This morning, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that climate change is the most serious threat facing the US and the world.
Is he kidding???
There are a number of threats to humanity that are far more important – and easily proven/observed (as compared to the “science” of climate change).
* The ebola virus is sweeping through western Africa and could go global through modern air travel. More than 2000 have died already. Ebola will kill more people in the short term than any climate change could in twice the time.
* The electronic waste from the developed world (2.4 million tons annually from the US) is poisoning much of the developing world. Eighty percent of US e-waste is sent to other countries, principally in Asia. In some places there are actual businesses that takes apart devices, but without environmental oversight, allowing lead and mercury to poison the land and water in the area. Where e-waste is just dumped, children often burn devices to extract copper wire to sell. Burning releases toxic gases which make the children ill.
* ISIS has killed thousands of people simply for their thoughts or beliefs. They or their sympathizers have already attempted to implement their terror campaign in Australia (fortunately thwarted) and have vowed to bring it to the US and Britain. US military experts say defeating ISIS could take a decade or more. ISIS could easily murder a million people in that time. Climate change won’t take a million lives in the next 10 years.
* According to the aid group World Vision, a child dies from hunger every minute. Money spent in a futile effort to change long-term world-wide weather patterns would be better spent on food and farming education.
Even if you buy into the claim that the climate change that is happening is cause by humans (sorry, mere mortals cannot seriously impact something as huge as the world’s climate/circulation system), predictions are made for theoretical scenarios with people who are not even alive now. I make lists, organize and attempt to identify potential problems for future events for my family, so I am in favor of looking at the long-term affects of current policies and behaviors. But there are people suffering right now who see no hope for their children or grandchildren. If (big question mark) we could make a change in global temperature of one degree in the next 100 years, the high cost to governments and industry would make life even more difficult to the people living through those 100 years. Much of the population in the developing world could not survive if food and services cost more. Not to mention that the one degree change would not make any significant difference to the environment.
I appreciate people who are passionate about making a difference in the world. But I am saddened by those who waste their energies on concerns that are beyond their lifetime, while ignoring the needs of the moment. Some of the demonstrators in NYC on Sunday have been swept away by enthusiasm or ignorance, others are using the issue of climate change for political or professional gain. I am not sure where Secretary of State Kerry is on that spectrum, but I am sure that he knows his statement is untrue. It made him look ridiculous.