fresh voices from the front lines of change







Seven years ago, Newt Gingrich stood next to John Kerry said that there is “clear agreement that human activity has helped increase the level of [global] warming” and therefore, “it is a problem, we should address it and we should address it very actively.” There is video. Today, Kerry is Secretary of State, and Gingrich is the co-host of CNN’s Crossfire. Two days ago in Indonesia, Kerry implored the climate-threatened archipelago to join an international agreement to cut greenhouse gas pollution. He said climate change is “the greatest threat that the planet has ever seen” and compared it to other dire threats including terrorism and weapons of mass destruction: [fve][/fve]

…today in this interconnected world that we all live in, the fact is that hardship anywhere is actually felt by people everywhere … when entire communities are forced to relocate because of rising tides – that’s happening – it’s not just one country or even one region that feels the pain. In today’s globalized economy, everyone feels it. And when you think about it, that connection to climate change is really no different than how we confront other global threats. Think about terrorism. We don’t decide to have just one country beef up the airport security and the others relax their standards and let bags on board without inspection … Or think about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It doesn’t keep us safe if the United States secures its nuclear arsenal, while other countries fail to prevent theirs from falling into the hands of terrorists. We all have to approach this challenge together, which is why all together we are focused on Iran and its nuclear program or focused on North Korea and its threat … in a sense, climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction, perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.

Gingrich, despite having once had the decency to engage in a civil and factual debate with Kerry about climate change seven years ago, now declares Kerry unfit to serve. In a series of tweets, Gingrich exploded:

The most direct reaction to kerrey’s [sic] global warming speech is to ask if he is completely out of touch with reality.

If kerrey [sic] believes his global warming speech it is a terrifying prospect for American policy. He is making policy in a fantasy world.

Does kerrey [sic] really believe global warming more dangerous than north Korean and iranian nukes? More than Russian and Chinese nukes? Really? ?

Every American who cares about national security must.demand Kerrey’s [sec] resignation.A delusional secretary of state is dangerous to our safety

But talking about the global threat of climate change in the same breath as weapons of mass destruction is a far cry from downgrading the issue of weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, never mind the words. Look at the actions. Kerry has been spending quite a bit of time on the nuclear issues Newt claims to be concerned about. In short: a man who used to say we needed to get serious about stopping climate change — but never did a single substantive thing about it — now is twisting the words of another who is actually being serious about stopping climate change. IF anyone should resign from anything, it’s Newt. If you are going to be the host of a debate show on a serious news network, you should be capable of engaging in serious debate.

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