John Kerry: 'Climate Change Is Not Just About Bambi,' It Threatens All of Humanity
U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry delivered a speech on Climate Change and National Security this morning at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Old Dominion and the city of Norfolk are in a strategic location for mitigating and adapting to climate change. Norfolk is a coastal community that is already dealing with the consequences of sea level rise, and it's home to the largest Navy base in the world—Naval Station Norfolk.
.@JohnKerry: #climatechange is a threat to the security of the U.S and to security and stability everywhere. https://t.co/8LCMLwh0CM— Department of State (@Department of State)1447175450.0
Kerry, a former member of the Navy, said the future of coastal communities—and indeed all communities—will depend on whether or not we as a global community can come together to address climate change. In his time as Secretary of State, Kerry has repeatedly emphasized the threat of climate change.
He said in his speech that he has made climate change such a major priority in his time as Secretary of State not "simply because climate change is a threat to the environment. It's because by fueling extreme weather events, undermining our military readiness, exacerbating conflicts around the world, climate change is a threat to the security of the United States and indeed to the security and stability of countries everywhere."
Citing impacts of extreme weather events, including flooding, drought and rapid sea level rise, Sec. Kerry said climate change will affect people in dramatic ways. He was deeply critical of those who deny climate science and challenge climate change policies by invoking the "I'm not a scientist" argument. "Those who continue to make climate change a political fight put us all at risk," he warned.
Kerry asked those in the audience who are 29 or younger to raise their hands. He told them, "you haven't lived through a single month that was cooler than its 20th century average. Think about that. It means what used to be normal no longer is. The past decade was the hottest on record, the one before that was the second hottest on record and the one before that was the third hottest on record."
"Three decades in a row—19 of the 20 warmest years in recorded history—have occurred in the past two decades," said Kerry. "This year is on track to be the warmest of all."
But the Secretary of State was not all doom and gloom. "The worst impacts" of climate change "are not inevitable," says Kerry. "We still have time to transition to a global clean energy economy and put the world on a much safer, much more sustainable path. And believe me, if we let the opportunity to do so pass us by, it may be the primary thing that our generation is remembered for."
You can watch Kerry's entire speech here:
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By Brett Wilkins
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<div id="13077" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="11b9fe5ff48ebc437353df6df9c2c892"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1305915938148147205" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Just a week before the Trump administration issued an executive order aimed at keeping meat packing plants open, th… https://t.co/DkbXgPm4YR</div> — ProPublica (@ProPublica)<a href="https://twitter.com/propublica/statuses/1305915938148147205">1600189597.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="36e4c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e7c8048c2755109629a3b3072fcb3261"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1304424041814593539" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Meatpacking union @UFCW, which reps workers at this plant (four of whom died), slams OSHA for the small $13k fine a… https://t.co/tnhfKd89ab</div> — Dave Jamieson (@Dave Jamieson)<a href="https://twitter.com/jamieson/statuses/1304424041814593539">1599833901.0</a></blockquote></div><p>The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, which represents Smithfield Foods workers, <a href="https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/crime/2020/09/10/osha-fines-smithfield-foods-sioux-falls-south-dakota/5768786002/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=f7bf3f03-ce98-4df4-9c45-f44d9a6a5890" target="_blank">slammed</a> the fine as "insulting and a slap on the wrist."</p><p>"How much is the health, safety, and life of an essential worker worth? Based on the actions of the Trump administration, clearly not much," said UFCW president Marc Perrone.</p><p>"This so-called 'fine' is a slap on the wrist for Smithfield, and a slap in the face of the thousands of American meatpacking workers who have been putting their lives on the line to help feed America since the beginning of this pandemic," Perrone added. </p><p>Other critics, including vegans, vegetarians, and animal rights and environmental advocates argued that the accelerated spread of Covid-19 from meatpacking facilities is but the latest compelling argument in favor of reducing—or eliminating—meat consumption.</p><p>"We know that Covid-19 originated in a meat market and that previous influenza viruses originated in pigs and chickens," People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) <a href="https://www.peta.org/blog/meat-shortage-slaugherhouses-go-vegan/" target="_blank">said</a> in April amid news that a Foster Farms slaughterhouse in Livingston, California was <a href="https://www.peta.org/blog/coronavirus-covid-19-slaughterhouse-meat-concerns/?utm_source=PETA::Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=0420::veg::PETA::Twitter::Workers%20Blame%20Major%20Pig%20Slaughterhouse%20600%20Infected%20COVID-19::::tweet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">ordered closed</a> by local health authorities due to a Covid-19 outbreak that killed eight employees.</p>
<div id="28490" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="48ddd3480a2beb42597d9516ef652f0f"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1252416495990140929" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS! @SmithfieldFoods allegedly took NO PRECAUTIONS to protect the safety of its workers, leaving o… https://t.co/viAJ026pLy</div> — PETA (@PETA)<a href="https://twitter.com/peta/statuses/1252416495990140929">1587434336.0</a></blockquote></div><p>"It's not a matter of <em>whether</em> using and killing animals for food will give rise to another disease outbreak—it's a matter of <em>when</em>," said PETA. "There has never been a better, more obvious time for businesses to put an end to their dirty trade of slaughtering animals for their flesh." </p>
By Andrea Willige
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