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Noam Chomsky: Biden on climate is ‘farther to the left than any Democratic candidate in memory’ – Biden’s climate agenda was ‘largely written by the Sunrise Movement’

When Biden’s revised climate policy was unveiled, it was celebrated by many progressives as a real shift. Noam Chomsky declared Biden on climate as “farther to the left than any Democratic candidate in memory,” because, he said, the agenda was “largely written by the Sunrise Movement and strongly endorsed by the leading activists on climate change.”

Noam Chomsky wants you to vote for Joe Biden and then haunt his dreams
By Anand Giridharadas

Noam Chomsky is a linguist, a philosopher, a cognitive scientist, a social critic, and an intellectual godfather of the left…

Today, at 91 years old, Chomsky shows few signs of relinquishing his zindabadassery. He is as incisive and curious and well-read as ever, and in more than an hour of talk, we covered everything from the political choices created by the pandemic to the power of Black Lives Matter, from Joe Biden’s surprisingly progressive platform to finding love for a country you relentlessly criticize.

Take Biden’s campaign positions. Farther to the left than any Democratic candidate in memory on things like climate. It’s far better than anything that preceded it. Not because Biden had a personal conversion or the DNC had some great insight, but because they’re being hammered on by activists coming out of the Sanders movement and others. The climate program, a $2 trillion commitment to dealing with the extreme threat of environmental catastrophe, was largely written by the Sunrise Movement and strongly endorsed by the leading activists on climate change, the ones who managed to get the Green New Deal on the legislative agenda. That’s real politics.


This is interesting coming from you. Your support for Biden is more than merely grudging. You actually seem to think that the platform is surprisingly good given who he is and given where we are.


This is not support for Biden. It is support for the activists who have been at work constantly, creating the background within the party in which the shifts took place, and who have followed Sanders in actually entering the campaign and influencing it. Support for them. Support for real politics.

The left position is you rarely support anyone. You vote against the worst. You keep the pressure and activism going.

Because of the changes in consciousness that have taken place over the past several years. They manifest themselves in many ways.

They manifest themselves in the climate strike last year, for example. Mostly young people, very dedicated. The Sunrise Movement succeeded. Got to the point of occupying congressional offices. Getting the support of a couple of the young congressional representatives who came in on the Sanders wave, especially Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Picked up support from Ed Markey, Massachusetts senator who’s been deeply concerned with the environment. Managed to put the Green New Deal on the legislative agenda.

It’s not a small point. We can debate what form it should take, but some form of Green New Deal is absolutely essential for the survival of organized human society. That’s part of it. There are many other things.

I’m not much interested in his personality. I don’t have any opinion. I’m interested in how things get done. And the way things get done is not by Biden having a religious conversion and saying, “Oh, we’ve got to really work on the climate.” That’s not what happened. The DNC probably hates the program, but they have no choice, because their popular base is not only demanding it, but is working constantly, hard, to force them to do it. That’s politics. Not the personality of leaders. I don’t know what’s in his mind. I don’t care, frankly.


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