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Is climate change the biggest threat we face?
February 19th, 2014
05:20 PM ET

Is climate change the biggest threat we face?

There are fires in Kiev, chaos in the Middle East and challenges at home and abroad, but is the biggest threat to our national security... something else?

Saying that climate change ranks among the world's most serious problems - such as disease outbreaks, poverty, terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on all nations to respond to "the greatest challenge of our generation." FULL STORY

In the Crossfire, State Department Adviser Joe Cirincione and The Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol join Van Jones and Newt Gingrich to debate.

Crossfire Cirincione Kristol

Gingrich has already been outspoken on the issue, calling for Kerry's resignation over Twitter.

We want you to weigh in: Secretary Kerry says climate change is 'perhaps the most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.' Do you agree?

Vote by tweeting Yes or No using #Crossfire or comment on our Facebook post. View results below or through our Poptip results page.

soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Exposing the Big Game

    Reblogged this on Exposing the Big Game.

    February 23, 2014 at 2:44 am | Reply
  2. Sciencefirst

    Global Warming is the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. There is no doubt about this in the scientific community.
    Not one publishing scientist worldwide now doubts AGW. The figure used to be 97%, but last year not one climate science paper in the peer-reviewed literature questioned AGW, and not one scientific body in the world, including The National Academy of Sciences, NASA, NOAA, NCAR, you name it. Only about a dozen dissenters remain, not publishing scientists, but hired guns who are funded by the fossil fuel denial campaign. And even the Koch brothers own shill, Meuller, jumped ship last year. I guess he just couldn't live with all the lying his job involved. This handful of phony "scientists" spend their time mouthing right-wing talking points on Fox News or giving interviews to Forbes or WSJ.
    Right-wing political and economic media are not where anyone with any brains goes for their science information.
    Read Scientific American online or go to the Skeptical Science website for real climate science from peer-reviewed science journals that can be understood by non-scientists.

    February 22, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  3. Bill

    Yes, climate change is a huge threat to our way of life. It is a threat due to the fact that there are so many eco-nuts willing to wreck our economy and standard of living to satisfy their climate change zealotry.

    Can we stop the global hysteria about scary storms and other global warming myths, please?

    February 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • Sciencefirst

      We will have no economy In a few decades if we keep burning fossil fuels. The laws of physics and and chemistry have made that clear. Global warmng has a time delay of several decades. We've already put over 400ppm of excess CO2 into the atmosphere and the safe upper limit for humans is 350ppm. We are in uncharted territory here because humans have never experienced this level of CO2 in the atmosphere. We crossed the 350 threshold last decade. In about 30 years that CO2 it will have heated up sufficiently for us to find out what 400ppm, i,e, unsafe for humans, will be like. That's already baked in the cake. We won't be able to reverse it, just try to endure for several centuries till it dissipates.
      That's the rosy scenario. If we keep burning fossil fuels in the meantime, business as usual, for the next 30 years, we will cause run-away global warming and our planet will eventually have the atmosphere of Venus. That's not alarmist, that's just chemistry and physics. We'll have crop failures on a massive scale and we'll also be bankrupted by climate change disasters of unimaginable scale and ferocity. Or we can transition to clean solar and wind and avoid the worst.

      February 22, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Reply
      • willhaas

        Man is not responsible for putting 400 PPM of CO2 into the atmosphere. That would be all there is. At 0 PPM CO2 which must have been the case before man added 400 PPM CO2 to the atmosphere then life would not exist as we know it. CO2 is essential to life on this planet.

        In the past CO2 levels have been more than 10 times what they are today and no tipping point has ever been encountered. There has never been any runaway global warming with much higher levels of CO2 in our atmosphere.

        The ASHRE limit for CO2 in indoor air is 1000 PPM. Workplace limits are much higher,

        There is no evidence that CO2 has ever had any effect on global climate. The greenhouse effect in our atmosphere is dominated by H2O which provides ample negative feedbacks to changes in greenhousen gasses so as to mitigate any effect they might havw on climateimate. H2O haa kept our climate stable enough to alow life to evolve.

        There are many good reasons to be conserving on the use of fossil fuels but global warming is not one of them. Climate change has been going on for eons and will continue for eons whether man is here or not, Man does not have sufficient power to change it. The environmental bombshell is not just man's use of a very finite resource. It is man's our of control population that is at the center of all such problems. The earth's resources are finite. If man does not learn to control his own population then nature will, catastrophically.

        February 24, 2014 at 12:21 am |
  4. bryon

    j

    February 21, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Reply
  5. unc dig

    no

    February 21, 2014 at 8:12 am | Reply
  6. willhaas

    There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate. There is no such evidence in the paleoclimate record. The primary greenhouse gas in the earth's atmosphere is H2O and it provides ample negative feedbacks to the addition of CO2 so as to mitigate any effect that CO2 might have on climate. The IPCC's climate models that assume that added CO2 causes global warming have all failed to predict today's temperatures. They have predicted global warming that has not occurred and hence they are wrong. The climate change that we have been experiencing is all of natural origin, namely the sun and the oceans. Man does not have the power to change it.

    February 20, 2014 at 5:30 pm | Reply
    • Sciencefirst

      Once again, the scientific illiteracy of the CNN forums on climate change is matched only by the arrogance and assurance of those spouting denier myths they have gotten from politically-motivated sites funded by the billion-dollars-a-year fossil fuel denial operation. These are people who obviously don't know the difference between global warming and climate change and don't have the faintest idea what peer-reviewed literature is. No one has the ability to challenge climate science from peer-reviewed journals unless they at least have a Ph.D. in chemistry, physics or mathematics and have worked in research in climate science with the IPCC, NASA, NOAA, NCAR or a major university climate research facility. Otherwise you have to take the expert opinion of climate researchers. You can't do brain surgery because you read JAMA, and watching Apollo 13 does not make you a rocket scientist. Only because the fossil fuel industry spends $1 billion a year to politicize the issue of climate science do we have the crazy situation where Republican politicians, to get election funding from the fossil fuel corporations, deny climate science and are taken seriously. Only climate scientists, no other scientists, are supposed to be greedy, and corrupt: motivated by grants (that every other field of scientific research depends on) and only climate scientists are supposed to engage in a nefarious worldwide conspiracy for some unknown reason, thousands of climate scientists conspiring to fool the world, when it would be every climate researcher's dream to disprove global warming. Anyone who could do that would win the Nobel Prize in physics and chemistry and the Fields Medal as well. Worldwide adulation and acclaim! An illustrious career in science assured! The Einstein of our age! Why does no climate scientist, out of thousands worldwide, break ranks and publish online (if all the peer-reviewed science journals rejected the work). Once the scientific evidence was there for all to see, the author would be hailed as a hero worldwide. Why doesn't it happen? Because there is no way to circumvent the laws of physics. Chemical reactions and formulas can't be ignored and math stubbornly refuses to accommodate itself to political or any other ideologies or preconceived notions or beliefs. Every publishing climate scientist now agrees, 100% of them worldwide, and every single scientific body that deals with climate change worldwide, over 200 of them, concur: Manmade global warming is a dire threat to humanity and we have to stop burning fossil fuels or face "catastrophic" climate change and run-away global warming that will turn our planet's atmosphere into that of Venus. They include The National Academy of Sciences, NASA, NOAA! NCAR, every peer-reviewed science journal worldwide and every single scientific body, over 200 of them worldwide that deals with climate change. That's because the evidence is irrefutable. You can't change the speed of light and 400ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere, 37 trillion tons of it each year from burning fossil fuels, is simply a measurement that won't go away. And we are now supposed to believe that the same people who put a man on the moon, NASA, suddenly can't even read a thermometer correctly? The only "scientists" who now deny climate science are a handful of hired-guns working for the fossil fuel industry, paid to lie, just like the "scientists" who used to shill for big tobacco, saying that smoking didn't cause lung cancer back-in-the-day, when they owned Heartland, the denial operation that now is owned by the Koch brothers. So what if millions of people die? As long as those billions in profits keep rolling in. And we've already paid $1 trillion as taxpayers for climate change disasters in the U.S. alone (NOAA website) and will pay many trillions more as more CO2 goes up in the atmosphere ( it won't dissipate for centuries). Our children and grandchildren will pay the real price a few decades from now when it all heats up, we go broke and our economy collapses permanently. We have a way out now if we transition to renewable energy in the next couple of decades, but time is running short. The longer we wait, the more expensive and difficult it will be.

      February 21, 2014 at 3:56 am | Reply
      • Rob

        LOL, ok.

        February 21, 2014 at 12:45 pm |
      • willhaas

        Thank you for reading my post and commenting. By your post, you are really into both the religion and the politics of AGW but apparently not the science. The IPCC generated a large number of climate models th help provide evidence that CO2 based global warming is real. Their models have predicted a wide range of outcomes but they all have one thing in common. They are all wrong. They have failed to predict today's global temperatures. They have predicted global warming that has not happened. If they serve as evidence at all it is that AGW is not happening.

        The theory is that the additional CO2, because of its LWIR absorption bands, increases the radiant thermal insulation properties of the atmosphere causing warming in the lower atmosphere and cooling in the upper atmosphere where earth radiates to space in the absorption band LWIR. The additional warmth in the lower atmosphere causes more H2O to appear which in turn causes an increase in the insulation effect because H2O is also a greenhouse gas with LWIR absorption bands. In fact H2O, at an average 2% of the atmosphere compared to CO2's .04%, is the primary greenhouse gas in the Earth's atmosphere. But H2O is also a coolant moving heat from the earth'surface to where clouds form via the heat of vaporization. Much more heat is moved by H2O then by LWIR absorption band radiation. More H2O means that more heat is moved which provides a negative feedback to the addition of more CO2.

        More H2O means more clouds. Clouds reflect solar radiation. Clouds do absorb LWIR absorption band radiation coming from the earth but they also provide a more efficient radiatoritor to space then the clear atmosphere they replace. If something is a good absorber in a particular band then it is also a good radiator in that band as well. More clouds provide another negative feedback.

        As the lower atmosphere warms, the upper atmosphere cools because insulation decreases heat flow. The cooling in the upper atmosphere causes less H2O to appear which counteracts the effect of adding CO2. This upper atmospheric effect is another negative feedback. Negative feedback system are inharently stable and our climate has been stable enough for us to evolve. CO2 levels have been more than 10 times what they are today with no tipping point.

        There is no evidence in the paleoclimate record that CO2 has any effect on climate. As the earth warms, more CO2 enters the atmosphere because warmer water cannot hold as much CO2 as cooler water. But there is no real evidence that the added CO2 contributes to any further warming.

        There are many reasons to be conserving on the use of fossil fuels but global warming is not one of them. The real cause of our environmental problems is man's out of control population. If we do not coutrol our own population then nature will, catastrophically.

        February 21, 2014 at 2:31 pm |
      • trebron

        I have already written the paper, They just won't publish it.

        February 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
      • Azald75

        "No one has the ability to challenge climate science from peer-reviewed journals unless they at least have a PhD in chemistry, physics or mathematics and have worked in research in climate science with the IPCC, NASA, NOAA, NCAR or a major university climate research facility. Otherwise you have to take the expert opinion of climate researchers...
        It would be every climate researcher's dream to disprove global warming. Anyone who could do that would win the Nobel Prize in physics and chemistry and the Fields Medal as well. Worldwide adulation and acclaim! An illustrious career in science assured! The Einstein of our age! Why does no climate scientist, out of thousands worldwide, break ranks and publish online (if all the peer-reviewed science journals rejected the work). Once the scientific evidence was there for all to see, the author would be hailed as a hero worldwide. Why doesn't it happen? Because there is no way to circumvent the laws of physics. Chemical reactions and formulas can't be ignored and math stubbornly refuses to accommodate itself to political or any other ideologies or preconceived notions or beliefs. Every publishing climate scientist now agrees, 100% of them worldwide, and every single scientific body that deals with climate change worldwide, over 200 of them, concur: Manmade global warming is a dire threat to humanity and we have to stop burning fossil fuels or face "catastrophic" climate change and run-away global warming that will turn our planet's atmosphere into that of Venus. They include The National Academy of Sciences, NASA, NOAA! NCAR, every peer-reviewed science journal worldwide and every single scientific body, over 200 of them worldwide that deals with climate change. That's because the evidence is irrefutable."

        I have seen no evidence that climate scientists have earned this sort of reverence from the public, or even other scientists. Like their colleagues from other scientific fields, they are just scientists. They do studies, make conclusions, and develop theories. They are humble persons trying to get closer to "correct."

        Based on what is in the climate science literature, it is rational for the public to accept now that climate change is happening, because the necessary studies have been done. It is further rational to accept now that it has not been disproven that man is not involved in creating climate change, because the necessary studies to back that assertion are completed. Appropriately, in their articles, climate scientists usually warn about what might happen. Not will, but might.

        Failing to prove that man is not involved is not the same as proving that he is involved. Experiments, not just association studies, investigating the problem, are needed to take that final step. Climate scientists themselves would readily look at their peer-reviewed literature and admit that such experiments have not been done. If you think such experimental studies exist and have been published, please post links to the original articles.

        The important message is that we can act today to mitigate the effects of climate change. And, the actions (e.g., fortify or abandon flood-prone infrastructure, share water more wisely, relocate growing areas, embrace hydrothermal energy production, etc.) can be engineered with certainty to reduce the impact of climate change on our country. There is no experimental proof that reducing carbon emissions will slow/reverse the impact of climate change. It might, but we cannot be sure.

        If man is involved with climate change, mitigation will work. If man is not involved with climate change, mitigation will work. With a guaranteed solution awaiting us, our society cannot afford to gamble on reducing carbon emissions as the solution to reducing the impact of climate change on our country. Mitigation has the unique and inherent advantage that no country is dependent upon others that either cannot afford, or choose not, to reduce emissions. No international accords, no disputes over who is producing what. Just fortify.

        February 21, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
    • Sciencefirst

      Willhass: You need to learn some climate science. You can find out why human-caused CO2 emissions are causing global warming at the Skeptical Science website. Real, that is, publishing, climate scientists using peer-reviewed data but writing in plain English for non-scientists. or just read Scientific American online. 100% of publishing scientists disagree with that you are saying, and every scientific body in the world, over 200 of them, that deal with global warming. There is no debate, the evidence is conclusive. The phenomenon of global warming has been well understood for over a century. It's simple and obvious, and only became controversial when it started causing climate change and began to threaten the business model of the fossil fuel industry.

      You are parroting denier myths fabricated by fossil fuels $1 billion dollar denial operation. It's designed to mislead people like you so the corporate profits keep rolling in. It's modeled directly on big tobacco's denial that smoking causes lung cancer, They actually use one of the same crooked PR firms, Heartland, and even on of the old fake " scientists." They also fund the right-wing politicians in Congress who are climate deniers at their behest.

      February 22, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Reply
      • willhaas

        Thank you for reading my post and commenting. You are apparently into both the politics and religion of AGW but I am trying to discuss the science. John Cook's SkS site s really a pseudo scientific political site dedicated to arguing for the idea of AGW. Their comments are highly censored. There are scientists and scientific arguments on both sides of this issue. One site was listing more than 1000, peer reviewed, journal articles, critical of AGW. The numbers of people on either side of this issue do not matter because science is not a democracy.

        The IPCC generated a very large of climate models that involved computer programs that simulate climate and predicted global temperatures. The IPCC wanted these models to serve as evidence that AGW was real and to predicted the consequences. The simulations worked well during the end of the 20th century warming cycle but none of them predicted the end to that cycle and the beginning of another slilght cooling cycle like the one we had during the middle of the 20th century. The different models have predicted different temperatures but all of them have predicted global temperatures that are significantly higher then actualal global temperatures. They have predicted global warming that has not happened. They are wrong. There is quite a bit of speculation as to why the models have been wrong but they really do not know. The IPCC has failed to correct the problem and come up with new or corrected models that actual predict what is really happening. If the models are evidence of anything it is that AGW is not happening. Non IPCC sanctioned models have been produced that accurately reproduce the cyclinng that we have been experiencing and that accurately predicts current global temperatures. These correct models ignore CO2 levels. They are based on total solar activity modulated with ocean cycles. Apparently, natural causes of climate change overwhelm any effect that changes in CO2 might have which is consistent with the paleoclimate record. A reason for it is that the primary greenhouse gas in the earth's atmosphere provides negative feedbacks to changes in CO2 that mitigate any effect that chances of CO2 might have on climate.

        February 23, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
  7. dave

    Increased growing areas and season to help better feed the global growing population. I little warming may just be what is needed. To think mankind attributes any more than just a slight about of the increase is similar to claiming because B follows A in the alphabet, then A is responsible for causing B.

    February 20, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • Sandy

      Those increased growing areas and longer growing seasons will sure benefit humanity in their ability to feed the world. What you haven't considered is that it will last only a few decades. The planet won't magically stop warming. The warming will continue. What happens once the land we grow our food on becomes a desert? You and I won't have to worry about that because we will be long dead. Our children and grandchildren may actually see the end of life on the planet.

      February 22, 2014 at 12:11 am | Reply
  8. Middle Man

    The good lord made us stewards of the earth to protect the earth, I don't think his intention was to protect American jobs. There are plenty of new green jobs available though if we can just change our narrow thinking and keep politics out of it. Yes there are plenty of natural disasters not created by man but, to do nothing about the ones ones we do have an impact on is just a death wish. Polar cap melting, sea levels rising, fresh water resources depleting, earthquakes in non-earthquake zones (fracking) etc.. should be a concern to everyone. To increase the amount of mercury industry is allowed to release into the atmosphere instead of reducing it is just insane. But, I guess it's all OK if we are protecting American jobs. LOL

    February 20, 2014 at 5:43 am | Reply
    • ProtectAmericanJobs

      Foreign Lobbyists here in the US promote sending US jobs to countries like China, where they work for slave wages, no benefits, no OSHA safety standards or no real environment regulations. It also doesn't help us compete when these company's factories are subsidized by China's communist government.

      Just check out the current Chinese extreme pollution issues – We all live in the same world, but not every country plays by the same rules.

      The American People need Our Leaders to start remembering that they are elected by the Citizens of the United States of America to represent the interests of those citizens and the country itself and that they are NOT elected by or to represent the Global Market Place, Lobbyist or Foreign citizens!

      February 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Reply
    • ProtectAmericanJobs

      Like I already said below:

      I want a safer planet, clean air and water as much as the next guy, but we have to realize that we are not the single biggest factor. Yes we do have some effect on global warming and we do still need to minimize pollution, but it's not all up to us. We're really not that aware of everything going on in our vast solar system or even our own planet and exactly how it is affecting us and those who claim that we do have it all figured out would be the real science deniers.

      And we're not the bad guys right now. Countries like our USA, Germany, Canada, Japan and other countries like them are trying to do the right thing to help limit and clean up pollution. But countries like China, India, Mexico and many others are not doing the same. Just check out the current Chinese extreme pollution issues – We all live in the same world, but not every country plays by the same rules. You don't see China, India or Mexico with anything even close to our EPA, DEP, OSHA, etc........ – Do you?

      February 20, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Reply
      • Bruce

        Your argument boils down to, "all the other kids are pissing in the pool, why can't I?"

        February 21, 2014 at 10:11 am |
      • ProtectAmericanJobs

        Wrong Bruce – Using your analogy: "I don't want anybody pissing in the pool" – But, if you comprehended what I wrote in the first place, you'd already no that. Nice try.

        February 21, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
      • ProtectAmericanJobs

        Wrong Bruce – Using your analogy: "I don't want anybody pissing in the pool" – But, if you comprehended what I wrote in the first place, you'd already know that. – Nice try.

        February 21, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
  9. Fred Griswold

    Climate change is not a weapon, so it can't be a weapon of mass destruction. But whether it's better or worse is another question. Climate change can certainly do things that no weapon of mass destruction can do. Tornadoes in November, say, or the cold snaps that have hit the South lately. When I heard that the winter Olympics in Sochi were warmer than the summer Olympics two years ago, I somehow wasn't surprised. Stuff like this has become the new normal. My guess is that climate change is the biggest problem we face, but I think the jury's still out. We know how many people died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but has anyone done the calculation yet for climate change?

    February 20, 2014 at 4:24 am | Reply
  10. ProtectAmericanJobs

    We are only now digging up dirt from our closest planet and asteroids coming close to the earth keep taking us by surprise and or getting only back page news status. Yet the climate change folks keep claiming that things like solar flares, possible variations in our obit and our exact proximity to the sun, variations of the core temperature of the earth, methane released by natural sources, volcanic activity, etc............. have already been factored out and that we evil human's and our byproducts are the only or main reason for global warming and that if we dare question that, we are somehow "science deniers". Now who's really denying science when they don't ask more questions?

    For example, more than two million people living on the banks of Lake Kivu in central Africa are at risk of being asphyxiated by gases building up beneath its surface, scientists have warned. How much did we know about that before it actually happened.

    It is estimated that the lake, which straddles the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, now contains 300 cubic kilometres of carbon dioxide and 60 cubic kilometres of methane that have bubbled into the Kivu from volcanic vents. The gases are trapped in layers 80 metres below the lake's surface by the intense water pressures there. However, researchers have warned that geological or volcanic events could disturb these waters and release the gases.

    The impact would be devastating, as was demonstrated on 21 August 1986 at Lake Nyos in Cameroon, in West Africa. Its waters were saturated with carbon dioxide and a major disturbance – most probably a landslide – caused a huge cloud of carbon dioxide to bubble up from its depths and to pour down the valleys that lead from the crater lake.

    Carbon dioxide is denser than air, so that the 50mph cloud hugged the ground and smothered everything in its path. Some 1,700 people were suffocated.

    I want a safer planet, clean air and water as much as the next guy, but we have to realize that we are not the single biggest factor. Yes we do have some effect on global warming and we do still need to minimize pollution, but it's not all up to us. We're really not that aware of everything going on in our vast solar system or even our own planet and exactly how it is affecting us and those who claim that we do have it all figured out would be the real science deniers.

    February 19, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Reply
    • JW

      Sounds more like the work ofan underground volcano!

      February 20, 2014 at 8:49 am | Reply
  11. pjoe

    If all we have to worry about is climate change ... good times!

    February 19, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  12. Gunderson

    No,
    It's Greeks/Liberal's bearing "Gifts"

    February 19, 2014 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  13. tom bryant

    THE BIGGEST THREAT WE FACE ARE THE POLOTICIANS AND NETWORKS OF THIS COUNTRY WHO ARE MORE INTERESTED IN THEMSELVES AND THEIR PARTY .THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WOULD APPLAUD A SHOW THAT ONLY INVITES POLITICIANS WITH DIFFERENT VIEWS WHO ARE WILLING TO GET TOGETHER AND ACHIEVE REALISTIC AND MEANINGFUL AGREEMENTS ,PRESENT THEM TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE,AND START THE PROCESS THROUGH TEAMWORK ,GIVE AND TAKE COMPROMISE TO GET LEGISLATION THAT BEGINS TO ADDRESS ALL THE MASSIVE FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC ISSUES THIS COUNTRY FACES. SHAME ON YOU ALL..LET'S ENCOURAGE AND FINALLY SEE WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE REALLY NEED YOU ALL TO BE DOING .

    February 19, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Reply
    • TOM TUCKER

      HEY TOM I LIKE YOUR VIEWS.. FINDING COMMON GROUND ON THE TASK OF SOLIVING OUR PROBLEMS IS THE DUTY OF OUR CONGRESS...YOU DID FORGET TO CHECK YOUR SPELLING AND I THING THE CORRECT SPELLING FOR TODAY'S LAWMAKERS IS POLIOTICIAN!!!!

      February 19, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  14. J. Hamilton

    If I blow up your house, village town city , etc tomorrow what does climate change mean to you? The real issue is not the political posturing but what is important now. Kiev is the example; global warming did't save the thousands of people who died and will die in this tragic situation. Priorities, not political posturing will change the world. Fire, impeach, eliminate the John Kerry's of the world. Politics is killing us all.

    February 19, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  15. Shawn Moore

    We had global warming after the ice age and we had no coal plants then. This is all a big ruse to tax us more. John Kerry is a liar

    February 19, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Reply
    • Sciencefirst

      Shawn: There has been climate change before but this time climate change is different because we are causing it. Whatever caused climate change in the past is irrelevant. A massive explosion of methane from the ocean depths, who knows? The point is that nothing like this has happened since civilization developed; and civilization developed because we've had a Goldilocks climate for 12,000 years. it's allowed us to thrive. Now we're messing with it, and that's not smart.

      There is overwhelming scientific data that burning fossil fuels is causing climate change this time. We've out over 420 ppm CO2 into the atmosphere and 350 is the safe limit for humans. We will find out what that means in about 30 years because there is a time delay. And then we'll have to face the extra CO2 we've put up in the atmosphere in the meantime. But, we caused this and we can stop; however, we don't have a lot of time left.

      In a paper just published online in January, in the most highly-respected peer-reviewed science journal in the world, Nature, new data showed that climate change is occurring faster than projected and by 2020 the tropics are expected to be "unlivable" and we'll be next, about 2045, assuming we are stupid enough to keep burning fossil fuels. By 2100 global temps are predicted to be 4C higher than today, which means most species, including humans, would not be able to survive.

      Scientists do not exaggerate, especially not in print. It's very bad for their careers if they do. Other scientists are only too happy to point any errors they make in their projections. So these are conservative predictions, the best-case scenario,(again if we stay stupid.)

      February 22, 2014 at 6:23 pm | Reply
      • willhaas

        The climate change that we are experiencing today is a warming up from the Little Ice Age. It is very similar to the warming up from the Dark Ages Cooling Period that occurred more than a thousand years ago. We must remember that there is evidence that the previous warm period, the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than this one. The Previous interglacial period was significantly warmer then the current one with more ice cap melting and higher sea levels. The current ice age cycling has been going on for more than 800,000 years with temperature swings much hinger then we have been experiencing during the past several hundred years and could not possible have been caused by man's adding CO2 to the atmosphere.

        February 23, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
  16. Rae Berkowitz

    Newt is delusional and should resign or be fired!!!!

    Shame on Nugent, abbott and Sarah Palin

    February 19, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  17. marc hewey

    Global warming?! Easter Island. And then think about how long it will take for the rest of the globe to face the same. Yeah, it is more of a threat than whatever we, as humans, could ever do to one another.... Peace to all, and love for all mankind.

    February 19, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  18. CALIFORNIA

    More like the biggest hoax.

    If you believe this I have a Hockey Stick Chart for you.

    February 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  19. Nicole

    No climate isn't but the democrats are...

    February 19, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  20. VVVVV

    The outcome they faced in the movie Idiocracy is the greatest threat we face, especially since the majority of the public seem to be unaware of it coming.

    February 19, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  21. rory bente

    Please add my vote to the yes stats.... shame on the oil rich republicans for hiding the facts once again....

    February 19, 2014 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  22. janemarion

    Why is the concept so difficult to grasp?
    We all know that man would not prevail in an all out war with nature.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  23. ray porter

    every issue listed is only local in nature ... the climate is global ... i'll let you figure it out

    February 19, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  24. Tychi

    You have economies that affect each country, diseases in many places in the world, and a lack of food all over, but the thing that will affect every person on earth will be climate change. Short of an asteroid strike or a nuclear war, a large change in our climate is the biggest problem we will face in the not far future. Where will all of the people in India go when their country is under water? Large areas of food production under water. Yes Newt, this is a huge species changing event. So if you can not help solve it, shut up.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:50 pm | Reply
    • bill birch

      Sooooo, you are helping how?
      My consensus after my own research is climate has always changed and always will (trumpet evolution theories here).
      Politicians lie, always have, always will.

      February 20, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Reply
      • Cody

        Wow you realized that climate has always changed? You must have done some pretty in depth research to get such a complicated consensus......LOL. The only people who should be commenting on here are people who have actually done research of their own in this field or have researched peer reviewed articles. Yes the CO2 levels have been higher than present but if you look into the paleo records it is clear as day that humans are the cause of this warming. CO2 is a very important greenhouse gas unlike the idiot at top saying it has no effect and water is the only factor. The difference between then and now is the rate that CO2 is being added to the atmosphere. I'm not going to sit here and list everything since you all have the internet, just please learn about peer reviewed sources as they are the only articles that there is consensus among many scientists. Uneducated people please stop acting like you are a scientist and know everything, leave interpretations to us scientists with actual degrees.

        February 21, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
  25. stuart bellant

    to mr crystal, You say Alaska is still cold and indeed it is by any standard, but my son lives outside of Fairbanks and he is having the warmest winter in his 30 years there. As usual you speak without facts to back you up.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  26. Bill M.

    Climate change is a huge threat and its one that is increasing in severity. There are things we can do to curb human's contribution to climate change, but stopping nuclear war is more difficult because as long as humans exist, nuclear weapons will be kept in large enough quantities to blow up our all of our theoretical enemies. Newt is projecting again, never resigned after all of his immoral and possibly illegal acts while in congress, so until Newt addresses his own hypocrisy, and resigns from all aspects of public life, he has no business telling anyone else that they should resign for things that were far less immoral than what Newt did, Well, Newt? That's what I thought.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  27. Gary Vey

    Kerry is right. It may not seem as important now but the negative impact of climate change is already happening and will affect food production and fuel costs, drought and starvation - the root cause of the other conflicts we now deem more important.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  28. Mr. Miyagi

    Nope, Fukushima poisoning the Pacific and beyond is the greatest threat, although Climate Change will play a part in the spread of rain-borne contamination.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  29. Really Hate Teapublicans

    Is climate change the biggest threat?

    No! TeaNeanderthal Christian Taliban Klan Party members are.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  30. Walter Young

    Volcanic eruptions spew much. much more carbon dioxide than humans are responsible for.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Reply
    • HURC

      That is true prior to the Industrial Revolution that started it all. We've always had volcanoes and humans emitting CO2 into the atmosphere. The change started when we started emitting exponentially in the industrial age.

      February 20, 2014 at 10:04 am | Reply
  31. Brian Miller

    Nuclear warfare exchange is the #1 biggest threat, because it's the most likely.
    Climate change just a large, but slower/longer term forming. So I'd put it at 2.
    Disease and potential for mass death from a virus or bacteria is a close 3.
    A space rock that devastates the planet at a distant 4.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  32. Rob S.

    The republican rep sitting next o Newt is a pompous blowhard.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  33. Larry Leedom

    Imminent nuclear threat we could manage unilaterally....not true of a the imminent and multiple threats from climate change.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  34. Caz

    If the evidence of human-caused climate damage is so "unequivocal" then why are so many heads of environmental science departments at major universities skeptics? (Answer: because the evidence is nowhere near as strong as Mr. Kerry believes.) If you want to do something about your feeling of wealth guilt, then do something about over-fishing. It really is dire, real and without any skeptics at all.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  35. OnTheRoad

    No, our biggest problem is our politicians! (from both sides of the Isle!!!)

    February 19, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  36. Jjr67

    Obamas TelePrompTer is today's biggest threat.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  37. Plutocracypolitician

    During the 1980's, we had two big environmental scares that turned out to be fabricated: acid rain and an ozone "hole". Huge amounts of money were spent to "fix" these problems that weren't even problems to begin with. Instead, we should focus on REAL pollution like dirty air and contaminated water.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  38. Plutocracypolitician

    CO2 has gone from .028% of the atmosphere to .039% of the atmosphere. It's still a trace gas, and is miniscule to another so-called greenhouse gas, H2O, which can make up 2%-4% of the atmosphere. Climate might be changing, but CO2 is not causing it. Since every human activity releases it, there is great interest in regulating behavior under the guise of climate change.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  39. sam

    It was number 29 on a most important list lately. THERE IS A LOT of very big money being courted by dems because their billionaires have ask for a push on global warming. BTW the left has more billionaires than the right. The left is very big on corporate rich.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  40. TomGI

    "Is climate change the biggest threat?"

    No, the tea party is the biggest threat.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:31 pm | Reply
  41. Middle Man

    Global warming probably isn't the biggest threat we face as a nation but, the defense dept. and the CIA both have said it is one of the biggest security threats we face. One could easily make the argument that global warming could be the biggest threat humanity faces though. Newt Gingrich calling for John Kerry's resignation is just Newt's way of getting some attention. People haven't listened to Newt for a long time after they found out he attacked Bill Clinton for having an affair on his wife while at the same time he was having an affair on his own wife. He has no credibility on much of anything!!!

    February 19, 2014 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  42. Jim

    Climate change is not the biggest weapon of mass destruction. Racism is. Of course, I don't expect John Kerry to actually solve either one, but at least those will keep his focus away from the world's hotspots.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  43. Bluegrass14

    "Is climate change the biggest threat we face?" We don't know it for sure, but we had better figure it out. That is exactly why we should do much more research. But political ideologists of any kind had better stay away and let scientist do their work.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  44. Lushiro

    (2 Chronicles 7:14) If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  45. GIVE IT A REST

    Would you please give a rest! What evidence is there that there is climate change? WHERE! And what the heck does climate change mean? is our climate suppose to be that of inside a incubator? There is no increase in hurricane activity or severity none, same with tornado, floods there is no trend – please look up the facts. When in the hell is this joke going to end>??

    February 19, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  46. Nope

    Something that only exists in fairy tale land, like man-made climate change, cannot possibly be a threat. Try concentrating on ACTUAL problems, not fake problems designed only to make Al Gore rich.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  47. 43mb

    If our climate continues current changes, then it may indeed be such a weapon. The only difference is that nobody can control it.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  48. Shaman

    The destruction of the RAINFORESTS in Brazil, Indonezia and Nigeria is much greater threat because we lose our OXYGEN PRODUCTION at a great pace. We will SUFFOCATE much sooner than the climate will affect our civilization...

    February 19, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  49. conoclast

    Runaway greenhouse effect threatens our very existence as a species; what other "WMD" (besides an all-out nuclear exchange) carries with it a very real threat of human extinction?

    February 19, 2014 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  50. James

    NO.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  51. rh

    No.

    It's played out to be so because climate scientists can't get funding unless they play up global warming as a terminal and imminent threat. Neither of which is true.

    We still have major issues with war, starvation, inequality, etc. Let's work on those first.

    February 19, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  52. Charles

    of course climate change is a serious threat, it's been causing catastrophic events for 4.5 billion years

    February 19, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Reply
    • Sciencefirst

      Charles: this time it's different. This is climate change in steroids, taking place not over many centuries but in a matter of decades. This is unprecedented in the 800,000 year ice core records. We can also project what will happen based on how much carbon fuel we burn. We are causing it; we can out the brakes on. if we don't, the laws of physics and chemistry tell us we will create run-away global warming that will create a climate like that of Venus.

      February 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm | Reply
      • willhaas

        The climate change that we are experiencing today is a warming up from the Little Ice Age whose coldest part coincided with a minimum of solar activity. This warm up is similar to the warm up from the Dark Ages Cooling Period that occurred more than 1000 years ago. The atmosphere on Venus is totally different than ours. The surface pressure is more than 90 times what it is on earth and there is virtually no H2O, the greenhouse gas that dominates in the Earth's atmosphere.

        February 23, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
  53. jms

    Gingrich is a big blow hard.

    February 19, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  54. Shawn

    Typical short-term vision. Yes, riots in middle-east countries are bad, but... if climate change, if left unchecked, will wipe out mankind entirely.

    February 19, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Reply
    • dave

      Why? Has 10's of thousands of years of mankind been proven to lack the ability to adapt?

      February 20, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Reply

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