Chomsky on the intersection between climate, deep state, and rule by the rich

This is more a pointer than a point. I’ll let Noam Chomsky speak for me. In a new Alternet piece Chomsky explores the intersection between climate, deep state, and rule by the rich — three of the four basic food groups here at La Maison chez nous. Add “Obama” and you’ve got a full meal.

Chomsky starts with a point he makes in the context of America’s nuclear era — that our “leaders” don’t really care about the welfare of those they pretend to protect (my emphasis and paragraphing)

Noam Chomsky: The Dimming Prospects for Human Survival
From nuclear war to the destruction of the environment, humanity is steering the wrong course.

A previous article I wrote explored how security is a high priority for government planners: security, that is, for state power and its primary constituency, concentrated private power – all of which entails that official policy must be protected from public scrutiny.

In these terms, government actions fall in place as quite rational, including the rationality of collective suicide. Even instant destruction by nuclear weapons has never ranked high among the concerns of state authorities.

To cite an example from the late Cold War: In November 1983 the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization launched a military exercise designed to probe Russian air defenses, simulating air and naval attacks and even a nuclear alert. … The NATO exercise “almost became a prelude to a preventative (Russian) nuclear strike,” according to an account last year by Dmitry Adamsky in the Journal of Strategic Studies .

Nor was this the only close call. In September 1983, Russia’s early-warning systems registered an incoming missile strike from the United States and sent the highest-level alert. The Soviet military protocol was to retaliate with a nuclear attack of its own. …

Chomsky is an academic and a researcher. This part of the article is up to his usual snuff. Keep those principles in mind.

“Security … for state power and its primary constituency, concentrated private power …”


“the rationality of collective suicide …”

 All you need to know, as the saying goes. Let that marinate. Now the application to climate, the meat of this piece:

But another dire peril casts its shadow over any contemplation of the future – environmental disaster. It’s not clear that there even is an escape, though the longer we delay, the more severe the threat becomes – and not in the distant future. The commitment of governments to the security of their populations is therefore clearly exhibited by how they address this issue.

Today the United States is crowing about “100 years of energy independence” as the country becomes “the Saudi Arabia of the next century” – very likely the final century of human civilization if current policies persist. One might even take a speech of President Obama’s two years ago in the oil town of Cushing, Okla., to be an eloquent death-knell for the species.

[Obama] proclaimed with pride, to ample applause, that

climate change pollution global warming CO2

CO2 via Shutterstock

“Now, under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. That’s important to know. Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.”

The applause also reveals something about government commitment to security. Industry profits are sure to be secured as “producing more oil and gas here at home” will continue to be “a critical part” of energy strategy, as the president promised.

Obama loves him some carbon. No matter what else he says, he did say this — yep, that’s what the man said. (If you don’t click, you’re missing something.)

So your bottom line. Obama wants to be the Carbon King among presidents. Also, the Deep State, the conflux between the NSA State and the Private Money–State (hmm, will they make the final four?) don’t care a dime about anyone’s survival but their own.

We can move forward if we accept that fact. Chomsky might agree, though I haven’t asked him, yet.


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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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