In a virtual meeting held with Habib University’s 6th Yohsin Lecture: “A Conversation with NOAM CHOMSKY”, the Linguist lamented that Pakistan was drifting away from science.
Chomsky said that today’s generation is different which raises questions that had never been raised before in Human history. “These questions are a burden and a challenge,” said Chomsky, a speaker at a virtual session — part of the Habib University’s flagship Yohsin Lecture Series — and who last visited Pakistan nearly 20 years ago.
In the lecture titled “Bullet Dodged or Merely Delayed: Reflections on the Future of Democracy, Nuclear Proliferation and the Looming Environmental Catastrophe in a Post-Trumpian World,” he spoke of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, saying the world would come out of it “at a very terrible and unnecessary cost”.
He then praised South Korea for its fight against COVID-19. He added “The Chinese vaccine may become available earlier. The US government is undermining the measures China is taking.”
Noam Chomsky also lamented that Pakistan was drifting away from science but urged that science be incorporated into academics and the outlook of the world for the sake of the country’s future.
He also warned about the threat of nuclear war “growing”. Similarly, there was a climate emergency to tackle as well, he observed. “If no action is taken, there is a risk of environmental catastrophe. South Asia faces threats from and linked to climate change,” he said.
Moreover, the linguist highlighted four-terminal threats to humanity: nuclear war, the environmental catastrophe, deterioration of worldwide democracy, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the last of which he termed was “the least of the four crises”.
“The crises that we face today, nuclear weapons, environmental catastrophe, destruction of democracy, pandemic, and many others have solutions,” he said.
“Autocrats and demagogues”, however, would never implement these solutions and that “it has to be an engaged, informed public in a vibrant democracy” that would tackle these issues.