In an Earth Day press release last week, Secretary of State John Kerry referred to climate change as a “clear and present danger,” and said that “if ever there was an issue that demanded greater cooperation, partnership, and committed diplomacy, this is it.”

The Scrapbook would normally ignore this sort of silly hyperbole, chalking it up to the mindlessness of PR. On this occasion, however, we’re disinclined to give Kerry a pass. A few days before his Earth Day palaver, the secretary of state was questioned by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and said of the investigation into Ambassador Chris Stevens’s murder in Benghazi, Libya: “We’ve got a lot more important things to move on to and get done.”

We’re not sure if these parallel statements reveal a failure of judgment or of taste, but two things are certain: Six months after the murder of an American ambassador, his killers remain at large, and global temperatures haven’t risen since 1997.

The Scrapbook humbly suggests that if Kerry wants his tenure at State to be a successful one, he should rejigger his priorities, and think a little more about which dangers actually are clear and present and which ones are hypothetical and remote.

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