'Global Climate Change Is Already Violently Affecting Communities … Around the World'7:03 AM, Jan 12, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
While the attention of much of the world Sunday was focused on the massive unity rally in France in response to the recent terror attacks in that country, Secretary of State John Kerry was in India for a "global business" summit where he spoke of, among other concerns, the "one enormous cloud hanging over all of us which requires responsibility from leaders. Global climate change." Kerry said that climate change is "violently affecting communities" worldwide, but that the silver lining in his view is that responding to climate change offers an "unprecedented number of plusses, and frankly, almost no downside." His full remarks on the subject came during his speech at the opening ceremony of the summit [emphasis added]:
I am convinced, as we look to the relationship of the future though, just as Ban Ki-moon mentioned a few minutes ago, there is one enormous cloud hanging over all of us which requires responsibility from leaders. Global climate change is already violently affecting communities not just across India but around the world. It is disrupting commerce, development, and economic growth. It’s costing farmers crops. It’s costing insurance companies unbelievable payouts. It’s raising the cost of doing business, and believe me, if it continues down the current trend-line, we will see climate refugees fighting each other for water and seeking food and new opportunity.
So this is a relationship between India and the United States where we believe very deeply that we could turn sustainable economic growth opportunities into a prosperity we have ever seen before. And it means one very [simple] thing: Unlike many problems in public life where you struggle sometimes between the plusses and minuses of a particular choice you make – and leaders here all know and business leaders all know what I’m talking about – the choices of climate change offer an unprecedented number of plusses, and frankly, almost no downside. If we make the choices that are staring us in the face, the fact is that a solution to climate change is already here. It’s called energy policy. Sustainable energy policy. And in a sustainable energy policy comes a whole set of benefits to our economy, something many countries of the world are screaming for today.
While the bulk of Kerry's talk centered on economic and business issues, he did pay tribute to the rally in France:
We may all come from different walks of life, but we stand together this morning with the people of France as they march in tribute to the victims of last week’s murderous attack on the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. And we stand together not just in anger and outrage, but in solidarity and commitment to the cause of confronting extremism and in the cause that extremists fear so much and that has always united our countries – freedom. We stand together in freedom and together we make it clear that no act of terror will ever stop the march of freedom. (Applause.)
Kerry's complete remarks at the opening ceremony can be found here.
4:40 PM, Dec 14, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
I hereby nominate Dick Cheney's answer to Chuck Todd's question about a United Nations official who's called for the criminal prosecution of U.S. interrogators, as the 2014 Sunday Show Answer of the Year:
CHENEY: I have little respect for the United Nations, or for this individual, who doesn't have a clue and had absolutely no responsibility for safeguarding this nation and going after the bastards that killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11.
10:01 AM, Dec 8, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Foreign Policy reports that the U.S. believes Iran is cheating on U.N. nuclear sanctions. "The United States has privately accused Iran of going on an international shopping spree to acquire components for a heavy-water reactor that American officials have long feared could be used in the production of nuclear weapons-grade plutonium," reports Colum Lynch.
9:16 PM, Oct 25, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The American ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, is being sent to Ebola-infected nations. The travel plans were announced this evening on Twitter.
"BREAKING: @AmbassadorPower on her way to Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ghana. #EbolaResponse," reads a tweet from the U.S. mission to the U.N.
12:00 AM, Sep 28, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Last week was good for environmentalists, and perhaps even for the environment. President Obama doubled down on his effort to increase the likelihood of the success of the 2015 UN climate change conference in Paris, claiming the U.S. has “a special responsibility to lead. That’s what great nations do.” He took the occasion of the UN meetings in New York to put the heat on China, the world’s largest polluter, to match the steps the U.S. is taking to reduce its CO2 emissions.
Oct 6, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 04 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
In Manhattan last Tuesday afternoon, The Scrapbook discovered what it’s like to get close to the president, and it stinks. We also now understand how to assemble a huge crowd to admire a presidential motorcade: You simply close 40 blocks of one of the busiest streets in the world. With typical attention to detail, the closure was scheduled for the beginning of rush hour, from about 5:00 to 5:30 p.m.
2:22 PM, Sep 24, 2014 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
President Obama’s speech to the UN General Assembly touched very lightly on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That alone is a step forward: in previous years, he has made it a central part of his speech and left the impression that it is the main issue in world affairs.
10:14 AM, Sep 24, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Here's the text, as prepared for delivery, of President Obama's address to the United Nations General Assembly:
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: we come together at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.
1:42 PM, Sep 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
At the United Nations General Assembly, Secretary of State John Kerry will make "climate change ... a foreign policy priority," the State Department announced in press release. "Secretary Kerry Elevates Climate Change at UN General Assembly," the press release is titled.
"Secretary of State John Kerry will participate in several high-level events to reinforce U.S. leadership on climate change action this coming week during the UN General Assembly in New York," reads the release.
Sep 15, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 01 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
During the siege of Bastogne in December 1944, the German general Heinrich von Lüttwitz sent his American adversaries a note, explaining how “the fortune of war is changing” and that “there is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town.”
The note was received by Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe of the U.S. Army, who famously replied: “NUTS!” The siege went on, but the Americans prevailed.
12:29 PM, Aug 27, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The man who is described by his mouthpiece as “the constitutional lawyer in the Oval Office” is increasingly bored with the routine demands of his job (so much so that even Maureen Dowd has noticed) and finds the Constitution a darned nuisance and an obstacle.
3:06 PM, Aug 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
John Bolton, in a fundraising email, makes the case for defunding UNRWA--and more:
As the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, my eyes have long been open to the dangerous biases and political agendas in play at the U.N. It is at the core of my mission to share these facts with the American people, and why I am writing today.
The United Nations has lost its way, and now we MUST take action.
7:02 AM, Apr 11, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
While crises continue in Ukraine, Syria, Iran, and the Central African Republic, the United Nations turned its attention to a different kind of crisis
10:18 AM, Apr 3, 2014 • By NOAH POLLAK
It is a cliché at this point to remark that John Kerry is operating in a fantasy world. But sometimes there is no other word to describe the enormous distance between his perception of what is happening and what is actually happening.