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'Texas Has To Face The Fact': Noam Chomsky On Texas' Future As An Oil State

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Mose Buchele | NPR StateImpact

Noam Chomsky, professor of linguistics, oft-cited philosopher and environmental activist told TPR's "The Source" on Monday that Texas does not have a bright future as an oil state. Chomsky and Dr. Robert Pollin of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have co-authored the book "Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal."

"We have a few decades, at most, to make a decision which will determine the future history of organized human society, whether it will persist or not," Chomsky said. "The signs of the impending disasters are around us."

Chomsky said there is no choice: Texas must switch its energy to something more sustainable.

"Texas has to face the fact that, first of all, it's not going to remain an oil state. It will for some time, but it must decline. Even the great oil companies recognize that they cannot possibly persist in producing fossil fuels, which will destroy the environment. They won't be here either," he said.

On top of the negative effects it has on the climate, pollution is especially "murderous" during the respiratory crisis that is the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Who suffers? Not people like me, who live in the suburbs," he said. "The people who really suffer are those who live near the polluting industries. Who are they? The people who are too poor to move anywhere else."

Chomsky said these particular communities are often people of color, who have already suffered from the "rapidly rising inequality of the neoliberal period" and after centuries of harsh repression.
 

Kathleen Creedon can be reached at kathleen@tpr.org or on Twitter at @Kath_Creedon.

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