John Kerry, secretary of State, has put out a call for all nations to ramp up their efforts against climate change.
As Kerry sees it, climate change is “world’s largest weapon of mass destruction.”
The secretary of State spoke to a crowd at the US Cultural Center in Jakarta, explaining about this “fearsome weapon” that global warming is because it threatens countries with far more severity than terrorism or nuclear proliferation.
Because this problem is global, Kerry decried that all government heads come together their multi-stakeholders and corporations to create encompassing energy policies.
Kerry said: “We all have to approach this challenge together,” he insisted, adding that “in a sense climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even the world’s most fearsome weapon. But while industrialized countries bore a huge responsibility, that didn’t mean other nations get a free pass.”
At the talk, Kerry pointed out that Indonesia is under immediate threat as “warming sea temperatures could deal a severe blow to Indonesia’s fishing industry, while powerful storms could buffet the country and rising seas put much of Jakarta, the capital, under water.”
To show his commitment, Kerry is pursuing a position as lead broker of a 2015 UN treaty on the world’s economies with regard to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and establishing a global energy economy.
In 2013, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, commander of the US Navy Pacific operations sector, expressed concern that man-made climate change is a real and viable threat to US national security with regard to possible nuclear engagement with North Korea and the mounting observations of China’s detriment to the US in general.
Locklear commented that global warming has the potential to “cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about. You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level.”
The US Navy Energy, Environment and Climate Change task force (TFCC) was created in 2009 “to address the naval implications of a changing Arctic and global environment.” The TFCC is empowered to “make recommendations to Navy leadership regarding policy, investment, and action, and to lead public discussion on this serious issue.”
While the TFCC is concerned about Arctic ice melt, sea levels, resource “challenges” and “humanitarian assistance” with regard to “disaster response”, they consider the effects of “ ocean acidification on ecosystems, abrupt climate change, and geo-engineering challenges.”
The document entitled, “US Navy Arctic Roadmap” outlines how the US Navy policy assists in governing “investment, action, and public discussion regarding the Arctic; capitalizes on the Navy’s extensive experience in the region; and emphasizes cooperative partnerships in joint surveys, research, search and rescue, Maritime Domain Awareness, and incident response.”
May of 2012, Leon Panetta, Defense Secretary stated that climate change was a matter of national security.
Panetta spoke to the Environmental Defense Fund, ““The area of climate change has a dramatic impact on national security. Rising sea levels, severe droughts, the melting of the polar caps, the more frequent and devastating natural disasters all raise demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”
Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC) retorts that if a successful action is not taken to stop climate change, it will become a national and international security threat.
Pachauri said: “If the impact of climate change is going to make regions of violence poorer, then they really provide a level of fertility for inciting disaffection, resentment against the prosperous world. That’s an indirect effect that can create the conditions for terrorism.”
Recommendations to the US were: “We’re likely to have problems with respect to water supplies in the US. We have to tell the people of the US. That this is something intimately connected with their present and their future. The cost of inaction is going to be far higher than action. And the cost of action is really not all that high. The US has made all kinds of sacrifices in the past and has always come out on top.”