27 May 2015 by Published in: Uncategorized 3 comments

It’s impossible to comment, or even think, about the current state of the world, without mentioning Noam Chomsky. Brilliant, erudite, impossible to bullshit, he’s at the top of his game in this remarkable lecture, in which he describes why things on our planet are what they are. It should be required listening for all graduating high school seniors, as well as every citizen of the U.S.

There is an alternative to misinformation and apathy. It’s called knowledge. We don’t have to wallow in ignorance – the truth is easily discoverable, even if there’s an entire industry devoted to obfuscation, and even if veracity is at times uncomfortable. Enlightenment is rarely comfortable. That’s just how it works.

Chomsky reminds me of David Foster Wallace, and to some extent, Kurt Vonnegut. Both were insightful social commentators. The man’s 86 years old, and sharper than I ever was on my best day. Impressive is the understatement of the century.




  1. Fitch
    Wed 27th May 2015 at 2:41 pm

    The human race will cease to exist unless it finds someplace else to live. That’s a certainty. Attention to the environment of planet earth has little to do with that conclusion. It might affect the timing, but it won’t have anything todo with the end result.

    If no celestial body shows up to collide with and destroy earth earlier, the sun reaching end of life will do it. The sun has a finite life. It will turn into a red giant, nova, and vaporize the earth. The climate here won’t support life when that happens. There is no defense against it. Period.

    When it will happen is the subject of some uncertainty. Some think in 3 billion years, others in 5 billion years. No intelligent being argues it won’t happen. The physics are real.

    If, when that happens, the human race hasn’t figured out how to get to some other galaxy that will support our life form, we’re done. Over. Just another negligible mote of dust in the march of time and the evolution of the universe. The end will be species independent. People, beetles, microbes, all will cease to exist at plasma temperatures regardless of intelligence. It might not even be the first time. It would be incredibly arrogant to think it was.

    Climate change is real, it’s been happening since the earth was formed, it’s happening now, it will continue to happen until the earth is vaporized,, and good luck doing anything about it. The earth was once covered by oceans of molten rock and clouds of toxic gasses. It cooled and continued to cool until it could support carbon based life forms. The earth’s cooling continues subject to modulation by the intensity of the sun which is subject to change in accordance with the physics that govern it’s energy generation. There is no basis for saying this cooling trend, which begun when the earth was formed, will stop or reverse.

    The sun has turned down enough to allow ice ages, more than once. It turned up enough to stop them and cause the glaciers to recede, more than once. It’s inevitable that it will do it again. (Sell your Canadian real estate?) That variation in the sun’s energy output swamps the influence of carbon in the atmosphere, assuming that’s even a factor. There is considerable compelling data to say it isn’t a cause, it’s a result.

    There is some reason to wonder about the pacing of consumption. Will we run out of resources before we run out of time? The answer to that appears to be yes unless we can figure out how to power recycling processes with practical renewable energy (not wind energy or solar cells which won’t get it done). The politics of energy are amazing. People were promoting solar cells for energy conservation when they took more energy to make than they could produce in their operating life time. The technology has advanced to the point they will produce more than it takes to make them, but they still won’t get it done.

    That said, there is no reason to run out of energy, we’ve had the technology to assure that for 40 years. Breeder reactors, in case anybody wonders what that technology might be. There may be other technologies, but that one is real and has been demonstrated.

    The problem with breeder reactors, with nuclear power in general, is not the technology, it’s ethics. It’s figuring out who one would trust to manage it. Where would one find a collection of people who could be trusted to do that? The movie, “The China Syndrome” wasn’t an anti-nuclear movie, it was a movie about the failure of ethics and integrity. The story of Chernobyl is the story of what happens when politics and nuclear energy are mixed in an ethically corrupt political system run by narcissists with no ethics, no morals, and no memory. There is a really good book about Chernobyl. I read it twice. What happened there makes “The China Syndrome” read like a Sunday school discussion.

    Recycling, which I support, is a way of stretching resources. But it only works if one has energy available to power the recycling, material recovery, processes. That is an ethics problem.

    It’s more than likely insoluble.


  2. Thu 28th May 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I’m sure Noam Chomsky would consider indie authors members of the “Precariat.”
    TY for sharing. He’s an interesting guy.

  3. Thu 28th May 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I just finished listening to your tape, and was amazed about the coincidence of you bringing up Noam Chomsky.

    Had I better researched the title of Book 3 of my Legends of the Winged Scarab series, I would have found that there already was a book entitled “After the Cataclysm” by – yes – Noam Chomsky (should I be embarrassed?).

    I just finished Book 4 “The Crystal Curse,” in which I predict a New World Order (devious Agenda 21-like plans). Besides frightening my readers about our endangered earth, I actually scared myself. I conclude, however, that it is not some mythical curse that afflicts Man, but that Man himself will eventually cause his own demise.

    Will we ever learn?


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