Noam Chomsky speaks about humanity's prospects for survival in Amherst, Massachusetts, United States on 13 April 2017. By Σ - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Noam Chomsky Slams Biden’s Climate Policy Response

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Is President Biden losing his base? 92 year old activist icon Noam Chomsky has accused Biden of placing politics before climate action, though Chomsky appears to suggest Biden’s inaction is somewhat redeemed by Congress, thanks to Bernie Sanders and young activists.

Noam Chomsky: Ending Climate Change “Has to Come From Mass Popular Action,” Not Politicians

AN INTERVIEW WITH NOAM CHOMSKY
11.19.2021

On Climate Change

BM

To change subjects: What do you see as the greatest obstacle in solving the climate crisis?

NC

There are two major obstacles. One is, of course, the fossil fuel companies. Second is the governments of the world, including Europe and the United States. We have just seen that very dramatically over the summer. On August 9, 2021, the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] issued its last analysis of the climate situation. It was a very dire warning — much more than before.

The message basically was, “We have two choices.” We can either start right now cutting back on fossil fuel use, [and] do it systematically every year, until we phase them out by mid-century. That’s one choice. The other choice is cataclysm. The end of organized human life on earth. Not immediately — we’ll just reach irreversible tipping points, and it goes on to disaster. Those are the options.

How did the great powers react? The day after the IPCC report, Joe Biden issued an appeal to the OPEC cartel [Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries] to increase production. Europe chimed in by calling on all producers, including Russia, to increase production. Increase production. This is a response to the IPPC warning that we have to start reducing right now.

That’s for political reasons, for profit for the oil companies. [The] political reason is that they want the price reduced. It’s better for them. [For] Joe Biden, if the gas prices are high, it harms his electoral prospects. [If] you read the major business press right now, [there’s] a big discussion going on: What’s the best way to increase production? Is it through the American shale oil — the fracking industry — or is it through OPEC? But how do we increase production best? That’s the business press. Turn to the petroleum journals. [They are] euphoric: “We just found new fields to exploit. Demand is going up. It’s great.”

Let’s go to the US Congress. The Biden program — under pressure from young activists, the Bernie Sanders movements, and so on — is actually a big improvement on any previous ones, on paper. It’s not wonderful, but it’s much better than anything else. Well, the [previous] negotiations in Congress over the “reconciliation bill,” initiated by Bernie Sanders, cut back very sharply from Sanders’s proposals. It’s a very valuable bill. It somewhat reverses the huge assault on the population during the neoliberal era.

Read more: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/11/noam-chomsky-climate-change-afghanistan-anarchism-china

Its a fascinating dynamic. Chomsky appears to prefer Bernie Sanders over Biden, but I’m sure Chomsky prefers Biden over a Republican President.

Yet Chomsky believes Biden has shown willingness to throw climate action under a bus as soon as it becomes politically painful.

Chomsky must be aware, there is no reason for Biden to change course, so long as he can count on the grudging support of iconic activists like Chomsky and his followers. Time will tell how long Chomsky and friends will tolerate what must be for them a very unsatisfactory compromise.

4.3 9 votes
Article Rating
126 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
John Garrett
November 21, 2021 6:17 am

Chomsky is an addle-brained, out-and-out nutcase.

If you’ve ever witnessed any of his demented rants, you know the only thing that’s missing are flecks of spittle flying out simultaneously with his gibberish.

Last edited 10 months ago by John Garrett
MarkW
Reply to  John Garrett
November 21, 2021 6:24 am

Does Chomsky still deny that the Cambodian Killing Fields ever took place?

meab
Reply to  MarkW
November 21, 2021 7:25 am

It became impossible for Chomsky to continue his denial of the Khmer Rouge atrocities after 20,000 mass graves were uncovered with at least 1 million people clearly having been killed. So what did Chomsky, the self-described “libertarian socialist” anarchist, do? He has moved on to the “Climate Crisis”.

Mr.
Reply to  meab
November 21, 2021 8:25 am

Haven’t they all moved on to the “climate crisis”?

Dave Fair
Reply to  Mr.
November 21, 2021 8:31 am

As a tool to leverage their ideological goals.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Dave Fair
November 21, 2021 10:40 am

Excellent

+100

Mnestheus
Reply to  meab
November 21, 2021 10:33 pm

And where have you been since the cold war ended in the defeat of Gorbachev’s science advisor.

Answer plainly, or return to your place in line at the left end of the bottom line of the Bell curve

mark from the midwest
Reply to  John Garrett
November 21, 2021 6:36 am

Not unlike many of his early texts. What he was good at is playing on multiple statements that, while they are individually plausible, just don’t add up to a coherent whole. Each assertion has a sufficiently low probability of truth that the chain quickly regresses to nothing. The notion that he’s done seminal work in cognitive science can be easily dismissed if you try and align his work with the work of Alan Newell

Alastair gray
Reply to  mark from the midwest
November 21, 2021 1:04 pm

For my sins I did a course on training to be a teacher. Chomsky featured on the reading list on something to do with language and child development. I found his papers to be totally unreadable gibberish. Was this my academic incompetence or a manifestation of my common sense. Of course in climate matters he is as sane and wise as any of the other coots like mann oreskes and others in the gibberish league

mcswell
Reply to  Alastair gray
November 21, 2021 3:56 pm

I am a linguist. I will say nothing about his political posts, save that I disagree strongly with them. But as for his linguistics, he makes great sense. There are linguists who disagree with him on some details (as I do, FWIW), but his major points are right on. If you find his linguistic writings to be gibberish, then I can only say that you know nothing about linguistics.

AlexBerlin
Reply to  mcswell
November 21, 2021 4:43 pm

The importance placed on Chomsky’s writings despite their being not only counter-factual and counter-intuitive but, when taken seriously, making any further development in the field like we have seen it since the 18th century impossible, caused me to turn away from the study of linguistics and from academia as a whole in the mid-1990s. My further career as an audio engineer and archivist only marginally and occasionally touches on linguistic matters, but whenever it happens to do, Chomsky’s theories certainly won’t help, ever. But older, more commonsensical and pragmatic teachings which he makes every effort to ridicule and debunk in his toxic work (like old-style “prescriptive” grammars and dictionaries that allow one to actually fathom the gist of some sentence in an unfamiliar language very quickly and reliably with minimal superfluous effort) usually do. Chomsky’s whole work seems to be one big campaign to undermine and destroy scientific thinking, scientific methods, and traditional pedagogy, with the aim of making higher education crumble and replace it by an irrational and anti-logical belief system that teaches nothing useful. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that academics who have weakened and deformed their natural brain function by forcing themselves to swallow Chomsky’s teachings are now seen supporting the equally absurd, unnatural, illogical and openly anti-cultural and anti-societal doings of the Ecofascists and “climate activists”. Even Nazi and Soviet science were for the most part less contorted and dishonest….

mcswell
Reply to  AlexBerlin
November 22, 2021 6:54 am

I see nothing counter-factual or counter-intuitive about generative (Chomskian) linguistics. And I’ve authored or helped author a dozen descriptive grammars, and more dictionaries. Trying to compare that with generative linguistics (which I’ve also done) is not useful; each addresses different questions, and both have their place.

What descriptive grammars and dictionaries try to do is to describe the grammar and vocabulary to your average reader.

What generative grammar tries to do is to explain how virtually every child–even some retarded ones–picks up the grammar of the language they’re exposed to *without explicit teaching* in a matter of a few years. Try that with algebra or any other area of math beyond first grade, and see how fast children pick it up without explicit instruction–and even then many fail math.

As far as Chomsky’s *linguistic* writing (I emphasize again that I’m not talking about his political writing), it is not undermining scientific thinking or methods, nor is it aimed at pedagogy.

philincalifornia
Reply to  mcswell
November 21, 2021 5:37 pm

The two-word phrase “climate crisis” is gibberish in the real world, or just baby-talk. I’ll pass on learning this libtard linguistics bollox, thanks.

mcswell
Reply to  philincalifornia
November 22, 2021 6:54 am

I don’t blame you for skipping linguistics; it takes considerable intelligence to understand it. Which I’m guessing you don’t have.

philincalifornia
Reply to  mcswell
November 22, 2021 11:07 am

Guess again. I got a PhD in Chemistry when I was 23 and have 200+ peer-reviewed publications, with at least 10 Nobel (real ones) prizewinners and hundreds of globally issued patents.

I wasn’t getting on your case. He was the one discussing the juvenile term “climate crisis”, which has as much linguistic connection with the real world as “strontium sausages” and “wibble wibble”.

Last edited 10 months ago by philincalifornia
mcswell
Reply to  philincalifornia
November 22, 2021 3:12 pm

I wasn’t getting on your case” Then I apologize for my reply!

Pat Frank
Reply to  philincalifornia
November 23, 2021 8:37 pm

So, Phil, do you have an Erdos number? 🙂

Felix
Reply to  mcswell
November 21, 2021 5:38 pm

I have generally found that when someone, or some organization, is wrong 90% of the time, I don’t know enough about the remaining 10% to know recognize right or wrong. It may be the equivalent of where the sun rises, or it may be the equivalent of which direction the Earth rotates to make it look like the sun is rising; I cannot tell.

Jeff Labute
Reply to  John Garrett
November 21, 2021 7:02 am

So, Noam is twice as smart as Justin, but only half as capable in making something coherent. Noam’s only advantage is having a cool name. Did I say this right, Noam?

Fran
Reply to  Jeff Labute
November 21, 2021 11:10 am

When he was on about teaching chimps to talk, we called him Noam Chimpsky

Fran
Reply to  Fran
November 21, 2021 11:15 am

I always thought his academic reputation was based on a good grasp of how to manipulate the media – short on substance and long on talk. Have been listening to a bunch of seminars on human language while sewing. None has yet cited Chomsky on anything.

commieBob
Reply to  Fran
November 21, 2021 2:50 pm

Here’s a link to a dandy conversation between John McWhorter and Steven Pinker. Among other things, they do mention how Chomsky shut down B.F. Skinner’s b.s. theory of language acquisition.

Having said the above, it looks to me like Chomsky’s own theories have been a dead end.

Jordan Peterson points out that it’s hard for psychologists to avoid quoting Freud even when they’re not aware they’re quoting Freud. I have no idea if the same applies to Chomsky because I am not a linguist. 🙂

mcswell
Reply to  commieBob
November 21, 2021 4:03 pm

I am a card-carrying linguist. Lots of linguists ignore Chomsky (or rather, he’s the linguist they love to hate), and he mostly reciprocates. As for whether his theories have been a dead end: I would disagree. Much of what he has said forms the basis for other theories of syntax (you could start with GPSG, HPSG, and LFG which while not transformational, share a lot of commonality and fundamental assumptions).

Linguistics also covers a wide range of topics; Chomsky has really only talked about syntax, apart from a brief foray with Morris Halle into phonology, which marked a turning point in that field. But if you look at psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, computational linguistics (apart from the Chomsky Hierarchy, which I’ll leave you to research), morphology, phonology (apart from the aforementioned work), and so forth, Chomsky had little or nothing to say, and people who work in those sub-fields have little to say about him.

commieBob
Reply to  mcswell
November 21, 2021 6:01 pm

Thanks for that.

From my perspective, Chomsky’s realization and demonstration that language is largely innate is his big contribution. I would say that he is more correct than Piaget in that regard.

As far as I can tell, Piaget inspired bad ideas have infested education since the middle of the 20th century. It would have been nice if Chomsky could have knocked him down a couple of more pegs.

Pat Frank
Reply to  commieBob
November 23, 2021 8:42 pm

And then there’s the Chomskybot. Published under a pseudonym, probably able to bamboozle the arbitrary academic intellectual into reverent belief.

Mnestheus
Reply to  Fran
November 21, 2021 10:35 pm

Stop chiming like a chump.

mcswell
Reply to  Jeff Labute
November 21, 2021 3:57 pm

About his name: for laughs, you might try a web search for Gnome Chomsky.

Vuk
Reply to  John Garrett
November 21, 2021 8:20 am

Now, that is funny, but not as hilarious as this:
Sit of the UK’s government that, we are so told, is leading the world in the CO2 cuts (I would say that is gasligting statement) is located in the City of Westminster which still uses gaslight for its street lighting ! !
“Plan to change Westminster’s gas street lights to LEDs sparks anger”
Chris Sugg, a descendent of William Sugg, whose eponymous company installed gas street lights in London and elsewhere from 1837, said his great-great-grandfather would be “turning in his grave” at the proposal.

Last edited 10 months ago by Vuk
Vuk
Reply to  Vuk
November 21, 2021 8:37 am

Typo: Seat.

commieBob
Reply to  John Garrett
November 21, 2021 2:34 pm

You could have said the same about Newton.

On the other hand, Chomsky is right about Biden. Thank goodness. As far as I can tell, Biden is indeed more driven by politics than ideology. Chomsky thinks that’s a problem, and in that he’s wrong.

There’s the thing. Folks are always right about some stuff and wrong about some stuff.

We’re all appalled when the left knee-jerk opposes anything Trump ever said. They would rather cause great damage than admit that Trump was right about anything.

The fact that many people pay attention to Chomsky makes him dangerous. Somehow, I can’t see name calling as the correct response to that. Just ask Hilary whether she thinks it was a good idea to call Trump supporters a basket of deplorables.

John Endicott
Reply to  commieBob
November 22, 2021 8:27 am

Just ask Hilary whether she thinks it was a good idea to call Trump supporters a basket of deplorables.”

I suspect she still doesn’t get why it was a bad idea. It was all Sexism, misogyny, Russia, Comey, Media coverage, etc. that was the problem.

JeffC
Reply to  John Garrett
November 22, 2021 1:37 am

As the saying goes, there’s no fool like an old fool.

Pat Frank
Reply to  John Garrett
November 23, 2021 8:31 pm

Right on, John. I’ve investigated Chomsky’s work across 35 years, going right back to his sources. Starting with his 1967 ironically titled, “The Responsibility of Intellectuals.” He tells the truth when it suits him and lies when it doesn’t.

His lies consist of truncated quotes or falsely juxtaposed statements, to make people say things they didn’t intend. All to make mostly American figures seem callous, racist, and contempt-driven. He’s a master of character assassination and has garnered fame and accolades doing it.

See Paul Bogdanor’s The Chomsky Hoax for many examples.

Steve Case
November 21, 2021 6:17 am

 The other choice is cataclysm. The end of organized human life on earth.
__________________________________

Chicken Little,
The Emperor’s New Clothes,
The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf.

MarkW
Reply to  Steve Case
November 21, 2021 6:25 am

A few tenths of a degree will end civilization?
Totally delusional.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  MarkW
November 21, 2021 10:44 am

But quite rational if climate scare carries a 75% discount off ad placements for village idiots. Act now and receive 4 for 1 at your local fireworks stand.

chickenhawk
Reply to  Steve Case
November 21, 2021 11:05 am

we should chip in and send him to the 5,000 year old tree emerging from the feet of a retreating glacier.

wonder what he would say?

Tom Halla
November 21, 2021 6:18 am

If Noam Chomsky approves of something, I can be assured it is a terrible idea.

Thomas Gasloli
Reply to  Tom Halla
November 21, 2021 1:22 pm

Yes, but also, Chumpsky was never important. Another famous for being famous.

SxyxS
Reply to  Tom Halla
November 21, 2021 1:31 pm

Chumpsky is the posterchild of left crazyness,ignorance,arrogance and total lack of integrity.He is living proof that,no matter how smart or educated they are they will blindly follow their crazy zealotry even if they themselves have decoded the mechanics of propaganda.

He was the guy who wrote a book called ” manufacturing consent “analysing and describing the mechanisms behind the politicalcurtain and propaganda and manipulation by billionaire controlled MSM to force their opinions onto us and to trick us into wars etc.,
yet he is so full of shit that he totally supports the manufactured AGW nonsense though the propagandists openly admit that global warming is a CONSENSE. (and consense is no science,it’s antiscience)

And not just that: He completely ignores the existence of the old CONSENSE = global cooling of the 70ies
or the fact that all bold AGW predictions totally failed.
And while he believes in the nonexistent climate apocalypse he denied the real apocalypse of the killing fields: After all the tens millions of commie victims in China,Russia and everywhere else it was impossible for him to get to the obvious conclusion that the Red Khmer simply did what communist usually do.
Leftie logic :” Save us from the nonexisting apocalypse,but the real apocalypse in Cambodia never happened”

And it gets even worse: Chomsky is the on crying for the removal of unvaccinated from society.(classless 2class communism with camps for unbelievers)
Once again not only manufactured but forced consent and erosion of democracy for the sake of the pharmalobby.
And what does Chomsky?He wants to protect the protected vaccinated from the unprotected unvaccinated.

Then Trump: A masterpiece of manufactured consent.
A guy who was 40 years a sunnyboy and everyones darling and the white person who is mentioned(in a positive way) more often in rap songs than anyone else.
All of a sudden they claim he is Superevil.
Isn’t this super illogical?
What did Chomsky?Did he question the crazy out of control propaganda and 24/7 bashing or the Russian Collusion lie which turned out to be a conspiracy(= manufactured ).

No – Chomsky says ” Trump is worse than H!.tler” .
Such a comment from a Jewish person about the first US president in dacades who hasn’t started new wars.

yirgach
Reply to  SxyxS
November 21, 2021 2:05 pm

Chomskyt has no hard science background. He is way out of his league on climate change, covid or most anything else current. Just go away and rest on your decaying laurels, please.

John Endicott
Reply to  yirgach
November 22, 2021 8:28 am

What laurels?

Craig from Oz
November 21, 2021 6:18 am

Left on Left violence?

What was Norm saying last month about the Un-Vaxed? Something about throwing them into a ghetto and refusing to allow them access to base level human needs?

Or am I remembering this wrong?

Norm is a typical Marxist. Safe with his little group of self important people that know after they have taken control none of them will be ever asked to make sure their factory hits production quota. None of them really work, and none of them have ever invested their lives in building anything that might be taken away from them. So it is all a game to them. If they win? They get to be on the committees defining the Better to Build Back towards. If they lose? Oh well, back to writing essays and giving talks to ‘open minded’ uni students about how evil Capitalism is.

They want to fight each other? Do expect me to step in and try and stop them.

Thom
Reply to  Craig from Oz
November 21, 2021 6:56 am

And since they’re not killing each other, yet, they live for as long as humanly possible to inflict the greatest amount of jibberish on the rest of us.

max
Reply to  Craig from Oz
November 22, 2021 5:43 pm

Just like his father figure, old Karl himself. The L. Ron Hubbard of philosophy.

November 21, 2021 6:22 am

Only with the left an idiot like Chomsky could be rated as “intellectual”.

MarkW
Reply to  E. Schaffer
November 21, 2021 12:07 pm

To progressives, an intellectual is someone who has never done anything useful.

fretslider
November 21, 2021 6:22 am

I get really sick of these utter numpties…

Ending Climate Change “Has to Come From Mass Popular Action,” Not Politicians”

Ending climate change?

What an utter leftie moron.

Anon
Reply to  fretslider
November 21, 2021 6:52 am

It was started by politicians and Al Gore in particular. The goal is to always have solutions tantalizingly out of reach to keep the votes flowing. Their hope is that “saving the planet” will be more important than “saving your job” or at least make you feel better about the loss.

BCBill
Reply to  Anon
November 21, 2021 8:07 am

Exactly. It is so much easier to deal with fantasy problems than real problems. Yet again we are living through another situation in BC where a structural water control problem was identified decades ago but the politicians reacted slowly to not at all. The dikes failed on cue and now we have to suffer through endless pontifications on global warming catastrophe change. Existential crises are the refuge of the useless.

Ron
Reply to  BCBill
November 21, 2021 9:58 am

Wasn’t the carbon tax the solution to ending climate change in BC?
Fires in the summer and now heavy rain…apparently the tax was ineffective.
I wonder what amount of tax would have prevented these conditions? (sarc)

David Kamakaris
Reply to  fretslider
November 21, 2021 7:45 am

I often ask econazis like Chomsky what the climate will be like once climate change has ended.

Crickets.

Gregory Woods
November 21, 2021 6:23 am

Chomsky, long ago, reached his tipping point…

Iain Russell
November 21, 2021 6:33 am

Chomsky is not ‘iconic’. He is a lower than dog dirt apologist for mass murder!

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Iain Russell
November 21, 2021 2:06 pm

I think the same people who call Chomsky “iconic” also refer to Paul Ehrlich as “distinguished”.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 21, 2021 10:21 pm

Well, he certainly has distinguished himself from rationality.

Captain climate
November 21, 2021 7:05 am

Why does anyone care what this uneducated communist fossil thinks? The left’s obsession with him really boggles the mind. He’s not smart. He’s a broken Marxist record who just rotates talking points.

Sara
November 21, 2021 7:08 am

What a silly thing to say, He left out space travel to settle other planets. Numbskull.

Doug Danhoff
November 21, 2021 7:10 am

I have a real problem with the term “ irreversible tipping points. I am a geologist who has focused on palo geology and the events of glaciation and tectonics. Obviously there have been no “irreversible” tipping points that worked to the detriment of the human race in the long run . As man is an adjuster to climate changes, the earth is far from being fragile. I believe climate change is natural and cyclical . This is the only hypothesis with clear evidence, and that evidence points to a self adjusting, a self balancing earth

fretslider
Reply to  Doug Danhoff
November 21, 2021 7:21 am

man is an adjuster “

Was an adjuster, but no more. That’s been indoctrinated out. 70 years ago we had 20 year old kids flying Lancasters over Germany

Today’s 20 year olds are worried about the weather, their pronouns and their social media profiles. And being offended.

Steve Case
Reply to  fretslider
November 21, 2021 7:36 am

1951 Who knew?

But yeah, your point is very relevant.

Mac
Reply to  fretslider
November 21, 2021 8:49 am

I had a patient in the 80’s who flew 36 bombing missions over the Romanian oil fields. Pat did talk about how he was lucky having seen many in his squadron go down. You are right youth has regressed.

Rich Davis
Reply to  fretslider
November 21, 2021 11:36 am

80 years ago, but we get the point

Tom Foley
Reply to  fretslider
November 21, 2021 12:29 pm

Seventy years ago 20 year olds were flying B29s over North Korea. The bombing of Germany was 82-74 years ago. 20 year olds were killing each other (and others) in very large numbers around 105 years ago (WW1), 80 years ago (WW2), 70 years (Korea), 50 years ago (Vietnam), and over the last 30 years (Iraq, Afghanistan), not to mention any number of little wars in between.

Maybe it’s a positive that today’s 20 year olds are just worrying about the weather, pronouns and social media profiles rather than killing each other en masse.

AlexBerlin
Reply to  Tom Foley
November 21, 2021 4:48 pm

Better kill your enemy than sit around whining and encouraging the enemy to kill you!

MarkW
Reply to  Tom Foley
November 21, 2021 5:02 pm

Thankfully nuclear weapons put an end to large scale conflict.

Ted
Reply to  Tom Foley
November 22, 2021 9:26 am

Iraq and Afghanistan didn’t see any killing in large numbers, unless you mean what their regimes were doing before the U.S. invaded.

Editor
Reply to  Doug Danhoff
November 21, 2021 8:02 am

Nice to see you Mr. Danhoff, I agree that Humans have been shown abundant adaptability where we can live in diverse regions and climates of the world from icebox Alaska to the steaming hot jungles of Brazil.

Peter Wells
Reply to  Sunsettommy
November 21, 2021 9:10 am

It will be interesting to see how we adapt to the coming ice age. Fortunately, I am old enough that I doubt I will live to see it.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Peter Wells
November 21, 2021 11:17 am

Peter,
I, too, am old enough that I doubt I will live to see the next glacial onset; but that doesn’t keep me from asking people why they aren’t preparing for it, and berating them if they are worried about a nonexistent “possible” catastrophe! There is NO benefit to the survival of the human race in the CAGW agenda!

The idea that a few more molecules of CO2 will have any effect on the long term return to glacial conditions is one of the most moronic hoaxes in human history; you have to be an idiot to believe in it, and a crook to try and benefit from it!

George Daddis
Reply to  Doug Danhoff
November 21, 2021 9:43 am

Despite being an “intellectual” he has no problem using the logical fallacy of a “false choice”; ” We can either start right now cutting back on fossil fuel use, [and] do it systematically every year, until we phase them out by mid-century. That’s one choice. The other choice is cataclysm.”

First, there is no scientific evidence, that a tipping point exists and thus justifies “cataclysm”.
Secondly, given no proof of tipping point, there are many adaptive measures that can be taken.

Philo
Reply to  George Daddis
November 21, 2021 6:42 pm

I think Mr. Chomsky needs to read more widely about geology and its stupendous developments since they discovered that the world is some 5 BILLION years old.

Part of the shortsightedness problem is that he is apparently unaware of history, and geology’s contribution of numerous changes between warm and cold in earths history- as seen in the rock formations and really old glaciers growing and retreating over centuries in response to earth’s changes in temperature.

I wonder if he is even aware of the research that has identified specific genetic changes in the Human Tree where specific changes in the larynx(it dropped down the throat ~40mm.) The changes gave people exponentially more able to communicate by speech.

Following small changes allowed people to sing, instead of grunt.The change allowed huge changes in the mind that their also allowed people to sing very complex melodies and make tremendously more sounds if desired, to communicate ideas that were simply not possible centuries previous.

Wake Up Mr. Chomsky. (And all the other blind people who refuse to admit to the vast changes earth and the universe have undergone and how their petty ambitions to become rich and famous in politics will, in the end, do them very little good.

MarkW
Reply to  Doug Danhoff
November 21, 2021 12:13 pm

Only someone who knows nothing about anything, would talk about “irreversible tipping points”.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 21, 2021 7:16 am

Eric:

The truth of Noam Chomsky is more nuanced than you imply. He has a long-standing distrust of government and the media and the class of elites that end up running both. He dislikes capitalism and was a supporter of the Occupy movement.

One of his books is “Manufacturing Consent“, together with Edward S. Herman, about the ways media and government collude to promote propaganda and exclude dissenting views. Sound familiar?

Unfortunately for Chomsky, when you look for examples of “mass popular action” he advocates, they all seem to turn into riots and mindless destruction.

Even assuming CO2 emissions are an imminent threat to the planetary ecosystem, “mass popular action” will not yield a solution. And none of the “solutions” advanced by either politicians or activists pass even the most cursory tests of engineering and economic feasibility.

So the activist class has convinced itself that a massive problem must be solved on an impossible timescale. Having no understanding of what they are demanding, they turn on anyone who tries to tell them otherwise as the “enemy” who must be brought down by any means necessary.

This leads to the implicit belief that saving the planet requires dismantling industrial civilization. The amount of delusion necessary to harbor such a belief is truly staggering, and apparently lost on Chomsky.

Steve Case
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 21, 2021 7:40 am

This leads to the implicit belief that saving the planet requires dismantling industrial civilization.
_________________________________

There are plenty of quotes from these people that demonstrate that dismantling industrial civilization is the goal, not the cure.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 21, 2021 8:37 am

He has a longstanding distrust of non-Marxist government and an uncontrolled media. Fixed it.

DocSiders
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 21, 2021 10:58 am

Paradoxical it is…. that the folks who made up this Fake Climate Crisis that Noam has bought into (it has the Chomsky “Fear Factor”)…are Billionaire Globalists…the Powerful people Chomsky claims to hate.

Reply to  DocSiders
November 21, 2021 1:20 pm

The Marxists claim to hate billionaires. But in reality, they love them and want to be them. What they really want is for everyone not in their clique to be dirt poor. What they really want is for wealth is to be in the hands of a few, with them part of the few.

MarkW
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 21, 2021 12:19 pm

He has a distrust of any government that doesn’t call itself communist.

Lurker Pete
November 21, 2021 7:16 am

The Hidden Hand of Misdirection. “The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.” ~ Vladimir Lenin.

SxyxS
Reply to  Lurker Pete
November 21, 2021 1:56 pm

Merkel was member of a fake stasi opposition party in east Germany.
And in the USA people like her are called RINOs.

Walter Sobchak
November 21, 2021 7:18 am

When is Chomsky going to have the good grace to discorporate?

Steve Case
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 21, 2021 7:48 am

A short Google search on “discorporate” does not turn up “suicide” or “die as a definition. So you deserve to be awarded a gold star for the usage.

Last edited 10 months ago by Steve Case
Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Steve Case
November 21, 2021 2:04 pm

I vaguely remember seeing “discorporate” used in a Sci-Fi story. The context was that humans have a spirit essence (soul) which is freed when the body dies. Thus, people were not “killed”; they were “dicorporated”.

I can’t recall the name or author of the story.

Philo
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
November 21, 2021 7:00 pm

Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein. Very few other authors have matched his ability to imagine believable futures.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Philo
November 23, 2021 2:36 am
Rich Davis
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 21, 2021 11:41 am

At 91 he looks fairly robust, alas.

willem post
November 21, 2021 7:44 am

The frightening part of Chomsky is that a cabal of extreme, leftist ACADEMIA AND THINK TANKS are in cahoots with his nut-case views.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  willem post
November 22, 2021 3:35 am

And they run the city of Cambridge, here in MA. A silly example, but- if you want to remove a tree in YOUR front yard, you have to get a permit- and you have to have a certified arborist document that the tree is dead or near dead. Otherwise, you can’t remove it. Because, of course, that tree will help save the climate.

Richard M
November 21, 2021 7:56 am

Science doesn’t matter to these nut cases. They formed opinions and incorporated them into their self-image. They are immune to scientific evidence. This is true for almost all the climate activists. Show them the latest science

“… the root cause for the positive TOA net flux and, hence, for a further accumulation of energy during the last two decades was a declining outgoing shortwave flux and not a retained LW flux. ” – Hans-Rolf Dübal and Fritz Vahrenholt, October 2021, journal Atmosphere, Radiative Energy Flux Variation from 2001–2020.

It demonstrates that greenhouse gases have had no effect on the climate. This will not change their opinions in any way. They weren’t convinced by science so they won’t be swayed by science. They will simply repeat all the current lies and move on.

Vuk
November 21, 2021 8:08 am

OT, if you, like myself never heard of it before now you don’t have an excuse any longer.
“The mayor of the island of Vulcano, in Sicily’s Aeolian archipelago, has ordered the evacuation of about 150 people and banned tourists due to increased volcanic activity and gases in the area”

DMacKenzie
November 21, 2021 8:24 am

I watched some philosophical Chomsky stuff…went back to Dilbert….

Abolition Man
Reply to  DMacKenzie
November 21, 2021 9:22 am

Scott Adams is a much deeper thinker and philosopher than Chomsky will ever be! If he could only get beyond his regular marijuana use he would be even funnier, and more formidable!

Dave Fair
November 21, 2021 8:30 am

Noam Chomsky confuses what he thinks with what people actually need and want. People need and want abundant, affordable and reliable energy no matter the source.

Chomsky and his buddies want to rule by fiat. They hate that unreliable democracy. They hate it that politicians have to respond to voters angry about energy shortages and price increases.

I’ve said it for some time now: The green schemes will only last until voters feel the pain directly. Current political responses by U.S. politicians to voter concerns (begging for more oil, Connecticut and Massachusetts leaving regional climate pact & etc.) are just the beginning of a tidal wave of political response to voter discontent.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Dave Fair
November 21, 2021 9:28 am

Dave,
They REALLY hate the middle class AND the proletariat! Having never worked in a REAL job or run a REAL business, Chomsky and his friends want their inferiors to shut up and obey; much like the puppet masters hiding behind the curtains in the White House!

bonbon
November 21, 2021 8:35 am

Fitting that
https://www.jacobinmag.com/author/Noam%20Chomsky
publishes Chomsky.
Will he support Jacobins to fight climate?
He along with 100 academics signed Extinction Rebellions petition, and his book Internationalism or Extinction
would suggest the affirmative….

Last edited 10 months ago by bonbon
CD in Wisconsin
November 21, 2021 8:49 am

“The message basically was, “We have two choices.” We can either start right now cutting back on fossil fuel use, [and] do it systematically every year, until we phase them out by mid-century. That’s one choice. The other choice is cataclysm. The end of organized human life on earth. Not immediately — we’ll just reach irreversible tipping points, and it goes on to disaster. Those are the options.”

It’s quite hard to believe that the guy who made the statement above is also quoted has having said….

“Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune.”

Sounds like two different people. Maybe the second quote above is a fake. I don’t know.

Jay Willis
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
November 21, 2021 9:06 am

He’s just getting old. He used to be pretty cool, but in the last 20 years the intellect has gone but the ego remains. Sad really.

MarkW
Reply to  Jay Willis
November 21, 2021 12:30 pm

He was never cool, it’s just that he used to be able to string together enough BS to impress some.

Abolition Man
November 21, 2021 9:14 am

I have a difficult time deciding who has done more damage to the US and our education system; Noam Chomsky, or Marxist agitprop “historian” Howard Zinn!
Chomsky has gotten by for years by using an impressive vocabulary to baffle his critics and students with BS! He’s like a walking, talking, writing example of cognitive dissonance!
Zinn, on the other hand, wrote a history book consisting of every Marxist slur against the US he could dig up or create. If even half of what he wrote were true it is doubtful that so much of the world’s population would be actively trying to move here!
Perhaps the greatest service any academic could perform for Mankind is to spend some time doing an in-depth critique of these two ideologues! It wouldn’t be of much use to the academic world, but maybe it could help to deprogram some of the weak minded followers of these two Marxist cult leaders!

Victor
November 21, 2021 9:20 am

Resisting climate change is like buying two umbrellas to fight a rainstorm. The dinosaurs didn’t succeed.

Last edited 10 months ago by Victor
David Sulik
November 21, 2021 9:57 am

Banish All Joys
Banish Senile Philosophers

michel
November 21, 2021 10:14 am

His and his followers argument basically went like this. Still does.

We know how learning works. Given the way it works, it is impossible for a child to learn language. Therefore language, or much of it, must be innate.

A more rational approach would be, we know children learn language. Therefore learning must be something which allows that. We are wrong to think it does not. This means we don’t understand learning.

Lets figure it out.

Some similarities to backwards reasoning in Climate matters.

bonbon
Reply to  michel
November 22, 2021 1:10 am

Infantile Chomsky cannot hear that children learn language from ADULTS – it was created by adults!
Machine-man Chomsky says adults cannot create something which only happens in kids. So he ends up with computer programming. He is a true Artificial Intelligence.

Poetry – he does not even go there – is impossible with his machine linguistics.

Problem he is not the only one. Banks put their policies under AI, and look at the last crash.

Then of course climate – models which Chomsky find innately correct precisely because no creative intelligence interferes.

We have an information society – and Facebook cashes in, smirking, knowing full well the swindle with people behaving like Artificial Intelligences.

So Chomsky is a symptom of pandemic – the information society.

mcswell
Reply to  bonbon
November 23, 2021 5:58 pm

What on earth makes you think that Chomsky doesn’t think children learn a lot of their language from adults? He never said any such thing. Although in fact children learn a lot of their first language from other kids, which is one reason language changes over generations. What does not happen is that adults (or anyone else) teach children the grammar of their first language.

As for language having been created by adults, that’s debatable. We obviously can’t decide that for languages like English, that have been around for centuries with no inventor in sight (and their predecessor languages for millennia before that). But actually, there’s some evidence that when there’s no language around to learn, children create it themselves–look up Nicaraguan Sign Language, for example. So no, adults do not create languages, they just use them.

As for computer programming and machine linguistics, Chomsky has nothing to do with computer programming or “machine linguistics” (by which I assume you mean computational linguistics); he doesn’t even like it. (He did invent the Chomsky Hierarchy of complexity, which is fundamental to an abstract understanding of programming languages, but he was interested in how it applied to human languages, not computer languages.)

So I’m afraid you fundamentally misunderstand Chomsky and languages. (I won’t say anything about Chomsky and politics, because that’s an entirely different topic.)

mcswell
Reply to  michel
November 23, 2021 5:48 pm

Both things could be right–much of language could be innate, and learning must allow languages to be learned. In fact the former is at least a partial explanation for the latter, although I will (following Chomsky here) suggest that language learning is not learning in the same sense that we learn things in school.

So let’s talk about learning. It is clear that we do not learn math, or physics, or chemistry, in the same way we learn language. We learn math, physics and chemistry by explicit instruction (either from a teacher, or from a textbook, or both). And only smart people learn these subjects well, and they can usually explain what they know.

Language, on the other hand, is learned by young children without explicit instruction–people in every one of the thousands of languages learned their language without having to go to school. They may later learn more vocabulary in school, or by reading books. (I picked up a lot of English vocab when I was a kid by reading Jules Verne–translated, to be sure, but still with a lot of vocabulary that you wouldn’t hear much elsewhere.) And in school, children may have been told that the grammar they learned as children is “wrong” (don’t use the word “ain’t!”). But the grammar and basic vocabulary they learned, they learned without their parents teaching it, for the obvious reason that most parents couldn’t teach it if they tried–and most don’t try.

Second, our “knowledge” of language is something hardly any of us can explain. Unless you’ve studied linguistics, you probably don’t know that you have two kinds of ‘p’ sounds (one in words like ‘spin’, the other in words like ‘pin’), nor do you probably know how the three forms of the regular plural suffix are pronounced (in words like ‘dogs’, ‘books’, or ‘bushes’), nor do you know how the grammar decides whether you need a word like ‘that’ before an embedded clause (why you can say either “I think that it’s raining” or “I think it’s raining”, and you can say “I murmured that it’s raining”, but “I murmured it’s raining” probably sounds odd). In other words, grammatical knowledge is largely implicit. There are even truths about English grammar that every speaker of English “knows”, but which no one explicitly wrote down or even (as far as anyone knows) noticed until the 1960s or 1970s.

In sum, when we learn a first language as a child, we learn it more or less automatically, without explicit teaching. And yet we can’t explain how it works without a great deal of study. Both of these facts are very much unlike our learning of most other things, especially school learning. And THAT is what Chomsky noticed, and why he came up with his linguistic theories. And for the record, he says that language acquisition is not learning in the usual sense (for many of the reasons I sketched above). So if we understood better how we learn things like math and science, that might not enlighten us at all about how we “learn” a first language–except maybe to throw light on how wrong we were to think that we *learn* our first language.

DocSiders
November 21, 2021 10:35 am

The Public is going bonkers (and rightly so) over Gas Prices going up 50% in the US.

That same public is probably going to notice their energy costs quadrupling in the coming years if the Leftist Idiot Mob keeps cutting off investment in energy reserves. Investors are hesitant to invest in sectors of the economy that the Government is actively targeting for extinction. That 400% inflation (plus related shortages) is 100% certain to occur before 2030 if this madness cannot be put down SOON…. because not enough of any kind of Energy Replacement for Oil (Renewable or otherwise) can possibly be installed in time.

An actual Crisis created by a made up Fake Crisis.

ResourceGuy
November 21, 2021 10:39 am

This is one of the best examples of the false-front, political climate Potemkin village displays that you can look at and learn from…..

They build it up without votes (but lots of donations) and take it back down when the jig is up, i.e. costs to consumers/voters.

———————————————
WSJ
By The Editorial Board
Nov. 19, 2021

The Northeast Climate Pact ImplodesConnecticut Governor Lamont withdraws amid soaring fuel prices.
Progressives say the only way to achieve their climate goals is to raise the price of fossil fuels. Their problem is that consumers don’t want to pay more for energy, and as the latest proof behold Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s retreat this week from a Northeast state climate pact.

Mr. Lamont finally gave up trying to pass the scheme this week. “Look, I couldn’t get it through when gas prices were at historic lows. So I think the legislature has been pretty clear it is a tough rock to push when gas prices are so high,” he said. Massachusetts GOP Gov. Charlie Baker then threw in the towel too, causing the climate pact to effectively combust.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  ResourceGuy
November 22, 2021 3:45 am

But most northeast states have net zero by ’50 laws on the books. Meanwhile, here in MA, I see lots of greens bitching about solar “farms” built next to THEIR homes. They didn’t speak up when 20 acres of forest behind my house were destroyed for a solar “farm” back in ’12. The firm building it had a plan to build within 10′ of the back lines of the half acre lots in my proletarian neighborhood. I sued the firm and the town planning board and that pushed them back away and forced them to plant several hundred arborvitae trees to hide it. I was so pissed that I made a rank amateur video of the destruction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYYVZKgusU4&t=142s

Peta of Newark
November 21, 2021 11:11 am

You lose the will doncha, this falls off the <expletive> rails from the very outset..

Quote:”There are two major obstacles. One is, of course, the fossil fuel companies”

No no no, it is the Consumers of the fossils that are to blame. Exxon and their ilk don’t *force* anyone to use their products.
..

Quote:”The end of organized human life on earth”

Nitpik but shouldn’t be Earth, capital ‘E’
But but but, nitpik self, Life on Earth does actually originate and predominately exist (by an impossibly huuuuuge margin, IN the earth (lowercase ‘e’)
(The ‘little’ things that HG Wells’ Invaders From Mars neglected to account for – as does most everyone sadly)

Apart from that, Organised Science has certainly ceased to exist so the whole goddam caboodle is certain to follow it down the pan shortly – we really are going to do, under the guidance of Junk Science, something soooo dumb as to exterminate ourselves
Biomass is an incredibly good start down that path

Sorry Noomy.. Vitamin B may help
seriously

stinkerp
November 21, 2021 11:41 am

Show us by example how we should live, Noam. Lead us to the promised land of freedom from fossil fuels. Divest yourself of these filthy relics of capitalism starting with home heating and cooling and transportation. Then purge yourself of everything made with fossil fuels like plastic and synthetic fabrics and move on to anything whose manufacture was powered by fossil fuels. Show us how wonderful it is to revert to life in the 18th century. We are looking to you for our salvation.

While you’re shivering in the dark, wrapped in your homemade wool blanket, you may have time to reflect on how the modest sea level rise of 3mm and warming of 0.014 C per year in recent decades may not actually signal the end of humanity.

Last edited 10 months ago by stinkerp
DMacKenzie
November 21, 2021 11:56 am

What do we expect from a linguist professor, then spare-time-public-speaker on philosophy who fancies himself to be a climate guru and saviour of the masses ? When someone’s business card says “Philosopher, Exterminator, and Piano Tuner” you can be pretty sure it’s only advertising…

Last edited 10 months ago by DMacKenzie
gringojay
November 21, 2021 12:04 pm

Our betters give hubris new life.

463EB50E-4D53-48E7-93F6-97AE16ABDBFA.jpeg
John Larson
November 21, 2021 12:13 pm

 [For] Joe Biden, if the gas prices are high, it harms his electoral prospects.”

His electoral prospects? High gas prices now, will somehow effect his (imaginary ; ) electoral prospects three years from now? If his theory that language is innate were true, shouldn’t I have words to express how silly Mr. Chomsky’s stab at reasoning right there is?

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  John Larson
November 22, 2021 3:51 am

Biden will lose Congress next year.

John Larson
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
November 22, 2021 10:45 am

I don’t doubt it, but that’s not his electoral prospects. Could say it’s their electoral prospects, or just say electoral prospects . . or his legislative prospects, but they don’t elect laws last I checked ; )

Rory Forbes
November 21, 2021 9:05 pm

Only after years of practice do great minds like Chomsky learn to speak so fluently out of their ass. Being a linguist, Noam has had the technique mastered for many years.

michel
November 21, 2021 9:32 pm

Chomsky was certainly right in his criticism of Skinner, and that was valuable. But he was wrong to think that the problem was about language.

Its hard to imagine now, but the behaviourist model of learning was really popular at one time. It was actually a considerable consensus, and people who tried to argue for other models found themselves accused of being unscientific and relying on sem–metaphysical and unobservable entities.

Chomsky howevr, having found a case which decisively refuted the behviourist stimulus-response model then turned his attention to it, rather than to the real problem, which was and remains getting a proper understanding of learning. That was logically prior to any specific learning. The problem is common to all kinds of learning. How, after all, do we learn math? How do we learn to drive? To get on with each other? To cook?

When he moved to focus on language he then was driven to look for, or invent, aspects of learning which were specific to language. And he conducted this search using an inexplicit model of learning which was actually the source of his problem.

This model made it impossible to account for language learning. Chomsky detailed the problem, that is, the skills we acquire, and the universality of the acquisition of them around the world in different cultures and different languages. But he never considered that very similar learning takes place of lots of other subjects.

The result is his account of language learning, in crude summary, that we are born with a kind of innate grammar, and we plug any particular language elements into it.

So, we might reason in the case of math, we must then be born with an innate kind of math structure, and we plug the different systems of arithmetic that have existed historically into that. The decimal system, the Babylonian system etc

As you proliferate these different supposed innate structures, you’ll come to a situation like phlogiston. Phlogiston was supposed to be a burning essence which all things which burned had in common. In fact of course there is no phlogiston, and when the chemical reaction of combustion was understood it vanished as a scientific concept. Its problem was that it added nothing to the account of combustion because it was impossible to specify independently of what it was supposed to account for.

The concept of innate structures is very similar. You end up hypothesizing that it exists in all cases of learning. This then becomes tantamount to saying that in all cases of learning there is this something, we know not what. A sort of learning essence in our brains.

What’s really going on is that we do not have a full understanding of learning. Of learning anything. So every time we ask how we learn a subject, the problem will come up. Its not specific to language, and to account for language learning by this sort of learning essence just calls the real problem by a different name.

Skinner actually could have used the same ineffective argument. He could have said, we know how learning works, its the stimulus-response model. But it cannot account for how dogs learn to do some of the things they do learn. Obviously this is because the learning element of these is innate to dogs. And he could have gone on, with equal justification, to propose his own learning essence, obscuring the fact that, like Chomsky, his problem was actually a theory of learning that was being refuted.

The invention of the concept of innate grammar is, when you look at it this way, a method of saving the assumed theory of learning from a decisive counter example. It is a bit like when you decline to accept a decisive counter example by offering some explanation in terms of the measuring process and thus exclude it, saving your hypothesis.

What Chomsky had found, but did not pursue, was decisive evidence that the theory of learning he was following was wrong. He should then have turned his attention to learning. Or, if he wanted to continue specializing in language, focused on observing and analyzing how we learn language, and then teased out from this an account of how learning must work for this to be possible.

Instead of which he went down the blind ad hoc alley of innate grammar, and took half philosopy with him

bonbon
Reply to  michel
November 23, 2021 4:08 am

Ever heard of the Nim Chomsky ape language program? They also missed the point, using a straw ape to refute Chomsky.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-origin-words/201908/nim-chimpsky-and-noam-chomsky
Anyone who worked with Macaque monkeys can easily set up experiments showing Macaques can even learn verbs. Simply with buttons and food – only the sequence I want banana with 3 buttons in order produces a snack.
So one might think animals have some kind of innate grammar a-la Chomsky.

But note one very important point – these clever apes will NEVER teach that to another ape.

It is the intervention of us humans that seemingly elevates them.
It is a good example of the noetic, us, intervening in the biological sphere. No animal has noetic abilities. Another example is the development of maize from the wild weed teosinte by unknown Incas.

And that is where Chomsky faces the noetic and flinches, Hamlets-out in the face of something utterly outside his comfort zone.
His pursuit of a universal grammar is a parody of Hilbert and Russell’s pursuit of logic which was thoroughly and roundly refuted by Goedel’s Incompleteness theorems, already in 1931.

mcswell
Reply to  bonbon
November 23, 2021 6:07 pm

Another very important point: humans never *teach* a language to their children (at least the children’s first language); the children acquire it (sound patterns, vocabulary, grammar etc.) by listening and producing. But your point about apes is correct–not only do apes never teach other apes, for an ape to learn requires that a human explicitly instruct them, which is not true of humans. It is indeed, as you say, the intervention of humans that seemingly elevates the apes.

Your last two sentences I don’t understand at all. I don’t see what Chomsky’s notion of a universal grammar has to do with Hilbert and Russell, much less with Goedel.

mcswell
Reply to  michel
November 23, 2021 6:02 pm

I agree with some of what you say, but strongly disagree with your idea that (first) language “learning” is like (for example) learning math. But rather than repeat all my rant here, if you’re interested look for my long post a little ways above this. Bottom line: since acquiring ones first language is NOT like learning math, the need for innate grammar does not necessarily imply a need for innate math (Plato notwithstanding).

michel
Reply to  mcswell
November 25, 2021 5:20 pm

Yes, you make interesting points. But I don’t agree. First I think mothers do teach their children language. They don’t do it in the same way we learn a second language in school, but that there is teaching going on is not possible to doubt if you have been around young mothers and their kids.

As we get older we still have the ability to learn in this way – Berlitz drives educated adult learners crazy by refusing to teach them grammar and just doing it by the way infants learn, repetition and interaction.

Second, I think numbers and basic math is just as innate. Name a society without the concept of one two three etc.

I think we learn lots of things in the same way we learn languages. Language is an example of knowing how as contrasted with knowing that. Kids learn, for instance, bat and ball play without formal instruction. Running, jumping, tree climbing.

Its the wrong model of learning you’re using to claim that language is unique. Yes, not like learning physics or history. But like a lot of other things we learn.

Joseph Zorzin
November 22, 2021 3:11 am

Chomsky has sold millions of books so he’s probably a millionaire. The rich won’t suffer when inflation gets worse.

Neo
November 22, 2021 8:23 am

WaPo: Biden “reassured” Dems that he’s running in 2024

Ted
November 22, 2021 9:36 am

To answer the first question – there’s no chance Chomsky, or any of Biden’s base, do anything real to oppose him unless another leftist party gains traction. Much like McAuliffe in Virginia, his only real complaint about Biden is that he’s not doing bad things to the U.S. fast enough.

Andy Pattullo
November 22, 2021 11:17 am

Noam Chomsky is frequently referred to as a “leading intellectual”. Based on that description, we should probably redefine what intellectual means. As an example, he refers to one of the two problems fundamental to climate change is fossil fuel industry, but that industry only provides the product, it is billions of people all around the globe consuming fossil fuels who drive the companies’ business, and they have every reason to continue doing so given the dependence on energy to preserve the good lives we have become accustomed to. Does being intellectual means an inability to see the obvious?

NC also states that the only alternative to turning our backs on fossil fuels (80% of all social energy consumption) by mid century is “cataclysm”. Clearly cataclysm is what will happen if we do stop using the only reliable, affordable energy sources that keep society running. Perhaps being an intellectual means stating the opposite of what is true as if it were true.

Finally it seems apparent an intellectual is incapable of diving below the surface of any argument to seek evidence supporting that argument, or NC would have know long ago there is no climate emergency, no strong evidence linking human derived CO2 emissions to dangerous climate change and abundant evidence that there is no rational alternative but to continue responsible use of fossil fuels and nuclear technology to power modern society.

%d bloggers like this: