During an interview with Michael Brooks American linguist Noam Chomsky calls Trump “the worst criminal in human history, undeniably”
Could you explain why what Donald Trump is doing institutionally actually is unique and does matter on its own terms?
This sounds strong, but it’s true: Trump is the worst criminal in human history, undeniably. There has never been a figure in political history who was so passionately dedicated to destroying the projects for organized human life on earth in the near future.
That is not an exaggeration. People are focused now on the protests; the pandemic is serious enough that we will emerge from it at terrible cost. The cost is greatly amplified by the gangster in the White House, who has killed tens of thousands of Americans, making this the worst place in the world.
We will emerge; we’re not going to emerge from another crime that Trump has committed, the heating of the globe. The worst of it is coming — we’re not going to emerge from that.
The ice sheets are melting; they’re not going to recover. That leads to an exponential increase in global warming. Arctic glaciers, for example, could flood the world. Recent studies indicate that on the present course, in about fifty years, much of the habitable part of the world will be unlivable. You won’t be able to live in parts of South Asia, parts of the Middle East, parts of the United States.
We’re approaching the point of 125,000 years ago, when sea levels were about twenty-five feet higher than they are now. And it’s worse than that. The Scripps Oceanographic Institute just came out with a study that estimated that we are coming ominously close to a point [similar to] three million years ago, when sea levels were 50 to 80 feet higher than they are today.
All around the world, countries are trying to do something about it. But there is one country which is led by a president who wants to escalate the crisis, to race toward the abyss, to maximize the use of fossil fuels, including the most dangerous of them, and to dismantle the regulatory apparatus that limits their impact. There is no crime like this in human history. Nothing.
This is a unique individual. And it’s not as if he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Of course, he does. It’s as if he doesn’t care. If he can pour more profits into his pockets and the pockets of his rich constituency tomorrow, who cares if the world disappears in a couple of generations?