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Earth Science

US Secretary of State Calls Climate Change 'Weapon of Mass Destruction' 401

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-getting-hot-in-here dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Arshad Mohammed reports on Reuters from Jakarta that US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Indonesians that man-made climate change could threaten their entire way of life, deriding those who doubted the existence of 'perhaps the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction' and describing those who do not accept that human activity causes global warming as 'shoddy scientists' and 'extreme ideologues'. 'Because of climate change, it's no secret that today Indonesia is ... one of the most vulnerable countries on Earth. It's not an exaggeration to say that the entire way of life that you live and love is at risk,' said Kerry. '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.' In Beijing on Friday, Kerry announced that China and the United States had agreed to intensify information-sharing and policy discussions on their plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions after 2020. At home, Kerry faces a politically tricky decision on whether to allow the Keystone XL pipeline after a State Department report played down the impact the Keystone pipeline would have on climate change. However Kerry showed little patience for skeptics in his speech. 'We just don't have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation,' said Kerry. '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.'"
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US Secretary of State Calls Climate Change 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'

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  • Bah, fake posturing. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Monday February 17, 2014 @09:17AM (#46265923) Homepage

    As a michigan resident I discovered this year that the Democrats have no interest in saving the environment. they wont even shut off the chicago river to keep the damn china carp from infesting the great lakes. Obama himself refuses to let the scientists and the Civil engineers shut it off. by the time they stop their stupid posturing it will be too late.

    "by 2020" is too late, way too late to begin to start to talk about things. they need to be talking now not at a date set so that none of the current leaders have to bother with it.

  • by microbox (704317) on Monday February 17, 2014 @09:48AM (#46266105)
    That is just simply wrong. There are powerful intrenched interests with their misinformation campaign [merchantsofdoubt.org], and a bunch of sheep who think they're rebels for repeating the tortured logic of others, but that is really the sum total of the opposition to change.

    And make no mistake, change is coming. The USA, Germany and China are leading the way in creating alternative sources of energy. The Germans and northern Europeans in particular are figuring out the engineering problems of using renewables on the grid. And the price of renewables is decreasing exponentially. Wind is now cheaper than every fossil fuel save gas, and will be cheaper than gas in five or so years. Solar is a little behind, but exponential is exponential.

    Sure there are problems left to solve, but don't let anyone fool you into thinking that nobody cares. In fact, some of the smartest engineers and scientists in the world are figuring this out, and there is plenty of government and industry money to do "right" by the next generation.

    If there's one major problem, its that the issue is a political football, but in the end, the smart money will move on, and the fluff heads will be left with wild conspiracy theories about how coal/oil was better all along, and a bunch of communists destroyed a perfectly good industry.
  • Re:Not a Weapon (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Monday February 17, 2014 @10:43AM (#46266431) Journal

    I'd rather have slowly rising seas and powerful economies that a slowed economy, if mass destruction of life is your concern.

    See, people die for many reasons, and only advancing science and increased economic power (as China and India are proving yet again) really save lives...vs. disease and starvation. Nobody dies moving back from the sea, leaving old buildings anyway.

    But massive economic interference is little different from. kickbacks in corrupt or failed states, in net effect.

    I don't want to authorize government additional powers..because I love humanity "and the common man" .

  • Re:Your backyard (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Monday February 17, 2014 @12:34PM (#46267599) Journal
    Yes. Invasive Carp are a serious problem in the US and Australia.

    [Carp] should be a more important priority for the US than hamstringing human civilization in the name of global warming

    There are sound reasons why AGW is high on the Pentagon's threat list [slashdot.org]

    , where as carp are not even listed, despite the political will of a number of anti-carp politicians. Sure there's politics behind the wording and positioning of threats on the pentagons list too, but that doesn't mean AGW not a serious threat to all modern civilization(s) in the form of mass migrations, water wars, global crop failures, collapse of fisheries due to coral beaching, etc, etc

    A current example: If you get your news from the mass media (particularly the US branch), you can be forgiven for not noticing that the Syrian civil war was triggered by internal mass migrations. In 2009-2011, 2M people in a country of 20M abandon their farms and headed to the cites putting strain of infrastructure and employment. The cause was not some madman dictator's attempt at social engineering, nor had people suddenly work out said dictator was mad because face book had arrived. It was triggered by the worst drought ever recorded in the "fertile crescent" (historical records span several millennia in Syria since this is the same region humans invented agriculture). A US diplomat stationed in Syria at the time went so far in his warnings as to correctly predict the city where the war would start (source: Snowden cables). It's no coincidence that many of the nations who experienced "the Arab spring" had previously been experiencing high food prices and in some major cities, large food riots. The mass media story was "Facebook done it".

    As to hamstrings - Did building the hoover dam "hamstring the US". If not, then why do you think this [youtube.com] will "hamstring the US".

    Every coal plant on the planet was built and sometimes re-built within my 54yr lifetime, and they will all need to be re-built in the next 50yrs. Replacing them with modern renewable plants (be they rooftop or centralised) in a similar timeframe is a no-brainer as far as the environment and public health are concerned. If not for the novelty of the "renewables" most people wouldn't really notice the transition (same as I didn't really notice them building all those power plant until the early 90's) . The people with billions invested in coal mines have seen the writing on the wall and are running the same good old fashioned anti-science propaganda techniques that the gas light companies used on Edison and Edison in turn used on Telsa. That very human behaviour is not going away any day soon.

    The other side of that human behaviour is that every adult on the planet (including me) is granted to fall for propaganda, education helps, particularly in the philosophies of Science and Epistemology but as we've seen with AGW, a good education and above average intelligence do not add up to a bullshit proof suit

  • by microbox (704317) on Monday February 17, 2014 @02:40PM (#46269027)
    The USA has implemented cap and trade over 20% of its economy [rggi.org]. Energy prices have come down in this part of the USA relative to the rest of the country, for both factories and consumers. Furthermore, the part of the USA has seen relative economic growth compared to the rest of the USA. It is because of RGGI, similar carbon regulations in other parts of the world, and the history of such programs, that economists think that the cost of climate action will be negligible. The true alarmists are the ones preaching economic Armageddon.

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