There are numerous media savants and would-be intellectuals who suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome, and the renowned linguist and leftist political activist Noam Chomsky would seem to have one of the worst cases. Chomsky considers Trump to be the “worst criminal in human history” because he will have the United States completing its formal withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement tomorrow, Nov. 4.
“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,” Chomsky claimed. No matter what the results of today’s election, it’s worth examining this particularly extreme example of Trump derangement for what it tells us about the mindset of Trump’s most passionate opponents.
Note that Chomsky does not simply think that Trump might unintentionally cause the destruction of human life but that he is “dedicated” to bringing this about. Thus, he considers Trump to be more diabolical than democidal tyrants such as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, who killed millions of human beings. So far Trump has killed hardly anyone, aside from ordering the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, as well as Al Qaeda leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and other Al Qaeda lieutenants. Trump’s recent presidential predecessors killed far more people in America’s wars in the Near and Middle East. Since Chomsky opposed these wars, one would think that he would give Trump a little credit.
Continuing to bash Trump because of his decision to leave the Paris climate agreement, Chomsky contends:
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?
It is not clear why Trump would want to put “profits into his pockets and the pockets of his rich constituency” if he thought this would destroy the earth. Trump certainly seems to love his family that would be around after his death. Furthermore, it is not apparent that Trump is making huge profits from fracking. He is trying to win votes in states that have fracking. And Joe Biden, though confused, now says he would also not ban fracking.
There is no reason to believe that Trump thinks his policy would lead to the destruction of the world. What Trump does believe is that China should not be allowed to spew out far more tons of carbon dioxide than the United States. “Despite claims of international environmental leadership, China’s energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are rising,” the U.S. State Department recently reported. The report went on:
[China] has been the world’s largest annual greenhouse gas emitter since 2006. China’s total emissions are twice that of the United States and nearly one third of all emissions globally. Beijing’s energy-related emissions increased more than 80 percent between 2005-2019, while U.S. energy-related emissions have decreased by more than 15 percent. In 2019 alone, China’s energy-related CO2 emissions increased more than 3 percent, while the United States’ decreased by 2 percent. Beijing claims ‘developing-country’ status to avoid shouldering more responsibility for reducing GHG emissions—though its per capita CO2 emissions have already reached the level of many high-income countries. China’s increasing emissions counteract the progress of many other countries around the world to reduce global emissions.
Given this picture of China’s harm to the environment, not to mention its oppression of its own people, and its bribery and corruption of governments, politicians, and corporations abroad, one would think Chomsky would reserve his greatest scorn for China, rather than The Donald.
above: Noam Chomsky, Toronto 2011 [Image by: Andrew Rusk from Toronto, Canada, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons, cropped and resized]
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