The greatest threat to the planet is not the Islamic State, Professor Noam Chomsky warns.
Reiterating a previous incendiary assertion, Professor Noam Chomsky again characterized the U.S. Republican Party as the most dangerous organization “in human history” — its assault on climate science and apathy toward the environment being the most damaging party agendas the planet faces.
While Chomsky acknowledged to BBC Newsnight host Chris Evans that could be considered an “outrageous statement,” the itinerant academic upped the ante. Asked whether the GOP could be characterized as worse than the Islamic State or fascistic North Korea, Chomsky provocatively queried,
“Is ISIS dedicated to trying to destroy the prospects for organized human existence?”
Prodding further, Evans asked whether he would even “entertain” that Republicans could be genuine in their beliefs; but Chomsky immediately replied,
“It doesn’t matter whether they genuinely [believe in climate change] or not,” he continued, “if the consequence of that is, ‘Let’s use more fossil fuels, let’s refuse to subsidize developing countries, let’s eliminate regulations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.’ If that’s the consequence, that’s extremely dangerous.”
Rather than simply halting progress years of legislation had advanced toward ending dependency on fossil fuels, the Republican-led United States “is not only… not doing anything about climate change, but we’re trying to accelerate the race to the precipice,” he noted.
“Unless you’re living under a rock,” he added, “you have to recognize the seriousness of this threat.”
Chomsky places the threat from the GOP denial of the generally accepted science of climate change on a level with nuclear weapons, though the entire Republican narrative — rather than any specific facet of its agenda — presents a greater danger in potential detriment to the planet.
“I think the main damage [Trump will] do is to the world, and it’s already happening,” he explained. “The most significant aspect of the Trump election — and it’s not just Trump, it’s the whole Republican Party — is their departing from the rest of the world on climate change.
“We have this astonishing spectacle of the United States alone in the world not only refusing to participate in efforts to deal with climate change but dedicated to undermining them. It’s not just Trump, every single Republican leader is the same.”
Worse, the destruction of decades of environmentally protective policies filters down from the top — it doesn’t only exist at the federal level. Chomsky continued,
“It goes down to the local levels. Take a look at the primaries. In the Republican primaries, every single candidate either denied that climate change is happening. Or, when you get to the so-called moderates like Jeb Bush and [John] Kasich, they said, ‘Well, maybe it’s happening but we shouldn’t do anything about it.’ That’s 100 percent refusal.”
Despite Chomsky’s acknowledgment his analysis of the current GOP is inherently contentious, the scholar maintained myopathy from the American populace — perhaps due to religious beliefs — makes the backtracking currently happening not seem as hazardous as its reality.
Because the Democratic Party “gave up on the working class 40 years ago,” the Republican appeal to the nation’s workers — if not the U.S.’ “deeply rooted” racism — veritably ensured Donald Trump would secure the White House.
Whatever the impetus for Trump achieving the position of President of the United States, however, Chomsky asserted the resultant detriment to society and the planet might not be correctable long term — and he implored the need to evaluate the snuffing out of protections from the perspective of those who will inherit the Earth.
Image credit: Flickr/jeanbaptisteparis.