China and US Move Closer in Joint Strategy
American Secretary of State John Kerry this week warned the world to the new threat of extreme climate shifts on his trip in Asia. In his speech to leaders in Jakarta, Indonesia, he said, “Climate change may be the world’s “most fearsome” weapon of mass destruction and urgent global action is needed to combat it.”
Talking to an audience of Indonesian students, their professors, national, state and business leaders, Kerry confronted them with a lack of urgency from them as the global threat before them.
He accused climate change skeptics of using shoddy science and scientists to delay measures needed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases at the risk of damaging the planet. He went on to say that responsibility for such greenhouse gases was now the concern and responsibility of every person and every nation.
Using the Jakarta conference as a world platform, Kerry hampered at people and organizations that have stood in the way for a positive global strategy for combating extreme weather.
Hijacking the Climate Debate
"We simply don't have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation," Kerry said. This was in reference to what he called "big companies" that "don't want to change and spend a lot of money" to act to reduce the risks.
Later in his comments he singled out big oil and coal concerns as the primary offenders to working with nations to stop the root causes of climate change.
"We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts," Kerry told the audience gathered at a U.S. Embassy-run American Center in a Jakarta shopping mall. "Nor should we allow any room for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits."
No Time for Flat Earth Society
"The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand," Kerry said. "We don't have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society,"
Kerry, spoke to the fact 97 percent of scientists who have weighed in on the issue agree that the phenomenon of extreme climate change is a reality of the 21st Century.
The American Secretary of State argued that the cost of inaction to environments and economies will far outweigh the significant expense of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He reasoned these emissions trap solar heat in the atmosphere and contribute to the Earth's rising temperatures. Climate experts have tagged this factor as a primary cause for new extreme weather modifications and possibility global climate change.
Recent Weather Disasters
Kerry outlined the recent history of recent weather disasters, particularly flooding and typhoons in Asia, and their impact on commerce, agriculture, fishing and daily living conditions for billions of people.
He added: "In a sense, climate change can now be considered the world's largest weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even, the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction."
The solution, Kerry said, is a new global energy policy that shifts reliance from fossil fuels to cleaner technologies.
Kerry spoke to the fact that American policy is now championing such a shift from dirty technology.
Timing for Kerry’s remarks was important to his overall Asian trip. His speech on the climate threat came a day after Kerry won an agreement with China to cooperate more closely with the U.S. on combating climate change.
Joint China-American Climate Policy.
After Kerry left Beijing, China on Saturday, the U.S. and China issued a joint statement saying they had agreed on steps to carry out commitments to curb greenhouse gases, including reducing vehicle emissions, improving energy efficiency of buildings and other measures.
Both nations admitted that China and the United States are the biggest sources of emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases. This single admission explains how fossil fuels are impacting the atmosphere and traps solar heat and alter the climate. Experts from both nations are now warning what is happening due to fossil fuels interacting with upper atmosphere air currents. Impacts are creating climate changes that are leading to drought, wildfires, rising sea levels, melting polar ice, plant and animal extinctions and other extreme conditions.
Beijing and Washington launched the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group last year. They promised progress in five areas: reducing vehicle emissions; advanced electric power grids; capturing and storing carbon emissions; gathering greenhouse gas data; and building efficiency.
As the American Secretary of State, John Kerry’s comments in Asia concerning the threat of climate change to the future of humanity, is also a new peak into a possible new 21st Century China and United States era of partnership to solve massive multinational problems that impact both countries.