The Republican Party’s triumph in the 2010 congressional elections, coupled with the rapid depletion of the earth’s natural resources, signaled the impending collapse of human civilization, according to a world-renowned scholar known for his left-wing politics.
“You could almost interpret [the election] as a kind of a death knell for the species,” Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a recent interview.
But he’s not the only one worried; the US business press is, too.
Chomsky continued, “There was an article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, you know – not a radical rag exactly. They’re running through the new Republicans coming to Congress, and they’re worried about them.”
The cause for concern is that these newly-elected conservative members that now comprise the majority in Congress believe that global climate change is not the result of human industrial activities.
“One of the reasons is because they’re global warming deniers,” he told the Nation magazine. “Almost all – that means the powerful House committees, like science and technology and so on, are in hands of people who think there’s nothing to it – or at least claim that they think that, but what they actually think is another story.”
Chomsky is one of a number of professionals who have spoken about peak oil and climate change for a video series by the leftist magazine and On The Earth Productions.
Chomsky explained that the force behind the global warming deniers are the business and energy lobbies, both of whom have vested interests in selling cheap fossil fuels.
“The Chamber of Commerce, the main business lobby, the American petroleum industry and other business lobbies have publicly proclaimed in fact with enthusiasm that they are carrying out campaigns to try to convince the population that global warming is a liberal hoax,” he said.
“It’s succeeded unfortunately,” he added, pointing to the US media’s complicity.
The country that has risen to consume the most natural resources more efficiently than the other nations – the United States – is the engine of the coming collapse, Chomsky noted.
“If this was happening in some small country, in you know maybe Monaco or something, it wouldn’t matter much, but when it’s happening in the richest, most powerful country in the world – it’s a danger to the survival of the species,” he said.
Chomsky added, “Nobody else is going to do much if the United States doesn’t do a lot, not just some but take the lead. So we’re essentially saying, ‘Let’s kiss each other goodbye.’”
The video series also features remarks by Bill McKibben, lead organizer of 350.org; Nicole Foss, co-editor of The Automatic Earth; Richard Heinberg, author of “The Party’s Over,” as well as other scientists and researchers.
This video is from the Nation magazine, broadcast Jan. 3, 2011.