Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Vienna recently in an effort to solidify President Obama’s climate change agenda for his last year in office. As he spoke about amending the 1987 Montreal Protocol as a way to ban harmful chemicals, Kerry suggested that refrigerators and air conditioners pose just as big of a threat to the planet as does terrorism.
The chemicals Kerry equates with terrorists are called hydrofluorocarbons (better known as HFCs). They are commonly used as refrigerants in household and commercial appliances. Many scientists believe that HFCs play a large role in global warming, but even if they do, comparing simple chemicals to the scourge of terrorism was a serious and inconsiderate slip-up on Kerry’s part.
“Yesterday, I met in Washington with 45 nations – defense minsters and foreign ministers – as we were working together on the challenge of [the Islamic State] and terrorism,” said Kerry. “It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we – you – are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.”
Kerry and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy hope to move the HFC agreement into force by the end of 2016. The deal would match new EPA rules to ban HFCs in the US and utilize alternative chemicals for refrigeration purposes.
“The use of HFCs is unfortunately growing,” said Kerry. “Already, the HFCs used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and other items are emitting an entire gigaton of carbon dioxide-equivalent pollution into the atmosphere annually. Now, if that sounds like a lot, my friends, it’s because it is. It’s the equivalent to emissions from nearly 300 coal-fired power plants every single year.”
Even if our refrigerators contribute to global warming, Secretary Kerry should realize that the US has far bigger fish to fry. If we focus on saving the planet before eradicating terrorism, there may not be a planet left to save.
Editor’s note: Unfortunately this is Kerry’s true perspective. He has no conceptual understanding of how the world works, which is why the Middle East is in chaos, terrorist attacks on Europe and America have doubled during the Obama Administration, and Iran is about to get nuclear weapons.
And yes, can we please talk again about how cow farts contribute to global warming?