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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 01:05 PM

Sen. Kerry on Climate Change (20th anniversary of Rio)

THANK YOU, Sen. Kerry.

&feature=colike

some excerpts from the transcript
. . .

How dramatic and sad it is that twenty years later, shockingly, we find ourselves in a strange and dangerous place on this issue—a place this former President wouldn’t even recognize.

Thomas Paine actually described today’s situation very well. As America fought for its independence, he said: “It is an affront to treat falsehood with complaisance.” Yet when it comes to the challenge of climate change, the falsehood of today's naysayers is only matched by the complacency of our political system.

It is well past time that we heed Thomas Paine’s admonition and reaffirm the commitment made by the first President Bush. As a matter of conscience and common sense, we should be compelled to fight today’s insidious conspiracy of silence on climate change—a silence that empowers misinformation and mythology to grow where science and truth should prevail. It is a conspiracy that has not just stalled, but demonized any constructive effort to put America in a position to lead the world on this issue, as President Bush promised we would and as Americans have a right to expect we will.

Mr. President, the danger we face could not be more real. In the United States, a calculated campaign of disinformation has steadily beaten back the consensus momentum for action on climate change and replaced it with timidity by proponents in the face of millions of dollars of phony, contrived "talking points," illogical and wholly unscientific propositions and a general scorn for the truth wrapped in false threats about job loss and taxes.

Yet today, the naysayers escape all accountability to the truth. The media hardly murmurs when a candidate for President of the United States in 2012 can walk away from previously held positions to announce that the evidence is not yet there about the impact of greenhouse gases on climate.
. . .

The level of dissembling—of outright falsifying of information, of greedy appeal to fear tactics that has stalled meaningful action now for twenty years—is hard to wrap one's mind around. It is so far removed from legitimate analysis that it confounds for its devilishly simple appeal to the lowest common denominator of disinformation. In the face of a massive and growing body of scientific evidence that says catastrophic climate change is knocking at our door, the naysayers just happily tell us climate change doesn’t exist.
. . .

Al Gore spoke of the “assault on reason.” Well, Exhibit A is staring us in the face: Coalitions of politicians and special interests that peddle science fiction over science fact. A paid-for, multi-million dollar effort that twists and turns the evidence until it’s gnarled beyond recognition. And tidal waves of cash that back a status quo of recklessness and inaction over responsibility and change. In short, it’s a story of disgraceful denial, back-pedaling and delay that has brought us perilously close to a climate change catastrophe.

. . .

What’s worse, we’ve stood by and let it all happen—we’ve treated falsehood with complacence and allowed a conspiracy of silence on climate change to infiltrate our politics. Believe me—we’ve had our chances to act. But every time we get close to achieving something big for our country, small-minded appeals to the politics of the moment block the way.

The conspiracy of silence that now characterizes Washington's handling of the climate issue is dangerous. Climate change is one of two or three of the most serious threats our country now faces, if not the most serious, and the silence that has enveloped a once robust debate is staggering for its irresponsibility. The costs of inaction get more and more expensive the longer we wait—and the longer we wait, the less likely we are to avoid the worst and leave future generations with a sustainable planet.


. . . .
Much has changed since the first Earth Day Summit back in 1992—and much of it for the worse. True, we’re seeing innovation and entrepreneurship flourish in countries that were once considered among the poorest. We should celebrate that. But I’ll tell you: Twenty years after Rio, fifteen years after Kyoto, we’re further behind than ever. The science is screaming at us. And our planet is sending us a SOS.

. . .


Watch and listen to the video. Really, really good.

10 replies, 2020 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Sen. Kerry on Climate Change (20th anniversary of Rio) (Original post)
MBS Jun 2012 OP
northoftheborder Jun 2012 #1
ProSense Jun 2012 #2
MBS Jun 2012 #4
YvonneCa Jun 2012 #3
Mass Jun 2012 #5
Noisy Democrat Jun 2012 #6
YvonneCa Jun 2012 #7
MBS Jun 2012 #8
politicasista Jun 2012 #9
Mass Jun 2012 #10

Response to MBS (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 01:28 PM

1. A very intelligent, caring man speaking about a crisis that most are ignoring. Tragic for our future

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Response to MBS (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 06:48 PM

2. Excellent Daily Kos diary:

On eve of Rio+20 climate conference, John Kerry kicks ass in Senate speech: silence and complacency



http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/06/19/1101432/-On-eve-of-Rio-20-climate-conference-John-Kerry-kicks-ass-in-Senate-speech

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Response to ProSense (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 05:30 AM

4. Thanks so much for this!

It really is excellent, and heartening. Even the replies are mostly thoughtful.
A favorite response, from "Hugh Jim Bissell": "Yeah John Kerry!! Now that is what I call a hero".

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Response to MBS (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 07:20 PM

3. Thank you for posting this, MBS. Many of the parts...

...you've highlighted here remind me of his speech to the Council on Foreign Relations a few years ago. That speech has always been one of my favorites, although it wasn't covered by the media.

I hope this speech gets out there to the public, because the Senator very convincingly makes the case for acting on climate change NOW. What we do NOW... is a WIN for the environment, a WIN for our foreign policy, and a WIN for the global economy.

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Response to MBS (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 08:49 AM

5. This shows how corrupted the media are these days.

If you google for Kerry news today, all you find is his selection as fake Romney. Process, process, process!! (including NBC trying to make hay of the Colbert Report on this very topic, that was fairly funny, I thought).

Global climate change and the 20 years of Rio and how things changed since then, not so much.

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Response to Mass (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 11:32 AM

6. Excellent point

Now that you say it, it seems obvious, but I hadn't thought about it. I get a google alert when there's JK news, and I've gotten half a dozen about Kerry-as-Romney, including obnoxious blather by Jack Cafferty. But an hour-long speech about climate change? Crickets.

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Response to Noisy Democrat (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 12:08 PM

7. Very telling, IMHO. n/t

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Response to Mass (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 07:49 PM

8. A few years ago, Al Gore talked about the 2000 presidential campaign

and his frustration about how the media would NOT cover anything he said about environmental issues. He recounted a time when he gave a 45- minute speech on the environment, and someone asked ONE question about another topic (I can't remember what) in the Q & A, and what did the media cover?
That other topic , of course. . and no mention of the 45 minute speech on the environment.
It's a shameful and dangerous situation.

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Response to MBS (Reply #8)


Response to MBS (Original post)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 06:56 PM

10. Another vote where Kerry is well positioned:

Apparently, a bunch of dems and republicans dont think we need to know what we are eating.

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&session=2&vote=00161

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 112th Congress - 2nd Session
as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate
Vote Summary
Question: On the Amendment (Sanders Amdt. No. 2310 )
Vote Number: 161 Vote Date: June 21, 2012, 12:36 PM
Required For Majority: 3/5 Vote Result: Amendment Rejected
Amendment Number: S.Amdt. 2310 to S. 3240 (Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012)
Statement of Purpose: To permit States to require that any food, beverage, or other edible product offered for sale have a label on indicating that the food, beverage, or other edible product contains a genetically engineered ingredient.
Vote Counts: YEAs 26
NAYs 73
Not Voting 1

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