to pre-recession levels. Most respondents to the recent poll said that in situations where a sacrifice must be made, protecting the environment was more important than stimulating the economy — by 54 percent to 34 percent.

    The question seems too vague to be useful.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  8. @expeedee

    Liberals like Chomsky, Michael Moore and all the Hollywood loudmouth elites should all be rounded up and placed in re-education camps to learn humility and sacrifice.

    Re-education camps? Sounds Stalinist to me. Why don’t you stick with the fascism you know and love: kill the traitors.

  9. Mark Green says: • Website

    What a boring old windbag Noam Chomsky has become. But even in his youth, he was something of a fraud.

    Chomsky still denies the magnitude of Israeli influence in Washington and Jewish power in general. He’s a classic Zionist gatekeeper.

    Now he’s obsessed with (anthropogenic) global warming and reducing CO2 emissions. The man never stops blowing smoke. As if he (or anyone) knows what the optimum global climate should be.

    Chomsky wrote an entire book on Israel and Palestine and Washington (‘The Fateful Triangle’) and never even examined AIPAC, Jewish money in US politics, or the pro-Israel bias that permeates American media. He still claims that Washington dominates Israel and “uses” Israel as a regional pawn of some kind. Oh sure.

    Who does rule the world, Noam?

    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
  10. Cyrano says:

    The only country that needs nuclear weapons in order to impersonate a “superpower” is the one that invented them. China and Russia don’t need them. They can be (and are) superpowers without nuclear weapons. Gorbachev actually suggested to the senile one – I believe at the Reykjavik summit to get rid of all nuclear weapons. It didn’t happen and it won’t and we know who is the reason.

  11. Kiza says:

    Russian submarine commander Vasili Arkhipov, who, at a dangerous moment of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, refused to authorize the launching of nuclear torpedoes when the subs were under attack by U.S. destroyers enforcing a quarantine.

    Only a US mug can call a maritime blockade of Cuba and mine bombing of a Russian submarine in the international waters an enforcement of “a quarantine”, as if Cubans are bacteria infestation.

    Chomsky is a great linguist, but other than this he is a washed out lefty with an AGW obsession. I hate it when experts in one field become experts of everything, so typical in the West. In other words, this article is almost worthless rubbish.

    Oh, BTW, Chomsky publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton for the President.

    • Agree: Regnum Nostrum
  12. Karl says:

    >> the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists advanced its famous Doomsday Clock to three minutes before midnight

    attention whoring.

    you know what we call someone who can actually predict the political future correctly at least 51% of the time?

    answer: “wealthy from underwriting political risk insurance”

    Linguistics isn’t even a real science. Chomsky, go back to your Gender Studies conferences.

    Lest I get some 19-year-old magavnikkit to kick your teeth out.

  13. Tom Welsh says:

    “These reports, like those in Eric Schlosser’s book Command and Control, keep mostly to U.S. systems. The Russian ones are doubtless much more error-prone”.

    That second sentence is an odd assumption by Dr Chomsky, who probably isn’t a great expert in military command and control systems. Whatever may have been the case in the days of the USSR, or even the corrupt Yeltsin period of the 1990s, my impression today is that the Russian armed forces run a “tight ship”. I think it much more likely that the Americans would be sloppy, lazy, incompetent, or saddled with badly-written software.

  14. Tom Welsh says:
    @War for Blair Mountain

    The Register published a shorter interview with Freeman Dyson in October, in which he is quoted as saying that the only worrying thing about “global warming” is that so many reputable scientists subscribe to it:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/10/11/freeman_dyson_interview/

    A quick Google also found this:

    http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2151

  15. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Groovy Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:
    @Tom Welsh

    AGW may be a modeling morass at the moment…I don’t know.

  16. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Groovy Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:
    @Karl

    Chomsky’s syntax program is an attempt to make linguistics a scientific program. His argument is that the study of human language syntax has yet to reach the level of Newtonian physics because the fundamental concepts of syntax have to be clarified and made rigorous. One can not say that a priori that syntax can not be a predictive science in the sense of discovering new things about human syntax and the brain.

    I have very strong didagreements with Chomsky on nonwhite legal immigration. However, there is a tendency among Chomsky haters to say things about Chomsky that are in the realm of stupid and dishonest.

    Chomsky’s minimalist program is a very serious attempt to move the study of human syntax closer to where physics was during Issac’s Newton’s time.

    Chomsky’s syntax research program has lead to important contributions in compiler design..The Chomsky hierarchy…. and in the theory of regular languages as in the Chomsky-Shutzenburger theorem.

    So a research program can ultimately fail yet still yield very important insights and contributions.

    • Agree: Stephen R. Diamond
  17. Wally says: • Website

    Chomsky is a Marxist Jewish supremacist.

    “global warming / climate change” is a profitable fraud.

    Enough said.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com

  18. Rehmat says:

    Professor Avram Noam Chomsky knows how to cover his personal agenda behind literary smokescreen. That’s what he did in his article published at ‘AlterNet’ on September 3, 2012, entitled ‘Why America and Israel Are the Greatest Threats to Peace‘. His article begins with the statement: “Imagine if Iran – or any other country – did a fraction of what Americans and Israel do at will“. However, after criticizing both the US and Israel for their warmongering policies toward the Islamic Republic – Chomsky drops the Zionist entity from his list of “brutal and repressive regimes” in the region.

    The Iranian government is brutal and repressive, as are Washington’s allies in the region,” wrote Chomsky. One wonder why none of the leaders from 120 NAM member countries and 23 non-NAM countries who attended the 16th NAM summit in Tehran last week – compared Iran with the United States in those categories!

    The ‘Jewish philosopher’ believes in the discredited ‘official 9/11 story’. In his book, ‘9-11’, Chomsky criticized US foreign policy in the Middle East and its invasion of Afghanistan – but never mentioned Israel’s complicity in the tragedy. Chomsky is against Palestinians’ military resistance. He also favors the so-called ‘two-state’ solution and believes in Israel’s right to exist as ‘Jewish state’. Chomsky never publically questioned the Zionist version of the holocaust (‘Six Million Died’). Chomsky is against academic boycott of Israel. Chomsky doesn’t believe that the US foreign policy is controlled by the Jewish groups especially the AIPAC. Chomsky also doesn’t like Israel being compared with the former apartheid South Africa.

    American Jewish writer and blogger, Roger Tucker, in a 2010 ‘Open Letter to Uri Avnery, Noam Chomsky and Jimmy Carter‘, had claimed that they’re not friends of Palestinian – because they themselves were ‘Crypto-Zionists’ hiding behind the facade of ‘humanism’.

    Jeff Blankfort, former Jewish editor of the Middle East Labor Bulletin, a long time photographer and a frequent writer on Israel-Palestinian conflict – had called Chomsky a Double Agent in one of his 2005 articles….

    https://rehmat1.com/2012/09/06/chomsky-i-support-israel-but/

  19. Clyde says:
    @expeedee

    I don’t doubt that global warming is a threat, but the US contributes only 25%of carbon emissions and if we cut that in half by extraordinary measures and sacrifice, the problem will still persist. Chomsky needs to give his pious lecture to the Chinese and the Indians.

    You can thank the free traitors for deporting US industry to China/Asia/Mexico. So the CO2 that would have been produced by US factories employing US workers is now produced and sent upward into the atmosphere by Chinese factories. Not that I classify CO2 as a pollutant, because I don’t buy into the global warming bs propaganda campaign.

    Yes, China is now suffering some genuine pollution now that they are the world’s low cost producer. The kind of pollution that kills fish in your rivers and makes you cough and choke. Our American save_the_planet types don’t care as long as the pollution is produced thousands of miles away.

  20. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Who cares what some crank who studies punctuation thinks about the climate?

    Some good comments though.

  21. Rurik says:

    every Republican candidate running for president in 2016 has publicly questioned or denied the science of climate change

    yea, like all those people who “deny” the Holocaust, huh Noamy?

    professional liars like Chomsky are the lowest form of scum there is- because they ought to know better

    there actually is an existential threat to the ecology of the planet, and it does have everything to do with human actively- and that threat is human over-population. But that very real threat is never mentioned, because it doesn’t serve the agenda of the scumfucks, whose only concern is more power for themselves and turning the rest of us into chattel (on a barren rock if necessary).

    They may recognize that there are too many people on the planet, and counting… but their solution is simply that these people need to be more and more controlled, and taxed, and regulated. This is their “Global Warming” solution to over-population ~

    more people are fine, according to the scumfucks. (more taxes and more cannon fodder and more consumers). They just need to have a smaller ‘footprint’ and be much, much more controlled and regulated. That’s all. Problem solved!

    For those true scientists and naturalists who recognize the very dire threat to all life on planet earth by unbridled and exponentially exploding human numbers, it is beyond tragic to see all these liars and shills railing about a non-existent problem in order to enrich themselves at the expense of human freedom and creation itself.

  22. Klokman says:

    A snap reminder of why I rarely read or listen to Noam. The only truth in his senile musings hatched in his ivory tower is the characterization of the insanity infesting government administrations, and the unrestrained obsessions of the US military-industrial segment.

    Who really runs the world Noam? You have claimed to know for decades. If you really knew them, then you’d know all the issues made chicken-little here are by design by those carrot-cake brains behind the world-wide agitation.

  23. The call condemned world leaders, who “have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe.”

    Isn’t that the trademark of “world leaders”?

    The study showed that a huge Greenland glacier, Zachariae Isstrom, “broke loose from a glaciologically stable position in 2012 and entered a phase of accelerated retreat,” an unexpected and ominous development. The glacier “holds enough water to raise global sea level by more than 18 inches (46 centimeters) if it were to melt completely. And now it’s on a crash diet, losing 5 billion tons of mass every year. All that ice is crumbling into the North Atlantic Ocean.” Yet there was little expectation that world leaders in Paris would “act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe.”

    What does Mr.Chomsky propose? That they go to Greenland and try to cool off the glacier with folding Chinese fans? On a more serious note. I have the impression that our self appointed “wise men” are not really sure whether the climate will heat up or cool off hence climate change, because it covers both options. If I remember correctly just a few decades ago there was a lot of talk of new ice age. Unfortunately the climate did not cooperate hence the switch to climate change. If one goes way back in time one will notice that the Earth went through a number of changes in its climate without any input from humans whatsoever. To say that we are somehow responsible for the current warming trend is a little bit presumptuous, but hey, humans like to exaggerate their own importance. Here is just one of the warmer periods.

    Another stretch of Earth history that scientists count among the planet’s warmest occurred about 55-56 million years ago. The episode is known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM).During the PETM, the global mean temperature appears to have risen by as much as 5-8°C (9-14°F) to an average temperature as high as 73°F. (Again, today’s global average is shy of 60°F.)

    While the data suggests global warming I do not believe it is human caused. All the Booga Booga seems to be an opportunistic cry by those who waste the most to squeeze even more those who waste the least. If not caused by humans, the version I prefer, we cannot do much about it. If human caused, we can only stop it by ceasing all industrial production and going back to caves. By the way Mr.Chomsky forgot to mention much more imminent disaster hanging over our heads and that is the collapse of the world financial system.

  24. nickels says:

    for once in the comments, I HAVE GOOD NEWS!!!

    All climate hysteria is based on computer models. Models that have been doctored to create alarm and therefore more research grants.

    In fact, a climate model diverges very rapidly from the truth. Within 3 or 4 months of the starting point, the simulation error begins to approach the 100% threshold.

    At that point, averages, statistics, point values, all of it: WORTHLESS!!!!

    So the whole thing turns out to be a lie for the purposes of establishing a world government (Climate talks always attempt to get the secession of authority to a centralized committee) and to crank over funds for research grants.

    And as far as the nuclear thing; anyone who has read Josephus knows the most dangerous day in the world of nukes came when Israel got the bomb.

    • Replies: @JVC
  25. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Survival is a business as others, and it will be more and more like that in the future, creating new fears…
    http://www.fpga.red

  26. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Groovy Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Can Specy

    That’s a stupid comment…really stupid

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  27. joe webb says:

    a real yawner. My greatest achievement was to Out the jew chomper back about 2001 as a zionist thru a careful reading of the obtuse rabbi.

    Joe Webb

  28. very long article. Does he explain what actions the US could take that would halt or reduce global CO2 emissions?

  29. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @War for Blair Mountain

    Wow, really, stoopid! I have excelled myself.

    Except that Chomsky is engaging in scare talk based on a stoopid thinking, e.g.,

    The glacier “holds enough water to raise global sea level by more than 18 inches (46 centimeters) if it were to melt completely. And now it’s on a crash diet, losing 5 billion tons of mass every year. All that ice is crumbling into the North Atlantic Ocean.”

    So how much does 5 billion tons of melted ice raise sea level? Just one millimeter. So plenty of time to raise sea walls a foot or two to handle any likely increase in sea level prior to the year 2100. And by that time there will surely have been a wholesale transformation of the world’s energy systems resulting in massive decarbonization, quite independently of any panic generated by elderly specialists in syntax.

    Solar power is already cost-competitive with solar in Saudi Arabia. All that’s needed for a massive change-over from carbon to solar is a global superconducting grid to provide stable power 24/7 from solar plants located around the equator. But then fusion power or safe thorium fission reactors or something you’ve never heard of may forestall the solar solution.

  30. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Groovy Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Your comment that Chomsky was an expert on punctuation was stupid.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  31. Richard S says:
    @expeedee

    I don’t doubt that global warming is a threat, but the US contributes only 25%of carbon emissions

    But the US has only 4% of the global population.

  32. Richard S says:

    A lot of these commenters are really missing the vital point Chomsky is making about the low likelihood of human survival, given that an all-out nuclear war is a possibility about which the American oligarchy seems startlingly non-chalant.

    Did you ever wonder why the universe isn’t exactly teeming with intelligent life, a la Star Trek? The bomb *means* extinction. Humanity has had it only for a single human lifetime; how does that stack up against geological time, let alone cosmic time?

    • Agree: Stephen R. Diamond
    • Replies: @Stephen R. Diamond
  33. @Mark Green

    He’s a classic Zionist gatekeeper.

    Not classic by any means. He has staunchly defended the free speech of “holocaust revisionists.”

    He’s a contradictory character politically and on Zionism. Unlike Trump, who pledged fealty to Israel and whose biggest donor is Sheldon Adelson.

    [It’s revealing that the single biggest funders of Trump and Clinton each are rabid Zionists.]

    • Replies: @biz
  34. @Stephen R. Diamond

    Thank you. But then there is the issue of the model. Who was polled? San Francisco, or Texans? I can take a ten-thousand sample poll and get exactly the result I want by studying the demographic of various cities and polling to that demographic. I can nail it down to zip codes and area codes. Were college kids polled? Man-in-the-street? For instance, there is this:

    Two-thirds of Americans support the United States joining a binding international agreement to curb growth of greenhouse gas emissions, but a slim majority of Republicans remain opposed, the poll found.

    Two-thirds of “Americans”. From where? New York Times/CBS did the poll and got the result of course, that fits their narrative. I got to know Peter Hart, a poller that got paid BIG money for private political polling in DC back in Reagan’s day, likely his organization still is. These polls need to be accurate, they’re kept close to the vest and the politicians design strategy around a REAL poll. Accuracy for those is all. But if Mr. Hart wanted a result, bought and pair for by say, Washington Post, he shaped, that is, he polled specific demographics. Regions, in other words. They wanted a poll that supported their narrative and NYT/CBS bought or developed themselves, this poll.

    Public opinion polls released as settled science by Liberal press are simply NOT to be believed, unless of course, they want to release specific methodology. Never happen. Basic statistics classes would impart the knowledge to folks that would put widespread skepticism to these B/S polls. In any case if it’s a publicly-released poll, it’s polled from the start to a desired result. If it was the truth, honest methodology, they wouldn’t release it.

    Hell, Mr. Diamond, if I did it just right, I could produce a poll that shows 99.5% of Unz readers believe they are actually little green men from mars. That is as outlandish to me as the notion that 2/3 of Americans would trade the “environmental interest” for their economic survival which is the notion of this poll by NYT/CBS. Each poll is there, mine and theirs, but neither is to be believed.

  35. @Richard S

    A lot of these commenters are really missing the vital point Chomsky is making about the low likelihood of human survival, given that an all-out nuclear war is a possibility

    Recognizing nuclear war as the key existential issue would undercut the narrative that migration is all that matters.

  36. Rehmat says:

    On August 18, 60 Muslim religious scholars and environmental experts from 20 countries including Mufti of Lebanon and Mufti of Uganda, issued an historic Climate Change Declaration in Istanbul (Turkey) urging 1.9 billion Muslims around the world to support Climate Change and called on rich countries and oil-producing states to stop greenhouse gas emission as soon as possible but not later than 2050. In addition to Muslim scholars, Rabbi Yonatan Neril (Jerusalem) and Pandit Madhava Trumella (UK) also attended the two-day conference.

    The declaration was blessed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, environmental adviser to Pope Francis in the Vatican, and UNFCCC executive secretary Christiana Figueres.

    The US Department of Energy in its Report 2014, listed China, United States, Russia, India, Japan, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, South Korea and Islamic Republic as world’s top ten Carbon emission (polluting) nations in that order.

    I’m no expert on this subject, but I think the western-sponsored Industrial Revolution, Consumerism and Wars to exploit the so-called ‘Third World’ natural resources, are the fundamental cause of our major environmental problems.

    I think, Indian writer, author and human rights activist, Arundhati Roy also meant the same when she said in February 18, 2013: “If there is any hope for the world at all, it doesn’t live in climate-change conference rooms or cities with tall buildings. It lives low down on the ground, with its arms around the people who go to battle every day to protect their forests, their mountains and their rivers because they know the forests, the mountains and the rivers protect them.”

    https://rehmat1.com/2015/08/19/muslim-experts-support-climate-change/

  37. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    Meanwhile, the Republican Party has largely drifted off the spectrum, becoming what respected conservative political analyst Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein call a “radical insurgency” that has virtually abandoned normal parliamentary politics.

    “drifted off the spectrum”. LOL.

    Off the spectrum of what’s considered acceptable to an academic socialist.

    In fact, the Trump-led Republican party is a good old fashioned workers’ party, committed to limiting the influx of cheap labor and the off-shoring of jobs. Oh, and promising to bring the troops home.

    Whether a Trump Presidency would deliver is another matter, but that has no bearing on where the platform sits on the spectrum.

    • Agree: Rurik
  38. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Groovy Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Chomsky is quoting two “JEW PURE FOR MY ISRAEL” Jews as authorities on the Republican Party

    Noam Chomsly=Hardcore race nationalism for the Democratic Party Voting Bloc…..but I won’t give Whitey permission to do this

    Well Noam…we don’t need your fucking permission!!!!!

    Chomsky is already having his rape murder fantasies about White Christian Women….

  39. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    WaPo has an article on Trump’s foreign policy, which concludes:

    Trump, for all his bizarre commentary on domestic issues, better grasps the subtleties of global politics and the dangers of thinking ourselves infallible and invincible.

    It’s quite an irony: The ostensibly more reckless, infantile, inexperienced and bombastic candidate may actually be more mature, level-headed and reasonable on foreign policy than his critics, who, against all the good advice our parents gave us as children, pout and refuse to talk to those they don’t like, escalate arguments to violence when they are upset, lack any remorse for the harm caused by their past opinions and actions, and fail repeatedly to see that there might be two sides to any disagreement.

    Seems like Chomsky’s judgement of the Trump-led Republican Party is distorted by the fact that it is he who has “drifted off the spectrum” along with Hillary and the NeoCons.

  40. JVC says:
    @nickels

    Aye–those famous global climate computer models. Nothing but garbage in, garbage out. The entire CAGW industry has been a scam. Not a single model has demonstrated any accuracy compared to actual observed data. And since the warmists have decided the ideal climate from which all change is measured (1850-1870) was actually when the world was finally just emerging from the Little Ice Age–about the coldest period of time in the past oh 4000 years or more–(remember we are still emerging from a major glaciation event) –what is wrong with a little warming??? There is no hard science that shows CO2 causes much if any warming at all. What it does show is that the small increase in CO2 has a beneficial effect on growing things–it is after all Plant food, and that the planet has been “greening”. We are at the 400 PPM (4 molecules of CO2 for each 10,000 molecules of air) range, while commercial green house growers typically boost their growing atmosphere to 1200PPM. Further, all the times of human advancement have come during warm periods–(Mycenaean, Roman, MiddleAge)–on the other hand, the dark ages were rather cold.

    • Agree: woodNfish
    • Replies: @Kiza
  41. biz says:
    @Stephen R. Diamond

    [It’s revealing that the single biggest funders of Trump and Clinton each are rabid Zionists.]

    It is revealing only of the fact that the vast overwhelming majority of the 98% of the American public who are not Muslim are pro-Israel. With numbers like that, the big funders, the small funders, and the non-funders are all very likely to be pro-Israel, or as you call it rabid Zionists.

  42. Kiza says:
    @JVC

    AGW is simply a new tax to comfort the new carbon-dioxide priesthood. Why steal with a gun on a highway when you can steal using tax department, courts and police of the existing establishment? Sell a concept and the money comes pouring in.

    The Environmentalism is a great idea just like Christianity, but every great idea gets abused for personal gain by a group – the priesthood.

    • Replies: @woodNfish
  43. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Groovy Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    Noam Chomsky’s obsession…a murderous one at that….is to accelerate the Demographic Doomsday Clock for The Historic Native Born White American Majority. Chomsky and his daughter Aviva use #BLACKLIVESMATTER to issue proxy death threats to the Historic Native Born White American Majority. It is for this reason that I don’t give a hoot about Global Warming even if it is a scientifically established fact. I just don’t care…

  44. Liam says:

    Whether or not climate change is real, it won’t exterminate us. Humanity survived an Ice Age without any of the advanced technology we now possess and is adaptable enough to have survived in deserts for millennia. The flooding of coastal cities might kill a few dozen million people, but overall, we’ll be fine for the most part. The First World will build dams and floodgates and the Third World won’t, which might lead to a convenient reduction in the global population.

  45. […] The Doomsday Clock by Noam Chomsky, an excerpt from his book Who Rules the World? […]

  46. woodNfish says:
    @Kiza

    Environmentalism is not a great idea because it puts trees, animals and the Earth above the betterment of humanity. Also most environmentalists are misanthropic sociopaths who would be better contained in a rubber room or even exterminated than let loose on society.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  47. JL says:

    I have a tough time buying into the whole global warming panic, being that the climate is an intensely complex system and meteorologists still can’t seem to predict weather with much clarity even a few days out. You don’t need extensive modeling to realize that there are too many people chasing a finite amount of resources, creating pollution and destruction that will eventually make the world a rather inhospitable environment. Global warming is just a religion for people who don’t believe in god.

    Nuclear war, on the other hand, is a much simpler and realistic concept. It’s binary and involves human psychology, something much easier to understand. I have a gentlemen’s bet (what other could there be?) with a global warming panicky friend about which of the two will do us in eventually.

    Chomsky’s article is full of logical wholes and suppositions. For example, this one: “…both sides are beyond insanity.” I’ve lived half my life on one side and half on the other and I’m pretty damned sure only one of them is beyond insanity.

  48. Kiza says:
    @woodNfish

    You are exaggerating, environmentalism does not put trees, animals and the Earth above the betterment of humanity, some environmentalists do. It all comes down to people. A few decades ago, the Green Party of Australia had a great leader, a homosexual who made so much antiwar sense that, although conservative myself, I voted for him and the Greens. Today, the Green Part is totally off-the-rails, a refuge of extremists and a tool of the lawyers and the corporates, it is probably the worst political party in Australia. Most Green Party representatives are pure scum of the Earth (no pun intended), but they do appeal to young audiences with their extremism and demagoguery and are growing in votes and in members of parliament.

    • Replies: @woodNfish
  49. woodNfish says:
    @Kiza

    I’m not exaggerating, you are not paying close enough attention to the loonies.

  50. […] The Doomsday Clock by Noam Chomsky, an excerpt from his book Who Rules the World? […]

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