Noam Chomsky, with his characteristic candor, ponders whether human civilization “may now be approaching its inglorious end” in an essay on the twin threats of war and ecological crises. That essay draws on a thought-provoking analysis by Arundhati Roy, “Is Democracy Melting?“:

Arundhati Roy suggests that the “most appropriate metaphor for the insanity of our times” is the Siachen Glacier, where Indian and Pakistani soldiers have killed each other on the highest battlefield in the world. The glacier is now melting and revealing “thousands of empty artillery shells, empty fuel drums, ice axes, old boots, tents and every other kind of waste that thousands of warring human beings generate” in meaningless conflict. And as the glaciers melt, India and Pakistan face indescribable disaster.

Chomsky expands on these themes in a recent lecture, “Surviving the 21st Century.”