Secretary of State John Kerry did not shy away from pejorative language when addressing “climate change” in his commencement speech at Boston College on Monday. Kerry referred to those skeptical of the Obama administration’s climate claims as “members of the Flat Earth Society” who are “risking nothing less than the future of the entire planet” by resisting implementation of the administration’s policies. At the very least, Kerry argued, what have we got to lose by taking the steps he and the president are advocating? [emphasis added]:
If we make the necessary efforts to address this challenge – and supposing I’m wrong or scientists are wrong, 97 percent of them all wrong – supposing they are, what’s the worst that can happen? We put millions of people to work transitioning our energy, creating new and renewable and alternative; we make life healthier because we have less particulates in the air and cleaner air and more health; we give ourselves greater security through greater energy independence – that’s the downside. This is not a matter of politics or partisanship; it’s a matter of science and stewardship. And it’s not a matter of capacity; it’s a matter of willpower.
Kerry also suggested there’s not much time to act, because “things will change in a hurry,” and indeed some things have already changed:
Two major recent reports, one from the UN and one from retired U.S. military leaders, warn us not just of the crippling consequences to come, but that some of them are already here. Ninety-seven percent of the world’s scientists tell us this is urgent. Why? Because if crops can’t grow, there’ll be food insecurity. If there’s less water because of longer droughts, if there are stronger and more powerful storms, things will change in a hurry and they will change for the worse.
Kerry seemed to be echoing the words of French foreign minister Laurent Fabius who last week at an appearance with the secretary said that “we have 500 days to avoid climate chaos.” As CNS News later reported, Fabius went on to warn that the earth stands at “the edge of a climatic abyss.” He was heartened, however, from some “glimmers of hope,” adsserting that since the 2009 Copenhagen climate conference, “climate denial is – at least in Europe – less audible.”