Noam Chomsky said Nov. 8 — Election Day in the U.S. — could prove to be crucial in the survival of the human species.
“Three events took place last Nov. 8,” Chomsky said earlier this month, during a lecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “One of them was very important. One was extremely important. The third was utterly astonishing.”
That same day, the World Meteorological Organization released a report showing 2011-2015 to be the hottest five-year period on record — hours before an international climate change conference ended without an agreement to enforce the Paris Agreement.
“It had been hoped that they could reshape the verifiable treaty on actions to address climate change, but that couldn’t be done because of a single barrier,” Chomsky said. “It’s called the Republican party.”
Obama had hoped to bypass GOP objections to the treaty, but Chomsky said the Republican-majority Congress refused to accept any verifiable agreements.
Representatives from about 200 nations had hoped to put some teeth into the accord during a United Nations-sponsored conference in Morocco, but their deliberations ended with news of Trump’s election.
“At that point, the deliberations ended, the electoral results came from the United States and the [Marrakech] meeting shifted to another question,” Chomsky said. “Can the world survive when the richest, most powerful country in world history … not only is withdrawing from the effort to try to save the world from destruction, but is undertaking a dedicated commitment to race to the precipice as quickly as possible?”
Chomsky remained hopeful that humanity’s other main existential threat — nuclear war — could be averted despite renewed hostilities between Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, but he’s afraid it may be too late to avert climate disaster.
“We might pass a point of no return, soon in fact, when the damage we have caused is uncontrollable,” he said.