Stealing the Climate at COP 20

It really is the picture of true hypocrisy. The statements today by Secretary of State John Kerry at the COP 20 Climate talks in Lima Peru and recent statements by President Obama stand in stark contrast to their actions with regards to fossil fuel. US policy is also connected directly to the crash of a Malaysian jetliner earlier this year over Ukraine. They also show a substantial lack of understanding on how climate change affects current geopolitical issues and how it will drive those issues in the coming tears and decades and beyond. Kerry, in his speech, disconnected them from climate change:

“Measured against the array of global threats that we face today – and there are many – terrorism, extremism, epidemics, poverty, nuclear proliferation – all challenges that know no borders – climate change absolutely ranks up there equal with all of them. And I challenge anyone who has thought about the science or listened – actually listened carefully to national security experts tell us that these dangers are real…”

The fact is, under the current geopolitical climate, driven by rogue capitalism, corporate greed, and short term economic vision most often defined by oil and gas revenues, the specter of climate catastrophe guarantees the expansion of poverty, epidemics and the potential for war. The so called war on ISIS carries a dimension of the climate crisis as fresh water sources around the planet become increasingly imperiled. While both a natural regional route and a historically strategic place, ISIS has sought quite specifically to control the Euphrates Tigris delta, the region’s preeminent source of water.

COP20, a politicized and coopted event favoring big oil propagandists over true climate science and climate activists served to highlight, along with Kerry’s statements the insincerity and lack of determination by world leaders. More from Kerry:

“The science of climate change is science, and it is screaming at us, warning us, compelling us – hopefully – to act. Ninety-seven percent of peer- reviewed climate studies have confirmed that climate change is happening and that human activity is responsible. And I’ve been involved, as many of you have, in public policy debates for a long time. It’s pretty rare to get a simple majority or a supermajority of studies to say the same thing, but 97 percent over 20-plus years – that is a dramatic statement of fact that no one of good conscience or good faith should be able to ignore. …And they agree that if we continue down the same path that we are on today, the world as we know it will change profoundly and it will change dramatically for the worse.”

Meanwhile, Kerry’s stalwart rhetoric does not reflect his actions and the actions of the administration. President Obama and democrats sent very mixed signals and teetered towards approval of the XL Keystone pipeline in a bid to help Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu’s failing election runoff earlier this month. Landrieu was in favor of Keystone. Kerry remains silent on Keystone ahead of his recommendation regarding the future of the pipeline. Indeed, even after the ultimate political demise of Mary Landrieu, and after alienating a great many progressives over Keystone and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which would be catastrophic for the climate, the Obama administration continues to flip flop on climate issues.

The worst part, is that the Administration’s political gaming, weighed quite transparently by oil and gas interests is causing lives that can be directly attributed to climate issues and the global race for every last drop, tar sand or to squeeze that dark liquid from rocks. In July, 300 people died when a commercial airliner was shot down over Ukraine. That war is quite literally a fight between the US and Russia over vast oil and gas reserves, with the US posturing towards reserves in the north, while Russia struggles for reserves in Crimea and the Black Sea. Caught in the crossfire was Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, downed in a case of mistaken identity by pro-Russian rebels.

Despite blustering, the Administration’s fingerprints are on that war crime equally with Putin’s. The children of both Vice President Joe Biden and John Kerry are directly involved with Burisma, Ukraine’s largest oil and gas concern. Hunter Biden and Christopher Heinz, Kerry’s stepson, regardless of denials carry the weight of the US government. In June 2014 Hunter Biden, sporting an American flag lapel pin attended the inauguration of Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine’s new president, telling the new leader, a billionaire and businessman that “there is a window for peace and you know as well as anyone that it will not stay open indefinitely … America is with you.”

But America is not with Ukraine in a blood for oil folly. Kerry and the administration must hear the words they so eloquently pander, like stage dressing for the poison of fossil fuels were are being fed. They must hear those words and change them into action, even though it may already be too late to prevent the head on collision between humanity and global climate change. No longer are we talking about prevention, but rather about survival. A decade or two ago we might have used action to mitigate the catastrophe, now we need it in order to exist.

Read the full transcript of Kerry’s speech here

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CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit

The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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