Donald Trump has brought the Doomsday Clock ticking dangerously close to midnight, Noam Chomsky has warned.
The renowned academic said the clock offered a "very revealing, brief analysis of the state of potential for human survival."
In an interview with Wallace Shawn on the New York Public Library Podcast, Mr Chomsky said: “Two years ago it was pushed forward to three minutes to midnight. A week into Trump’s term, it was moved to two-and-a-half minutes to midnight - that’s the closest it’s been since 1953."
Noam Chomsky says the Republican party is the most dangerous organisation in human history
He added: "Now it’s more dangerous than it has been throughout the whole nuclear age, and that’s now combined with the threat of global warming.
"So what are we doing about it? Well, what we’re doing about it is ignoring it.”
The experts who make up the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists set the clock at two-and-a-half minutes from midnight earlier this year, citing the failure of the international community to deal with nuclear weapons and climate change.
Lawrence Krauss and David Titley, who lead the organisation, said the danger had been amplified because "the United States now has a President who has promised to impede progress on both of those fronts”.
“Never before has the Bulletin decided to advance the clock largely because of the statements of a single person,” the two scientists said. “But when that person is the new President of the United States, his words matter.”
Discussing why people voted for Mr Trump, Mr Chomsky said: "There’s a lot of reasons. Some of them are understandable, quite understandable.
"As I’m sure you’ve seen it’s been discovered the last couple of years, that among the American white working class - lower middle class, white males mainly - something quite remarkable is happening: an increase in mortality. That doesn’t happen in developed societies except in war or something like that."
He added: "Many of the people who voted for Trump, voted for Obama, working people, because they believed the propaganda about hope and change…They didn’t get hope, they didn’t get change, and now they’re listening to a con man who’s saying the same things.”
Mr Chomsky has previously argued that Mr Trump poses an "existential threat" to humanity and must be countered with "urgent and dedicated" action.
"Ridicule is not enough" to defeat the US President, he said, and called for direct activism to combat the White House's policies.