Flashback: Sec. of State Nominee Kerry Compared Global Warming to 9/11

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), whom President Barack Obama nominated to be his next Secretary of State and replace Hillary Clinton, wrote an op-ed for the Huffington Post in 2009 in which he compared global warming to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

In a piece titled, "We Can't Ignore the Security Threat from Climate Change," Kerry wrote:

On August 6, 2001, President George W. Bush famously received an intelligence briefing entitled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." Thirty-six days later, al Qaeda terrorists did just that.

Kerry then wrote that "scientists tell us we have a 10-year window" before "catastrophic climate change becomes inevitable and irreversible."

"The threat is real, and time is not on our side," Kerry wrote. "Make no mistake: catastrophic climate change represents a threat to human security, global stability, and -- yes -- even to American national security."

Kerry, who met his future wife Teresa Heinz at a 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, lamented that "not everyone in Washington appreciates the stakes" and that it was "tragic that we live at a time when if one were to dismiss the threat of terrorism, you'd be sent home in the next election. But there are no similar political consequences if you dismiss the science or the threat of climate change."

Kerry claimed scientists have determined that carbon emissions will make the Arctic become "ice-free" by the summer of 2013 and "will result in an unacceptable risk of catastrophic climate change": 

Climate change injects a major new source of chaos, tension, and human insecurity into an already volatile world. It threatens to bring more famine and drought, worse pandemics, more natural disasters, more resource scarcity, and human displacement on a staggering scale. We risk fanning the flames of failed-statism, and offering glaring opportunities to the worst actors in our international system. In an interconnected world, that endangers all of us.

Kerry then said climate change will make a greater impact than Hurricane Katrina did and would cause "more tension like we've seen in Darfur" and start water wars between India and Pakistan. He even suggested that "We don't know with certainty whether climate change pushed Darfur over the edge" or caused Katrina. 

The Massachusetts senator cited comments made over the years concerning global warming by 11 retired American generals, security planners in the Bush Administration, those in National Intelligence Council, and former CENTCOM Commander Anthony Zinni to argue that "failure to tackle climate change risks much more than a ravaged environment: It risks a much more dangerous world, and a gravely threatened America."

Kerry urged delegates from 192 countries who were going to meet that winter in Copenhagen to "create a new global climate treaty" and "decisions we make in coming months will determine whether we meet this challenge head-on and prevail or if we are to suffer the worst consequences of a warming planet."

"This time we have to connect the dots before we face catastrophe," Kerry said then. 


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