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Jakarta japes

For those who lack a rooting interest in the United States, American foreign policy has become a joke. We are fools who appear to lack the most elementary ability to distinguish friend from enemy. Functionally speaking, we’ve gone over to the other side — “the other side” being the side of our enemies. Those who wish us ill — both at home and abroad — have a friend in John Kerry, speaking yesterday in Jakarta.

The Year of Living Dangerously was set in Jakarta, was it not? That works too. From the detached point of view, however, we’re living comically in the Age of Obama. Kerry chose Jakarta as the scene for one of the Obama administration’s classic routines (text here). The AP reports:

“We simply don’t have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation,” he said, referring to what he called “big companies” that “don’t want to change and spend a lot of money” to act to reduce the risks.

Kerry later singled out major oil and coal concerns as the primary offenders.

“We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts,” Kerry told the audience at a U.S. Embassy-run American Center in a shopping mall.

“Nor should we allow any room for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits.”

“The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand,” Kerry said. “We don’t have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society,”

Kerry said the cost of inaction will far outweigh the significant expense of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that trap solar heat in the atmosphere and contribute to the Earth’s rising temperatures.

He outlined a litany of recent weather disasters, particularly flooding and typhoons in Asia, and their impact on commerce, agriculture, fishing and daily living conditions for billions of people.

“This city, this country, this region, is really on the front lines of climate change,” Kerry said. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that your entire way of life here is at risk.”

He added: “In a sense, 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.”

“In a sense,” anything can now be considered anything. You’d think the Secretary of State would be tuned into the forces that seriously vie for consideration as the world’s most fearsome weapons of mass destruction. Only in the realm of comedy is “climate change” considered the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.

So how did Kerry’s routine go over in Jakarta? Inquiring minds want to know. The AP report doesn’t say, though it does offer this concluding note: “Before the climate change speech, Kerry toured Jakarta’s Istiqlal Mosque, one of the largest in the world, to pay his respects to Indonesia’s Muslim majority population” (concerning which, more here).

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