Famed linguist and activist Noam Chomsky says that the United States under President Donald Trump is driving the world closer to catastrophe than it’s been in decades.
In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Chomsky pointed out that the so-called “Doomsday Clock” created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board is now closer to midnight than at any time since the height of the Cold War.
“Just now a week ago it was moved two minutes to midnight, after a year of Trump,” Chomsky said. “That’s the closest it’s been to terminal disaster since 1953 when the US and later the USSR exploded thermonuclear weapons demonstrating that human intelligence had now developed the capacity to destroy everything on Earth.”
Chomsky said that the Trump administration in particular had accelerated two key risks to humanity through its refusal to act to combat climate change and its saber-rattling with a nuclear-armed North Korea.
Nonetheless, he did see some room for optimism in the United States, despite the dire current political landscape.
“Go back to the 2016 election, the focus of attention is of course on the Trump victory,” he said. “However something else happened that was astonishing: Bernie Sanders, who came from nowhere, even used the scare word ‘socialist,’ had no support from private wealth… he might’ve won the election, and is now far and away the most respected political figure in the country.”