Daily Dispatches
Secretary of State John Kerry
Associated Press/Photo by Evan Vucci, Pool
Secretary of State John Kerry

Are snow storms and hurricanes as dangerous as nukes and sarin gas?

Climate Change

Secretary of State John Kerry called climate change “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction” in a speech in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Monday. He then lampooned those who are skeptical about the human impact on climate change.

In a Twitter response, former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich called for Kerry’s resignation over the comments, asking if Kerry truly believes global warming is “more dangerous than North Korean and Iranian nukes? More than Russian and Chinese nukes? Really??”

Citing the urgency of the issue, Kerry declared that dissenting scientific voices should be forced out of policy discussions. Kerry hailed an “unequivocal” scientific consensus that global temperatures are rising because of human activity, and that a “few loud interest groups” who don’t believe it are motivated by the economic concerns of big corporations.

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But Jay Lehr, science director for The Heartland Institute, believes the science is not so settled. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses more than 100 different and self-contradictory mathematical models to predict future human impact on the environment. Lehr recently wrote that because the models disagree with one another and also consistently shoot higher than actual temperature measurements, “there is certainly no sound basis for using the climate models as a justification for economy-destroying restrictions of carbon dioxide emissions.”

Recent U.S. climate initiatives are indicative of the Obama administration’s penchant for shutting out different opinions. In June, the president put forth his “Climate Action Plan” by executive order rather than attempting to work through Congress. Then last Wednesday, the U.S. government submitted a proposal to the United Nations presenting its vision for a new international climate agreement to be hammered out in Paris next year. Unlike the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that required congressional ratification, this proposal is offered as an “international counterpart” to Obama’s Climate Action Plan and can thus bypass Congress, according to a Reuters report.

In his speech, Kerry contended that the global nature of the problem demands global cooperation and that America will exert its influence to bring others on board. Even though already industrialized nations are responsible for the lions share of current carbon output “that doesn’t mean that other nations have a free pass,” Kerry warned. “They don’t have a right to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

While Kerry continues to assert the certainty of man-made climate change, even the IPCC’s lead authors admit the possibility that these WMD don’t exist either. Hans von Storch told the German magazine der Speigel in June that “if things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models.”

The Associated press contributed to this report.

David Sonju
David Sonju

David recently earned a Ph.D. in theology from the University of St. Andrews. He lives near Binghamton, N.Y., with his wife Joy and their two young children.

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