Pointing to the barely mentioned World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report delivered at the international conference on climate change in Morocco on Nov. 8th, Noam Chomsky contrasted the findings with the platform of the Republican Party.
“The WMO reported that the past five years were the hottest on record,” Chomsky told Truthout.org yesterday.
“It reported rising sea levels, soon to increase as a result of the unexpectedly rapid melting of polar ice, most ominously the huge Antarctic glaciers. Already, Arctic sea ice over the past five years is 28 percent below the average of the previous 29 years, not only raising sea levels, but also reducing the cooling effect of polar ice reflection of solar rays, thereby accelerating the grim effects of global warming. The WMO reported further that temperatures are approaching dangerously close to the goal established by COP21, along with other dire reports and forecasts.”
On the same day the report was released, the American public voted in Donald Trump to the presidency and handed all branches of government to the Republican Party — a party Chomsky calls “the most dangerous organization in world history”.
“Apart from the last phrase, all of this is uncontroversial,” he continued. “The last phrase may seem outlandish, even outrageous. But is it? The facts suggest otherwise. The Party is dedicated to racing as rapidly as possible to destruction of organized human life. There is no historical precedent for such a stand. Is this an exaggeration? Consider what we have just been witnessing.”
Chomsky’s remarks are worth printing in full here:
During the Republican primaries, every candidate denied that what is happening is happening, with the exception of the sensible moderates, like Jeb Bush, who said it’s all uncertain, but we don’t have to do anything because we’re producing more natural gas, thanks to fracking. Or John Kasich, who agreed that global warming is taking place, but added that “we are going to burn [coal] in Ohio and we are not going to apologize for it.””
“The winning candidate, now the president-elect, calls for rapid increase in use of fossil fuels, including coal; dismantling of regulations; rejection of help to developing countries that are seeking to move to sustainable energy; and in general, racing to the cliff as fast as possible.”
Trump has already taken steps to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by placing in charge of the EPA transition a notorious (and proud) climate change denier, Myron Ebell. Trump’s top adviser on energy, billionaire oil executive Harold Hamm, announced his expectations, which were predictable: dismantling regulations, tax cuts for the industry (and the wealthy and corporate sector generally), more fossil fuel production, lifting Obama’s temporary block on the Dakota Access pipeline. The market reacted quickly. Shares in energy corporations boomed, including the world’s largest coal miner, Peabody Energy, which had filed for bankruptcy, but after Trump’s victory, registered a 50 percent gain.
The net result is essentially an all out war on the environment at precisely the wrong moment in history. Chomsky is not over exaggerating when it comes to the wholesale destruction of our natural environment — it is, as NASA and every other reputable scientific organization says, simply scientific fact. To be ramping up the production of the substances directly responsibly for this ecological genocide can be described in no other way: it is assured suicide.
Of all the issues the world has to be worried about under a Trump presidency, this surely must be the priority. To combat Trump’s assault on the natural world, the entire planet is going to have to mobilize to stop it. This means boycotting American goods if necessary, forcing governments to stand up to America and applying trade sanctions. Trump has stated he will pull out of the Paris Climate agreement, and if he does, America must face severe economic penalties for doing so. It isn’t a matter of point scoring, it is a matter of survival. Future generations will remember what we did to stop this madness, so now is the time to act.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.