“Climate change poses an imminent threat to human life,” said political philosopher Noam Chomsky – “and humans are drawing their own doom ever closer.”
“Who is accelerating it?” Chomsky said. “The most privileged, so-called advanced, educated populations of the world.”
He compared this phenomenon to a theory by Ernst Mayr, a 20th-century evolutionary biologist who speculated humans would never encounter intelligent extraterrestrials because higher life forms quickly force themselves into extinction.
“Mayr argued that the adaptive value of what is called ‘higher intelligence’ is very low,” Chomsky said. “Beetles and bacteria are much more adaptive than humans. We will find out if it is better to be smart than stupid. We may be a biological error, using the 100,000 years which Mayr gives [as] the life expectancy of a species to destroy ourselves and many other life forms on the planet.”
But Chomsky remained hopeful that the corporate elite could be overthrown before they bring on environmental disaster, citing historical examples of mass movements that returned power to autonomous collectives.