John Kerry spoke yesterday at the National Geographic Society delivering some of his most powerful words yet on climate change. Here is some of text:
I have seen this fragile ecosystem change before our very eyes, whether it’s a problem of acidification, a problem of pollution and development, a problem of ice melt and potential ecosystem collapse, to the rise of the sea levels, which is happening in various parts of the world….Kerry obviously understands the urgency and the disaster of inaction. How will this influence his actions? That is an unknown at this point. As Secretary of State, he heads the agency which has the ultimate responsibility for the decision to approve or reject the Keystone XL pipeline. To not consider the environmental impacts of the XL pipeline would seem to betray his own words and jeopardize his credibility especially with the international community hoping that Obamas reelection and the appointment of climate hawk John Kerry as SoS would finally place the US in a position of leadership on climate change.
The entire system is interdependent, and we toy with that at our peril….
So climate change is coming back in a sense as a serious international issue because people are experiencing it firsthand. The science is screaming at us, literally, demanding that people in positions of public responsibility at least exercise the so-called “precautionary principle” to balance the equities and not knowing completely the outcomes at least understand what is happening and take steps to prevent potential disaster.
… I’m here to tell you that, proudly, President Obama has put this agenda back on the front burner where it belongs, that he has in his Inauguration Address and in his State of the Union Address and in the policies he’s working on now said we are going to try to exercise leadership because of its imperatives.