On February 16, Secretary of State John Kerry called climate change “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” While speaking to a group of students in Jakarta, Kerry criticized climate change deniers saying, “We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific fact.” He blamed large interests groups for hijacking the conversation and called anyone who denies these facts as “simply burying their heads in the sand.” His speech comes days after President Obama spoke nationally to California farmers, stating that droughts would continue and be more severe in the region due to climate change.
Secretary Kerry recalled the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, where scientist after scientist described the growing problems of carbon in the atmosphere. He explained that since then the conversation has not changed, and very little has been done. Kerry went on to say, “It is time for the world to approach this problem with the cooperation, the urgency, and the commitment that a challenge of this scale warrants.”
The speech comes a day after Kerry met in Beijing with Chinese officials and reached an agreement to work more closely combating climate change. After this meeting, the U.S. and China released a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to contribute “significantly” to the 2015 global effort.