Secretary of State John Kerry Calls Climate Change 'Weapon of Mass Destruction'
Yesterday in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged developing nations to focus on cutting greenhouse-gas emissions, likening subsequent climate change to weapon of mass destruction, reports the Washington Post.
Addressing a group of government officials and students at an American cultural center, Sec. Kerry disparaged climate deniers in the U.S., calling skeptics members of the “Flat Earth Society” and saying climate change is as real as the gravity that caused Isaac Newton's apple to fall from the tree.
“We simply don’t have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation,” Kerry said, pointing to lobbyist groups and large corporations determined to oppose climate science in the name of private profits.
Citing the imperativeness of ocean acidification, rising sea-levels and extreme weather events, Sec. Kerry again demonstrated his climate change credentials and his resolve to work towards the negotiation of a major international climate pact in 2015.
In response to Sec. Kerry's speech, Yeb Sano, the outspoken, Philippines Climate Commissioner, who last November staged a hunger strike in solidarity with the people of the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, said:
Secretary John Kerry’s message is the kind of tone we want to hear from the U.S. and from every world leader.
I think the major challenge is how to translate the rhetoric into genuine political will. This will necessitate massive reforms in corporate media, which has a lot of influence on how constituencies and the public think about the facts surrounding the science of climate change and the solutions that are necessary to fight climate change.
Reiterating Sec. Kerry analogy, Sano concluded, "We are at war; a war we cannot afford to lose."
Here's the video of Sec. Kerry's speech:
Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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