Kerry and climate change: Weapon of mass misinformation?

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Speaking to a group of Jakarta students and government officials, Secretary of State John Kerry warned, “Climate change can now be considered the world’s largest weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even, the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” He further declared that the science is settled, equating skeptics to Flat Earth Society Luddites. The idea of a flat earth was “settled science” once upon a time, or at least until Aristotle unsettled this scientific belief. Much as bloodletting was once standard medical treatment in medieval Europe, until it too became an unsettled science. Yet Professor Kerry, political science major from Yale, with lower grades than the “Village Idiot from Texas,” presumes to know which bits of science are settled.

The mission of Mr. Kerry’s State Department is to, “Create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.” How does Mr. Kerry’s scaremongering about phantom WMDs translate into security, democracy, or prosperity? Perhaps he could devote more of his time toward its real mission: Our security is threatened by Iranian warships off our Atlantic coast. Democracy is threatened in Venezuela through election fraud and diplomat expulsion. And prosperity is threatened by our national debt, $17 trillion and counting. So while the world is burning, Secretary of State Kerry is fiddling away over “fearsome” climate change and dismissing skeptics as rubes.

The science may be settled in the halls of Foggy Bottom, but in the real world of thought and inquiry, it is anything but. Over 31,000 American scientists, 9,000 with PhDs, believe “there is no convincing scientific evidence” of catastrophic global warming and climate disruption. This is New York City’s second snowiest February, and Philadelphia’s third snowiest winter, with plenty of winter left. The Great Lakes have nearly frozen over and 49 states have snow on the ground. Even among climate scientists, there is skepticism as, “Many of these scientists frankly admit to each other that much of the science is weak and dependent on deliberate manipulation of facts and data.”

Unlike the world of politics, where Mr. Kerry is firmly ensconced, the world of science is governed by the scientific method – an observation of natural processes, an explanation of why these events occur, and modification of these explanations based on new knowledge. When thousands of scientists and daily weather observations contradict the premise of man-made global warming, a prudent scientist would revisit his or her original hypothesis and admit that the science is actually quite unsettled. Other factors may be at play including ocean currents, solar activity, or naturally occurring climate cycles. Some of these natural phenomena could truly be considered WMDs, given past ice ages and mass extinctions. But Mr. Kerry’s suave diplomacy and fluency in French would not have helped him negotiate with a recent asteroid heading toward earth, a WMD far more destructive than climate change.

The real message from Mr. Kerry came in his push for a climate treaty in 2015, similar to the Kyoto Protocol, which was fortunately never ratified by the U.S. Is preventing inevitable climate change the real goal, or a smokescreen? The president’s Science Czar, John Holdren, reveals the truth about the climate change movement, “Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential.”

Back to one of the missions of the State Department – prosperity. Prosperity for whom? If Mr. Kerry has his way, taxes on American citizens and business will climb yet again. His wealth distribution will leave the country he serves further in debt, while he chases the climate change bogeyman, with nothing to show for it but another cold and snowy winter.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based retina surgeon, is an advocate of smaller, more efficient government.