In this article Noam Chomsky points out a number of doomsday scenarios that will manifest if we do not change course:
Noam Chomsky: “Trump Is the Worst Criminal in History, Undeniably”
This sounds strong, but it’s true: Trump is the worst criminal in 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 [for the coronavirus]. We will emerge [from the pandemic, but] 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 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] 3 million years ago, when sea levels were fifty to eighty 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?
As far as the government is concerned, we’re seeing something pretty interesting. Parliamentary democracy has been around for 350 years, starting in England in 1689 with the so-called Glorious Revolution, when sovereignty was transferred from the royalty to the parliament. The beginnings of parliamentary democracy in the United States [came] about a century later. Parliamentary democracy is not just based on laws and constitutions. In fact, the British constitution is maybe a dozen words. It’s based on trust and good faith, the assumption that people will act like human beings.
Take Richard Nixon. Pretty rotten guy, but when the time came that he had to leave office, he left office quietly. Nobody is expecting that with Trump. He doesn’t act like a human being. He’s off somewhere else. He [doesn’t] even make appointments that can be confirmed by the Senate. Why bother? I don’t like somebody, I’ll throw them out. One Republican, Lisa Murkowski, dares to raise a small question about his nobility, [and he] came down on her with a ton of bricks — I’m going to destroy you.
It’s not fascism. It’s what I said before: tin-pot dictator of some small country where they have coups every couple of years. That’s the mentality.
Congress, the Senate, happens to be in the hands of a soul mate of his, Mitch McConnell — in many ways the real evil genius of this administration, dedicated to destroying democracy long before Trump. When [Barack] Obama was elected, McConnell said openly to the public, “My main goal is to ensure that Obama can achieve nothing.” Okay. That’s saying, “I want to destroy parliamentary democracy,” which is based, as I said, in good faith and trust in the interchange.
The Senate. the so-called world’s greatest deliberative body, is reduced to passing legislation that will enrich the very rich, empowering the corporate sector, and making judicial appointments to stack the judiciary with young, ultraright, mostly incompetent justices who can ensure for a generation that no matter what the public wants, they’ll be able to block it.
It’s a deep hatred of democracy and fear of democracy. That’s not unusual among the elites; they don’t like democracy for obvious reasons. But this is something special.
That’s on top of the pandemic, on top of the global warming crisis, the crisis of nuclear weapons, which is equally severe. Trump is dismantling the entire arms-control regime, greatly increasing the risk of destruction, virtually inviting enemies to develop weapons to destroy us that we [won’t be able to] stop.
Trump is taking the worst aspects of capitalism, particularly the neoliberal version of capitalism, and amplifying them. Let’s just take the pandemic. Why is there a pandemic? In 2003, after the SARS epidemic, which was a coronavirus, it was well understood by scientists — they were saying, “Another coronavirus, much more serious than this, is very likely. Now here are the steps we have to take to prepare for it.” Somebody has to take the steps. Well, there is a pharmaceutical industry, but extraordinarily wealthy, huge labs can’t do it. You don’t spend money on something that might be important ten years from now — stopping a future catastrophe is not profitable. That’s a capitalist crisis.
Government has the resources; they have great labs. But then comes something called Ronald Reagan, at the beginning of the neoliberal assault on the population, arguing that government is the problem, not the solution — meaning we have to take decisions away from government. Government is influenced by people. Now we have to put [decisions] in the hands of unaccountable private institutions which have no influence from the public. In the United States, that’s sometimes called libertarianism. That’s the beginning of the neoliberal assault.
George H. W. Bush established a presidential scientific advisory council board. Obama called it into office, correctly, the first day of his administration and asked them to prepare a pandemic warning reaction system. A couple of weeks later, they came back with a system that was put in place. January 2017, the wrecker comes into office. First days of his administration, [Trump] dismantles the whole system to respond to a pandemic; started defunding the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] (CDC) and every health-related aspect of government, year after year. Eliminated programs of American scientists in China working with Chinese scientists to identify potential coronavirus threats and throws it out. So when [the coronavirus] hit, the United States was uniquely unprepared — thanks to the wrecker.
And then it got worse. He refused to react to it. Other countries responded to it, some of them very well and very quickly. It’s almost gone, mostly under control. Not in the United States. He didn’t care. For months, US intelligence couldn’t get the White House to say, “There’s a serious crisis.” Finally, according to reports, he noticed that the stock market was declining, and then said, “We have to do something.” What he has done is just chaos.
But a large part of the problem is pre-Trump. Why aren’t the hospitals ready? Well, they run on a business model. That’s neoliberalism. It has to be just-in-time delivery. They don’t want to lose a cent. So we don’t have an extra hospital bed; we have to make sure the CEOs of the private hospitals get millions of dollars a year in compensation. Can’t have an extra bed — you cut into that. So everything’s parroted above. The nursing homes, which are privately owned, are reduced to minimal functioning, because we can make more money that way, if we’re a private-equity corporation that owns them. Now we can contribute to Trump’s campaign so he can have a photo-op with us, telling us how wonderful we are for destroying the nursing homes, killing all the elderly people.
It goes deep into issues well before Trump, but he is a unique phenomenon — again, the worst criminal in human history, so his minor crimes are to destroy American democracy and to amplify a pandemic killing over a hundred thousand people. But those are minor crimes by his standards.
Chomsky covers many doomsday scenarios from the book in just this one short paragraph: “That’s on top of the pandemic, on top of the global warming crisis, the crisis of nuclear weapons, which is equally severe. Trump is dismantling the entire arms-control regime, greatly increasing the risk of destruction, virtually inviting enemies to develop weapons to destroy us that we [won’t be able to] stop.” All of these chapters are in play:
Humanity must change course to avoid catastrophe. In the ideal case, the United States would lead the way.
“The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain lays out this scenario in amazing detail and offers solutions to prevent this doomsday scenario from unfolding. You can pre-order the book today on the pre-order page.