Today John Kerry had a dire warning for the people in Indonesia about what Climate Change has in store for the archipelago 247 million Indonesians call home.
Kerry Warns Indonesia: Climate Change Threatens 'Entire Way Of Life'More from Kerry's speech:
By Scott Neuman
"When I think about the array of global climate, of the global threats, think about this: terrorism, epidemics, poverty, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," Kerry said in a speech to students in the capital, Jakarta. "All challenges that know no borders. The reality is that climate change ranks right up there with every single one of them."
He stressed that 97 percent of scientist agree that climate change is "unequivocal" and that those people who deny the facts "are simply burying their heads in the sand."
"Because of climate change, it's no secret that today Indonesia is ... one of the most vulnerable countries on Earth," Kerry said.
"It's not an exaggeration to say that the entire way of life that you live and love is at risk," he added.
Furthermore, climate change means fundamental transformations in agriculture worldwide. Scientists predict that, in some places, heat waves and water shortages will make it much more difficult for farmers to be able to grow the regular things we grow, like wheat or corn or rice. And obviously, it’s not only farmers who will suffer here – it’s the millions of people who depend on those crops that the farmers grow. For example, the British government research showed that climate change may have contributed to the famine that killed as many as 100,000 people in Somalia just back in 2010 and 2011.
And scientists further predict that climate change also means longer, more unpredictable monsoon seasons and more extreme weather events. Now, I’ll tell you, I can’t tell you – no weatherman on TV or anybody is going to be able to look at you and tell you – that one particular storm was absolutely the result of climate change. But scientists do predict that many more of these disastrous storms will occur if we continue down the current path. Ladies and gentlemen, I saw with my own eyes what the Philippines experienced in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan and I will tell you it would be absolutely devastating if that kind of storm were to become the normal thing that happens every single year in many places.
On top of the unspeakable humanitarian toll, the economic cost that follows a storm like that is absolutely massive. I don’t mean just the billions that it costs to rebuild. We’ve seen here in Asia how extreme weather events can disrupt world trade.
It is time for the world to approach this problem with the cooperation, the urgency, and the commitment that a challenge of this scale warrants. It’s absolutely true that industrialized countries – yes, industrialized countries that produce most of the emissions – have a huge responsibility to be able to reduce emissions, but I’m telling you that doesn’t mean that other nations have a free pass. They don’t have a right to go out and repeat the mistakes of the past. It’s not enough for one country or even a few countries to reduce their emissions when other countries continue to fill the atmosphere with carbon pollution as they see fit. At the end of the day, emissions coming from anywhere in the world threaten the future for people everywhere in the world, because those emissions go up and then they move with the wind and they drop with the rain and the weather, and they keep going around and around and they threaten all of us.Its true that island nations like Indonesia and the Philippines are in some of the regions most at risk from the effects of Climate Change. Of course regions facing less risks will still have to grapple with our own monumental challenges as a result of Climate Change.
Now, as I’ve already acknowledged, I am the first one to recognize the responsibility that the United States has, because we have contributed to this problem. We’re one of the number – we’re the number two emitter of greenhouse gas emissions. The number one is now China. The fact is that I recognize the responsibility that we have to erase the bad habits that we have, which we adopted, frankly, before we understood the consequences. Nobody set out to make this happen. This is the consequence of the industrial revolution and the transformation of the world, and many of the advances that we made that have changed the world for the better came from these steps. But now we do know the attendant consequences that are linked to these actions.
Back on this side of the Pacific among those actually helping to bury Americans heads in the sand was Fox News Sunday which featured this jaw dropping exchange of ignorant falsehoods by scientific charlatans like George Will, and Kim Strassel.
CHRIS WALLACE: "President Obama today in drought ridden California Friday proposing a one billion dollar to fund to research and help communities deal with the effects of Climate Change. The president’s case (giggling) may seem a bit hard to make when the eastern half of the country is in the grips of a brutal winter, but as you heard the President say Climate Change accounts for everything from drought to flood! George do you buy it?
GEORGE WILL: “No, and neither does science! But I'm one of those called deniers. (giggles) When a politician on a subject implicating science, hard science, economic science, social science says the debate is over, you may be sure of two things. The debate is raging and he’s losing it.” (more giggling)
CHRIS WALLACE (making a face) "Maybe you know because I don't, when did Global Warming become Climate Change?"This kind of snake oil has helped to make the federal government's paralysis the main US response to Climate Change. When the US should be leading the world in a race to find solutions to the predicament we are creating for ourselves. What a shame.
KIM STRASSEL: “(giggles) It became climate change when you couldn't prove that there was much global warming anymore. You know as the temperature didn't change. So suddenly we needed to have this catch all term - that was responsible...that meant any change in the weather supported somehow the theory."
Because the sooner we start to give Climate Change the urgency it deserves the less wrenching and disruptive it will become for our decedents.