(by Matthew Lee, AP) -- Climate change may be the world's "most fearsome" weapon of mass destruction and urgent global action is needed to combat it, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday, comparing those who deny its existence or question its causes to people who insist the Earth is flat.
In a speech to Indonesian students, civic leaders and government officials in Jakarta, Kerry laid into climate change skeptics, accusing them of using shoddy science and scientists to delay measures needed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases at the risk of imperiling the planet. He also went after those who dispute who is responsible for such emissions, arguing that everyone and every country must take responsibility and act immediately.
"We simply don't have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation," he said, referring to what he called "big companies" that "don't want to change and spend a lot of money" to act to reduce the risks. He later singled out big oil and coal concerns as the primary offenders.
"We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts," Kerry told the audience gathered at a U.S. Embassy-run American Center in a Jakarta shopping mall. "Nor should we allow any room for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits."
"The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand," Kerry said. "We don't have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society,"
Kerry, saying that 97 percent of scientists who have weighed in on the issue agree that the phenomenon is real, argued that the cost of inaction to environments and economies will far outweigh the significant expense of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that trap solar heat in the atmosphere and contribute to the Earth's rising temperatures.
He outlined a litany of recent weather disasters, particularly flooding and typhoons in Asia, and their impact on commerce, agriculture, fishing and daily living conditions for billions of people. Read more via the Associated Press...