In a recent speech in Indonesia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that climate change is “perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” The speech was a strong counter to those in the American government who deny that climate change exists. Kerry went on to describe those who do not accept anthropogenic global warming as “shoddy scientists” and “extreme ideologues,” and he added that big companies and special interests should not be allowed to “hijack” the climate debate.
In 2012, the heads of the U.S. military declared climate change a “threat to national security,” but little progress was made in proactively countering the country’s level of carbon dioxide emissions, or the level of skepticism from leading government officials.
“Because of climate change, it’s no secret that today Indonesia is … one of the most vulnerable countries on Earth,” Kerry told an audience of students. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that the entire way of life that you live and love is at risk.”
“Think about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It doesn’t keep us safe if the United States secures its nuclear arsenal while other countries fail to prevent theirs from falling into the hands of terrorists,” he said.
“The bottom line is this: it is the same thing with climate change. In a sense, climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”
Kerry’s statement comes ahead of a possible new global treaty on climate change that is scheduled to be agreed next year by 200 nations. It is hoped that China and the United States, the world’s largest emitters of such gases, will implement plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions after 2020.
Kerry is also facing opposition over the Keystone XL pipeline and underlined that he had no patience any more for climate skeptics.
“We just don’t have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation,” he said. “I’m talking about big companies that like it the way it is, that don’t want to change, and spend a lot of money to keep you and me and everybody from doing what we know we need to do.
“We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists … and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific fact,” he said. “The science is unequivocal and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand.”
Truer words have never been said.