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According to Professor Chomsky, we live in a unique historical moment, confronted by an array of severe challenges, some so severe that “failure to address them soon will effectively terminate organised human society, with mass destruction of other species as well”. The two most prominent are climate change and nuclear war. Moreover, the current pandemic has killed more Americans than the flu pandemic of a century ago and has not yet run its course. It is also well understood that failure to vaccinate globally is not only a moral scandal but also facilitates mutations that may escape control. Other crises also loom such as the emergence of new pandemics, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and land degradation.
In his address to the IIEA, Professor Chomsky argues that despite the severe crises that humans face at this historically unprecedented moment, feasible solutions are at hand. He considers whether humans have the moral and intellectual capacity to choose a course towards a much better world and how we might provide the answers.