In Noam Chomsky's view: "All of this combines the latest election a couple of days ago" ,,, " You could almost interpret it ( the Republicans victory in the Congress elections ) a kind of a death knell for the species". http://dailycaller.com/2011/01/21/chomsky-novembers-republican-takeover-of-congress-a-death-knell-for-the-species/ .
How consistent is Noam Chomsky's prediction with climate science projections?
With rising global and in particular polar temperatures (Figure 2) and the acceleration of extreme weather events (Figure 3), predicted by the IPCC ( http://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/3100 ; http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=11605), the rise in energy levels of the atmosphere-ocean system, evaporation and precipitation, are increasingly expressed by a series of extreme weather events - cyclones, floods, snow storms, heat waves. http://researchpages.net/esmg/people/tim-lenton/tipping-points/ .
The emission of >320 Gigaton carbon over the last two centuries leads to a shift in state of the climate (>2 Watt/m2; +0.8C mean temperature; ~2 ppm CO2/year) on a scale unknown from former interglacial periods and the last 3 million years of geological history.
How should Noam Chomsky's claim the return of the Republicans constitutes "a kind of a death knell for the species" be interpreted?
Is Chomsky referring to the self-fulfilling prophecies of the "rapture" by fundamentalists? (http://www.oilempire.us/rapture.html). Is it the ideology of human mastery over nature, vested fossil fuel interests, well funded "conservative" think tanks, media cover-up, cowardly politicians, the basic reluctance of people to face global issues beyond human power (Figure 4), or all of these factors combined?
Hopefully the Representatives are correct and Chomsky is mistaken. As "internet science" tells, the world is not warming or, at least, not due to human factors, and climate research organizations (Hadley-Met, NASA-GISS, Colorado-NSIDC, Potsdam, CSIRO, BOM) and peer reviewed science are all in error?
Should this not be the case and the future lie in the hands of those who reject the scientific method, claiming authority to speak in God's name, this would herald the end of the enlightenment, an era of intellectual, scientific and cultural life emerging from the 18th century where evidence and reason are the basis for legitimacy and authority.
Dr Andrew Glikson
Earth and paleoclimate science
Australian National University
20 February, 2011
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