One thing that has become abundantly clear over the past couple of decades, is that waiting idly by for politicians to solve climate change on their own simply won’t cut it. Rather, as Bill McKibben pointed out in our interview with him, that there's a major problem to be solved doesn't seem to motivate politicians - only the fact that there's real pressure on the ground pushing them to do something about it.
Well In the coming few weeks we're going to be highlighting for you several stories of citizens stepping up and organizing in creative ways to produce exactly that type pressure: whether it's in the growing divestment campaign, or through the on ground blockadia movement, where activists are putting their bodies on the line to drive home the point that we need to leave the vast majority of fossil fuels in the ground, if we're to have a liveable world.
“It’s urgent for those who have the most privilege, the most opportunity, the greatest advantages, to be in the forefront instead of in the rear in trying to impede what is likely to be a serious catastrophe.” - Noam Chomsky
But before we get to those stories, we thought we'd start off by revisiting a conversation Kevin had with Noam Chomsky last year that touches specifically on climate change, and how social change happens. A professor emeritus at MIT, Noam Chomsky is one of the foremost intellectuals in the world, who has spent his life working on matters of social justice, and speaking out issues ranging from rising inequality, and corporate power, to foreign policy crimes of the west. Throughout the many decades of his public life, Chomsky has been a beacon of rationality, empathy, and hope for those concerned about the state of the world. And given he has both studied and witnessed first hand the ways in which social pressure when effectively applied, can create massive social changes even in the face of entrenched power systems, we thought he'd be the perfect person to speak to.
So for his insights on how we can go about confronting a challenge as large and daunting as climate change through activism, here’s our episode with Noam Chomsky.
And to hear Kevin's other interview with Noam Chomsky, from February 2013, in which they touched on his activism during the Vietnam war, and the need to “confront reality” regarding the major challenges we collectively are facing such as climate change, click here. And remember to subscribe to The Elephant in iTunes.