I’m embarrassed, but I need your help #please… I have a possible tumor and my insurance isn’t helping

I don’t do this often and the few times I have asked for help, I’ve never gotten very far. But I need to try because I don’t know what else to do.

I suppose this is a long rant about what’s going on with me and my life these days. I try to keep it quiet and distract myself with pretty things, but sometimes I need to let it out. And maybe you can find it in your heart to get through this and help me in some way. Anyway.

There are too many things going on. Too many things.  No one I know has money they can lend or just gift me. I have no money. My family of 3 lives off of $17k a year. I honestly don’t know how we make it.

Health insurance is denying my claims. I can’t pay my medical bills. I need a ct scan bc I have a tumour that may need chemotherapy (according to a resident at John Hopkins) and I can’t afford any of it. It may not need chemo or radiation. It could be nothing. It could be outright removed (even though we’ve removed it twice already) but I’ll never know until it’s too late, if I can’t get this ct scan.

I practically live on my asthma inhaler and I often wonder if I can even afford to “waste” another huff of it. My asthma isn’t bad enough to kill me or anything like that, just bad enough to torture me every day and send me to urgent care with the occasional asthma attack that requires being hooked up to a breathing machine.

I got put on prednisone. The side effects are weight gain, fatigue, foggy thoughts, pain, nausea and just about everything I don’t need right now, or ever.

My phone is dying a little more every day. I can’t make or receive phone calls or texts and data anything doesn’t work. I can only use it when I’m home and connected to wifi. It turns off randomly. Freezes. Even when at home, it can take forever for it to do anything. Battery life is an hour at rest if I’m lucky.

My mom’s car is busted. That was our only source of transportation and now that’s gone. We can’t afford to fix it. The closest bus stop is 5 miles away on the highway with no sidewalks. I can’t walk there bc I have nerve damage so severe that I’m on meds galore and still can’t walk longer than 15 minutes. And sometimes the pain is so bad that I can’t walk at all.

I have nothing in my name other than debt. What are these bill collectors going to take away from me? I don’t have wages to garnish. What do they want? I have nothing to give them. If I could dissect this tumour myself, I would maybe sell it to science or some weirdo on Craigslist. That could make some money, maybe.

Nothing is right or even close to it. Even if after 4 years of unemployment someone does want to hire me or even interview me, how would I get there? How do they call me? Even that doesn’t work out right.

I’m stuck and I need help getting unstuck. I’m so embarrassed to even be asking, but I really don’t know what else to do.

If you can find it in your heart to maybe throw a few bucks my way, I’d be so insanely and forever grateful. Maybe you can pass this along to a friend?

Thank you.

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

 

paypal.me/hebavsreason

IMG_2639

 

The Big Book Of Home Remedies (view mobile)

The Big Book Of Home Remedies Is The Ultimate Ebook Of Home Remedies And Natural Cures For An A To Z Index Of Over One Hundred Common Health Conditions
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A Fit and Healthy Life the Natural Way

“The Big Book of Home Remedies”

 

A Complete A-Z Guide with nearly 2000 Homemade Natural

Remedies for your Ailments Now and the Future!

 

 

HomeRemediesBigBookTransparentBackground

 

Common Ailments

Asthma: Page 22

Pink Eye: Page 90

Hair Growth: Page 107

Urinary Infection: Page 237

Sore Throat: Page 221

Hyper Tension: Page 124

This is an encyclopedia of Natural Homemade Remedies. You can get on track to a healthier fulfilling life regardless of any little illness and do so naturally. Natural homemade health remedies are exactly what they state, natural remedies to make you feel better. Apart from leaving you feeling healthier and fitter, they are cheaper than a Doctor’s fee.

 

 

 

Here is…

 

The Big Book of Home Remedies

 

with nearly 2000 Homemade Natural Remedies

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Natural homemade health remedies are exactly what they state,

natural remedies to make you feel better. Apart from leaving you

feeling healthier and fitter, they are cheaper than a Doctor’s fee.

 

 

So here is what is in the book…

 

-Nearly 2000 Natural Health Remedies.

-A-Z of Conditions covered for nearly every

single ailment you could think of.

-Every condition comes with a natural solution.

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-And just for good measure, I have given you some over

the counter remedies. Just for the sake of fairness.

 

This is an encyclopedia of Natural Homemade Remedies and will allow

you to swiftly get back to full fitness in light of any little illness and

do so the natural, quick way without synthetic pain

killers or anything that disables your day.

 

 

Why Natural Remedies?

 

 

That question can be asked all day long by people who want to put their

faith in the pharmaceutical industry. But the truth is, even health care

professionals trust Natural Remedies.

 

If you’re skeptical let’s look at the

facts on Natural Remedies…

 

-Natural Remedies have been the main medicine in China

for over 2500 years, take a look at Acupuncture.

-25% of prescribed drugs contain natural remedies in the USA.

-In Germany a third of Medical Doctors have studied natural drugs.

-Natural remedies are FDA approved otherwise they would not

be able to be sold across the USA or worldwide for that matter.

 

Natural Remedies are not something that which is a quirk or a trend,

they are sincerely part of the healthcare process. They are simply

not full of unnatural chemicals that may alter your body.

Know What You Have and How To Cure It In Seconds!

Speculating about a sickness, ailments or even just the symptoms

can be hard work…guess work. But, with

 

 

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You have the opportunity to find out straight

away what you have and how to deal with it!

 

“The Big Book of Home Remedies” explains to you over 100

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could start to feel healthy again with remedies in

Natural Health that are unique but proven.

 

Just Think…

 

Recognize when you are ill without any expense of going back and

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benefit of your job, children and family.

 

-You will be able to find a natural healthy proven remedy.

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Having an A-Z of Natural Health remedies that even tells you

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Forward Head Posture

YOUR POOR HEAD POSTURE IS MAKING YOU LOOK 10 LBS HEAVIER AND 2 INCHES SHORTER THAN YOU ACTUALLY ARE

As the main connector between your upper torso and skull, the neck has the crucial task of cradling the body’s computer — the brain. Click Here!

When I personally discovered that I suffered from Forward Head Posture, I was shocked at the impact it had on my health. The number of symptoms I could directly trace back to poor posture was just as shocking.

When your head is pulled forward the additional pressure on your neck, shoulders and back rises dramatically causing serious tissue damage. In fact, every inch your head is thrust forward from its natural position adds another 10 lbs of stress on the neck, shoulders, back and spine.

forward-head-posture2

Not only does Forward Head Posture give your back that ugly hunch and crouched-over look… it also causes much deeper, serious problems including:

 

  • Constant fatigue and lack of energy
  • Pain in your neck, shoulders or upper, lower and middle back
  • Permanent damage to your joints, muscles, ligaments, blood vessels & nerves
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Poor sleep or insomnia
  • Arthritis
  • Impaired athletic performance
  • Loss of height by 2 inches
  • Looking 10 lbs fatter than you actually are
  • Affects your hormonal health
  • Noisy mouth breathing, snoring & sleep apnea
  • Early degeneration of your spine
  • Pinched and trapped nerves
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Lack of confidence
  • Blood Flow to the Brain
  • Asthma
  • Decreased lung capacity by up to 30%
  • Harmful affects to vision and hearing
  • Jaw pain and sinus issues
  • Dizziness, vertigo and balance issues
  • Burdens your digestive system

If you’ve suffered any of these without realizing the root problem was Forward Head Posture, you’re not alone.

Forward Head Posture or FHP affects nearly everybody, yet hardly anyone understands the serious long-term physical and mental damage it can cause.

And it’s the most important muscle in your neck that dictates just how strong and healthy our posture and well-being is.

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REMARKS: Secretary of State John Kerry Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael Bloomberg At Our Cities, Our Climate: A Bloomberg Philanthropies-U.S. Department of State Partnership

 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Office of the Spokesperson

For Immediate Release

 REMARKS

Secretary of State John Kerry Secretary of State John Kerry

And UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael Bloomberg

At Our Cities, Our Climate: A Bloomberg Philanthropies-U.S. Department of State Partnership Working Luncheon 

Washington, D.C.

October 8, 2015

ASSISTANT SECRETARY RYAN:  Thank you.  It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the State Department today in honor of Our Cities, Our Climate – an initiative between the State Department and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

We are here to recognize and honor global city leadership on a topic of great importance – climate change.  At the State Department, this is at the top of our agenda, and we are thrilled to partner with Michael Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies, who share these goals and have consistently been on the vanguard of this issue.

At the center of the State Department’s public diplomacy is the mission to connect the United States with the world to foster creative and powerful networks of citizens around the world to build common understanding.  As we look to climate change and the significant steps needed to address this challenge, the opportunity to bring a global cohort to the United States to discuss these issues was invaluable. 

It is an honor to have mayors from the United States and around the world with us here today.  Will all the mayors in the room please stand to be recognized?  (Applause.)  You are all champions of climate action.  Thank you for your critical work.  We are also pleased to have 19 sustainability directors from 18 countries that have just traveled on an exchange program to San Francisco, Boston, and now Washington, D.C.  The sustainability directors had the opportunity to see some of the best innovation in the United States and discuss how U.S. cities are overcoming hurdles to address significant problems that contribute to environmental damage.

Bringing mayors and city leaders together, our goal is to showcase the ways in which national governments, corporations, and cities around the world can and are working together to make an impact. 

Thank you all for joining us.  It is my honor to introduce our two keynote speakers, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Michael Bloomberg.  As UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael Bloomberg has been a leading voice on the value of cities in executing cutting-edge changes that improve everyday lives and our environment.  His immense expertise, vision, and passion have put city leadership at the forefront of innovation.  We are grateful for his partnership on this initiative.

At the State Department, we are proud to have Secretary Kerry as our champion on climate change issues.  Secretary Kerry has elevated this critical issue.  He has made climate change a critical part of U.S. foreign policy and a key component of our bilateral relationships around the world.  His level of engagement on this issue is unprecedented at the State Department.  And it’s not a new issue for him.  He brings with him an almost 30-year commitment to fighting climate change.  He has been focused on this issue since it first became a public issue and was involved in convening some of the first hearings on climate change in the Senate.

He was present at the first UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change in Rio in 1992, and has been at nearly every major gathering on climate change that has taken place since.  He’s on the frontlines and his leadership in this battle is the inspiration for this program, Our Cities, Our Climate[1].  We are so honored to have him here with us today.  Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Secretary of State John Kerry.  (Applause.)

SECRETARY KERRY:  Evan, thank you very, very much.  Welcome, everybody, to the Ben Franklin Room.  Welcome to the State Department.  Distinguished colleagues and members of the diplomatic corps, partners in the U.S. Congress, mayors especially, we are really thrilled to have you here today.  International U.S. mayors, we’re really grateful for your leadership.  All the sustainability directors, thank you for being here, and other officials who are working hard to fight the effects of climate change around the world and also to address the challenge of climate change.

I particularly want to thank the fellow standing behind me to my right – your left.  He is passionate about this issue.  He has been for a long period of time.  And when he had the privilege of being the mayor of New York City, one of the great cities of the world, obviously, he took steps – creative and imaginative, important steps – to address this issue, and is continuing on now as the UN Special Envoy for Climate Change and Cities.  And I want you all to join me not only in saying thank you but welcoming Mike Bloomberg here to the State Department.  (Applause.) 

When he was mayor, he implemented policies that helped to cut New York’s emissions by 20 percent.  And he understands that climate change is a policy challenge, really in many ways unlike many or any that we have faced before as either individual cities or as a community of nations.  And he has long approached the global challenge with the sense of urgency for the responsibility that it demands from all of us.  And I am very grateful to him for his partnership in this endeavor. 

Decades ago, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously referred to our states as “laboratories of democracy.”  Today, more and more of our cities are becoming “laboratories of leadership.”  Most city governments are smaller; they’re more nimble than their federal counterparts.  So city leaders are, frankly, uniquely positioned to experiment with bold new ideas in all kinds of policy areas.

And at the State Department, we understand the very valuable role that cities can play in addressing a wide range of challenges.  And that is why we’re working directly with cities like Detroit, which is opening up its first-ever Mayor’s Office of International Affairs.  And it’s why this week we are launching a long-term Cities@State initiative to enhance our coordination with cities in the space where foreign policy and urbanization meet on issues ranging from economic opportunity to security.

But cities have a particularly critical role to play when it comes to climate change.  And I have said many times as Secretary, beginning with the day of my nomination and into my confirmation hearings, that foreign policy is economic policy and economic policy is foreign policy.  And in today’s world, climate change is economic policy – energy policy above all.  And it presents us with the most extraordinary market we have ever known on the face of this planet to be able to grow jobs, modernize our societies and our opportunities, and just embrace this challenge in a way that actually solves the problem while being – doing good at the same time. 

And the reason for that is simple:  Cities are obviously on the front line of the storm that is coming at us.  Consider that already – for the first time in history – more people are living in urban areas than are living in rural areas.  By 2050, a full two-thirds of the world’s population is going to live in cities, and that is a steadily growing population. 

Now, consider that nine in ten major cities are situated along inland or coastal waterways, making them particularly vulnerable to climate-driven sea level rise and violent storm surges.

And just last week, I saw a study projecting that by the end of this century what we used to consider the kind of flood that would hit New York City once every 500 years could now be expected every 25 years.  And for New Yorkers like Mike, who remember well what Hurricane Sandy did to that city, that prospect is obviously devastating. 

Just a small factoid but not an unimportant one:  If you’re 29 years old in America today, you have never lived with a month that was cooler than the average of all the months of the century preceding.  That’s what’s happening.  Every year we hear that that year was hotter than the year preceding, and we see the effects.  And the bad news is that cities will be particularly hit if we don’t take meaningful action to fight climate change.  The good news is – and there is good news – that the steps that cities themselves take in the coming years can actually tip the scale toward a successful global response to this challenge.

And here is why.  The answer to climate change is not a mystery.  It’s not some pie-in-the-sky policy that we haven’t discovered yet.  It is staring us in the face, folks.  It’s called clean energy.  It is that simple.  And we’re simply not going to get where we need to be unless we move rapidly towards a global, low-carbon, clean energy economy. 

And today, the world’s cities account for more than two-thirds of all global energy use.  That’s one of the reasons why cities are important.  Cities are responsible for 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.  And if we change the way we power our cities, then we will change the way we power our world and, in the process, we may well save it. 

The United States and China – two of the world’s largest emitters, number one and number two – we used to be number one; now we’re number two.  China has surpassed us.  And we fully understand this, which is why, in the early days of my stewardship here at the Department, I went to China and we began the process of changing our relationship, and President Obama ultimately was able to negotiate an agreement with China geared specifically to bring the less developed world to the table.  And that’s what we’re doing, so that we hopefully head into Paris in December able to achieve a global agreement that can help to send a signal to the marketplace that the world is serious.

That’s also why we came together for the inaugural U.S.-China Climate Leaders’ Summit in Los Angeles last month.  More than two dozen cities, states, provinces, and counties from our two nations signed the U.S-China Climate Leaders Declaration.  And the signatories committed themselves to establish ambitious targets to cut emissions, and also to establish climate action plans so that we could report regularly on the progress that we’re making.

And that event showed how influential change that originates at the local level can be.  Consider that the emissions coming from the Chinese cities and provinces represented in Los Angeles are roughly equal to those coming from the entire nation of Brazil. 

But it’s not only U.S. and Chinese cities that are taking important steps to reduce their carbon footprints.  Cities in every corner of the globe – including many represented here in this room – are doing the same. 

In fact, more than 100[2] cities globally – more than 50 here in the United States – have signed the Compact of Mayors, which Mike helped launch in an effort to galvanize clear commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

Now folks, I’ve served in elected office for a little more than 28 years – actually more than 30 years if I include the lieutenant governor period.  And I saw a lot of choices – and I know Mike feels the same way about this – that we have to make in public life.  You’re lucky if you get a one-for-one, make a hard choice and you get a really good payback for that one hard choice. 

Climate change, the math is so simple.  On one side, you’ve got the cost of the initial investments, which is relatively small.  And on the other, you have the cost of not doing anything, not acting to reduce carbon, costs which include agricultural and environmental degradation, remediation, which would cost hundreds of billions of dollars; damage to public health, people who die and go to the hospital, kids – largest cause of children hospitalized in the summer in the United States of America, environmentally induced asthma, costs us billions, tens of billions – damage to communities from record storms and flooding; and ultimately an enormous drop in the value of coastal real estate and businesses.  That’s just one part of the ledger.  That doesn’t even start to account for the cost of the disease, the cost of jobs, all the other things.

So compare those downsides to the upsides that come with this decision – living up to your environmental responsibility; creating, literally over the period of time, with $17 trillion currently geared to go into investment in energy, millions of jobs, tens of millions of jobs.  Huge wealth can be created, even as you make people healthier, reduce the sickness that comes from particulates in the air and the cancer that comes with it.  Run the list, folks.  This is a pretty easy balance sheet to come out on.

More and more city leaders are coming to that conclusion.  And that’s why Jakarta just launched the first Bus Rapid Transit system in Southern and Southeastern Asia.  It’s already helping to reduce congestion on the roads and pollution in the air.  It’s why Berlin created a campaign to plant 10,000 new trees along the streets by 2017.  It’s why Buenos Aires launched Argentina’s first bike-sharing program.  And it’s why Vancouver set a goal of obtaining 100 percent – 100 percent – of its energy from renewable sources by 2050.

The fact is that some of the most promising, innovative, effective climate solutions are coming directly from mayors around the world and around the United States.

Now, obviously, no two cities are alike.  But many have the same goals and they face the same challenges when it comes to de-carbonizing their local economies, and that’s why the State Department and Bloomberg Philanthropies created the Our Cities, Our Climate Exchange for city officials across the globe: because we want to create a platform for urban leaders to share their individual successes and to exchange ideas about those future projects that can make a difference. 

Sustainability directors from 19 different cities have spent the past 10 days discussing ways to transport people using less fuel, keep people warm using less oil, recycle materials with less waste, and much more.  And if you ask any of the participants, I expect that they will tell you they did not come here to talk about theoretical solutions.  They came here to be practical and to find practical actions that they can take.  And all of this matters because the actions that leaders are taking at the local level will send a timely message at the global level. 

Now, I am not here to tell you that a global climate agreement is going to be the silver bullet that eliminates the threat that is currently posed by climate change.  What we accomplish in Paris is not going to get the total job done, it is going to set the stage and be a major jump-off point for which the marketplace can begin and the private sector can begin to take a cue from all of these governments setting their targets. 

The kind of agreement that we’re working toward will prove that world leaders finally understand and accept responsibility for the scope of this problem. 

It will give confidence to business leaders who are uncertain about our collective commitment and hesitant to invest in low-carbon alternatives that we need because of that perceived hesitancy by governments. 

It will help leaders at every level of government on the globe to know that they’re part of a worldwide commitment to build sustainable communities.

So please tell everyone – the business community, the public, your partners in government – tell them all how critical it is that the world come together in Paris and have an agreement.  Failure is not an option. 

This is a time of extraordinary urgency, incredible possibility, and together we have the rarest of opportunities to change – to change not only our cities and our countries, but the entire world, all of which bears responsibility.

I think the Holy Father in his visit here could not have made it more clear to us in poignant and meaningful ways that perhaps no politician has the ability to begin to touch why this is so important and how we all bear personal responsibility to help deal with it.  So I look forward to working with all of you to help get the job done, and there could not be a stronger, better, more committed partner – a more courageous person who’s willing to act on what he believes no matter what brickbats come his way – please welcome with me, if you will, the former mayor of New York and the current special envoy, Mike Bloomberg.  (Applause.)

MR BLOOMBERG:  The height doesn’t quite work for me, John.  Sorry about that.  (Laughter.)  Tall people, I’ve pointed out to John before, have a real —

SECRETARY KERRY:  Doesn’t always work for me, either.

MR BLOOMBERG:  No, no, no.  They have a distinct advantage.  They know when it rains – starts and stops raining quicker than the rest of us, but short of that – anyway, Secretary Kerry, John, I just wanted to thank you for that kind introduction and thank you for hosting us today, and seriously, thank you and the President for your strong leadership on climate change.  Everybody expects you to come up with a solution overnight that will be painless and cost-free.  You haven’t done that, but you certainly have moved the goalposts, and we appreciate everything you’ve done.  And it’s up to the rest of us to continue the battle – a battle that we absolutely have to win.

America is best when she leads from the front, and I think you and the President deserve enormous credit for bringing the full forces of American diplomacy – American diplomatic might to bear on the challenge.  And I also want to thank you for recognizing a fundamental truth that was overlooked for too long:  We cannot address climate change effectively without putting cities at the center of the agenda.  Now, the fact is cities account for more than 70 percent of global greenhouse gases.  People are always talking about getting to the root of the problems, and in this case, it’s not complicated.  Cities are the root of this problem.

But cities are also the source of the solution.  And now, thanks to Secretary Kerry and other leaders, the voices of cities are being heard. 

When the United Nations Climate Summit convenes in Paris in two months, there’s going to be a different dynamic than there was at past conferences in previous decades.  Those conferences failed to produce a truly global agreement.  But since then, cities have stepped onto the stage and, without a lot of fanfare, they’ve become – begun forming their own global alliances.  They’ve acted because the stakes are very high, higher than they are for national leaders, and the incentives are also stronger.

And let me briefly explain what I mean by that.  When a hurricane fueled by warmer oceans and rising sea levels and destroys homes and businesses, people turn to their local leaders for help and answers.  When air pollution sends children to the hospital, as John pointed out, with asthma attacks, parents don’t turn to the members of Congress; they demand that the mayors do something about it. 

Around the world, national legislators tend to see climate change as an abstraction and a long-term policy issue.  Mayors see it as an immediate economic and health issue.  People’s lives and people’s livelihoods are at stake.  This is a public health and environmental issue.  If you want to worry about 2050, I think you should, but if you really want to go home and look your family in the eye and say I did something today so that you, my kids, my spouse, my companion are going to have a longer, healthier life, that’s where you really have to focus – doing things that improve the climate right now.

Keep in mind, when a city has cleaner air more people want to live there and more companies want to do business there.  And that’s why, surprisingly, Beijing is shutting its four biggest coal-burning power plants.  And they’ve also put a smoking ban in Beijing and, I might point out, the Chinese Government owns the cigarette companies and yet they’ve done this.  Why?  Because the people of Beijing and the people of China, just like the people of Washington, D.C. and all the cities in America, want to be able to live longer, healthier lives.

Now, climate – carbon pollution carries a heavy economic cost that cities bear the brunt of, so attacking climate change and promoting economic growth really do go hand-in-hand.  Mayors understand that and they have the political incentives to act.  Global challenges used to be the exclusive domain of heads of state, but this challenge is different.  In fact, I think it’s safe to say that climate change may now be the first global problem where success will depend on how local services are delivered, such as energy, transportation, and waste disposal.

Just by acting on their own, cities can singlehandedly reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by four gigatons over the next 15 years.  That’s like eliminating a quarter of all of the coal pollution that exists in the whole world today.  And the good news is mayors are eager to take this challenge on.  They’re not dragging their feet or debating the science; they’re rolling up their sleeves and they’re working together to spread the most effective solutions.  Why?  Because when the mayors talk to their constituents, the constituents, unlike what you read in the paper from members of Congress or anybody else – the constituents of all of the mayors in this city know that something is happening, they’re scared, and they want a fix.

I would suggest if you go to North or South Carolina right now, you probably won’t find very many people who say climate change isn’t real.  Now, all of a sudden, the debate has changed – well, it’s not manmade.  I don’t know if it’s manmade or not; science can only speculate.  But the bottom line is no rational person should sit there with a risk that’s so serious that it literally is life-threatening and not try to do something to ameliorate that risk and prevent problems down the road.

And that’s why we’re here today.  It’s great to have so many mayors and city officials joining us.  I know that many of you have spent the last week crisscrossing the country as guests of the International Visitor Leadership Program.  And I’ve seen firsthand what works when one city usually holds valuable lessons for many others.  Each city has its own unique culture and its own unique needs.  But the principal nuts and bolts of mass transit, parks, sanitation, and the power grid tend to be pretty similar.  So the more we help mayors and city officials innovate and collaborate, the more progress we can all make. 

And I might point out that pollution that comes from one place hurts everybody.  It doesn’t matter where you make the efficiencies, where you make the improvements – we all benefit.  And the contrary is also true – if anybody else pollutes, we all suffer. 

And that’s the purpose of the new partnership between Bloomberg Philanthropies and the State Department.  It will build on the work that our foundation has been supporting for years.  Some of that work has been through the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which now has more than 80 members, and some of it has been through the Compact of Mayors, which commits cities to publicly detail their goals and using a common yardstick for measuring their performance, which allows the public to hold them accountable.  Mayors are always held accountable by the press and by the voters.  What mayors do you can measure, whether they do it or they didn’t do it.  And the voters, when they get to the polls, reward or punish those that don’t do the right thing.

Two hundred cities have now signed onto the compact, and we’re happy that the White House is pushing for a hundred more U.S. cities to join by the end of this year.  This new partnership with the State Department will complement the work and help spread it around the world.  Our Cities, Our Climate Initiative will connect mayors and policyholders all around the world.  It will recruit international sustainability experts and NGOs to help cities share best practices, coordinate their efforts, and implement the most effective climate actions.

Cities are anxious to lead, and more – the more they learn from one another and they borrow from one another, the more progress the world can make on climate change.  So as you have explored Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, I hope you’ve been taking good notes and keeping an eye out for ideas you can borrow and improve on.  And having the State Department enlisted in that work is going to make a very big difference, and we’re grateful to Secretary Kerry for making this partnership possible and for making this issue such an important priority.

One of the benefits of this work is that it also helps to embolden national leaders to make more ambitious commitments by providing them – by proving to them just how much progress is possible.  In Kyoto back in 1997 and Copenhagen in 2009, national governments didn’t have a good sense of that, and they certainly didn’t have any data on it.  Now they do.  Now they know just how quickly cities are moving.  And when they sit down this year in Paris this December, they will have something else that they didn’t have before:  They will have a model for action.  The cooperative networks that cities have created and the commitments that they have made and the reporting systems that they have agreed to provide a template for an international agreement.  Cities are proving that this model can work, and that’s why all of us have good reason to be more hopeful about this summit than the previous one.

Now, of course, cities can’t do it alone.  National leadership remains essential, and I applaud the Obama Administration for its clean power plan and also for its new rules on methane.  Cities will never fully displace nations in the global fight against climate change any more than they can singlehandedly reduce global poverty or expand global trade or improve global security.  But cities can be full and equal partners in all of this work, and I think Secretary Kerry will attest heads of state will be happy for the help – and they’re going to need it.

So let me once again thank Secretary Kerry.  You have been right, John, declaring that addressing climate change is only possible with a strategy that, as you said, transcends borders, sectors, and the levels of government.  Today’s gathering proves this effort is already well underway, and I want to thank each of you in this room for that important role that you’re playing. 

And as part of this work, I also want to invite you to join us in Paris in December.  We’re not going to have a unified solution to all the world’s problems, and certainly not to climate change.  But it is a report card, it is a step, and it’s an impetus to national and local governments to understand that the public wants to lead longer, healthier lives and that we are the ones responsible for doing that.  We’ll be co-hosting a cities summit with the mayor of Paris on December 4th, and the more cities that attend, the more our voices will be heard.  So I hope to see many of you again in Paris. 

We all have to keep up the good work.  This is the future of our families, this is the future of our countries, this is the future of the planet.  Nobody knows how much and how fast things are happening, but just let me point out 2014 was the warmest year in the history of the world.  The first half of 2015 was the warmest six months in the history of the world.  The month of July 2015 was the warmest month in the history of the world that we can measure.  If you take a look in the oceans, half of all the fish species have had their populations decline by 50 percent in the last – since 20 – since 1970.  Something is going on out there, and sitting around and arguing about who’s responsible and whether it’s this or whether it’s that is just an outrage.  We should do everything we can, and let’s hope that it’s just a short-term phenomenon, but none of us should run the risk that it’s not. 

Thank you very much, and John, thank you.  (Applause.)

# # #

[1] Misspoken program name corrected here.

[2] More than 200 cities have signed the Compact of Mayors.

Secretary of State John Kerry At the Atlantic Council as part of the Road to Paris Climate Series

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Office of the Spokesperson

For Immediate Release

 REMARKS

March 12, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry
At the Atlantic Council as part of the Road to Paris Climate Series

March 12, 2015
Washington, D.C.

SECRETARY KERRY:  Well, good morning, everybody.  Fred, thank you very, very much for a very generous introduction.  I’m delighted to be here with everybody.  Distinguished ambassadors who are here this morning, thank you for taking time to represent your countries and come here and share your concern about this critical issue.

And I’m delighted to be accompanied by our envoy on climate, who’s been toiling away in the fields for a long time now in helping to shape President Obama’s and the State Department’s policy on this, Todd Stern.  Todd, thanks for your many efforts on it.

Fred, thank you for leadership here at the Atlantic Council.  I think Fred has demonstrated that he seems to always have the ability to have his finger on the most critical issues of the day, not just today actually, but of tomorrow.  And as a result, we can always count on the Atlantic Council to be ahead of the curve and to be challenging all of us to think.  So we appreciate very much what you do. And thank you, all of you, who are on the board and/or a part of and committed to the efforts of the council.

I have to add you also have an impeccable eye for talent.  I was not surprised to hear that you had the good sense to hire Ambassador Richard Morningstar.  He’s one of the most experienced global energy experts and a good friend of mine and Massachusetts – a son of Massachusetts.  And now that he’s the director of the new Global Energy Center, you couldn’t be in better hands.  And secondly, my former legislative assistant on energy and climate and then went to the White House, Heather Zichal, is part of this great family of effort on climate.  So I think we’re kind of a family here this morning, in fact.

It’s clear that from Venezuela to Iraq to Ukraine, there is no shortage of energy challenges in the world today.  And we’ve had many conversations recently.  I was in Brussels.  We had an US-EU energy summit, where we laid out an agenda for how we can liberate some of these countries from their one-country dependency in the case of Russia and others.  It has huge strategic importance.  But I have to tell you, at the top of the list of energy challenges is climate change.  And that is why the Road to Paris series, the very first hosted by the center, is so very important, and I am really delighted to be here and be a part of it.

As Fred mentioned, climate change is an issue that is personal to me, and it has been since the 1980s, when we were organizing the very first climate hearings in the Senate.  In fact, it really predates that, going back to Earth Day when I’d come back from Vietnam.  It was the first political thing I began to organize in Massachusetts, when citizens started to make a solid statement in this country.  And I might add that’s before we even had an Environmental Protection Agency or a Clean Water Act or Safe Drinking Water Act or a Marine Mammal Protection Act or a Coastal Zone Management Act.  It all came out of that kind of citizen movement.  And that’s what we have to be involved in now.  And the reason for that is simple:  For decades now, the science has been screaming at us, warning us, trying to compel us to act.

And I just want to underscore that for a moment.  It may seem obvious to you, but it isn’t to some.  Science is and has long been crystal clear when it comes to climate change.  Al Gore, Tim Worth, and a group of us organized the first hearings in the Senate on this, 1988.  We heard Jim Hansen stand in – sit in front of us and tell us it’s happening now, 1988.  So we’re not talking about news reports or blog posts or even speeches that some cabinet secretary might give at a think tank.  We’re talking about a fact-based, evidence-supported, peer-reviewed science.   And yet, if you listen to some people in Washington or elsewhere, you’d think there’s a question about whether climate change really is a problem or whether we really need to respond to it.

So stop for a minute and just think about the basics.  When an apple falls from a tree, it will drop toward the ground.  We know that because of the basic laws of physics.  Science tells us that gravity exists, and no one disputes that.  Science also tells us that when the water temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it turns to ice.  No one disputes that.

So when science tells us that our climate is changing and humans beings are largely causing that change, by what right do people stand up and just say, “Well, I dispute that” or “I deny that elementary truth”?  And yet, there are those who do so.  Literally a couple of days ago, I read about some state officials who are actually trying to ban the use of the term “climate change” in public documents because they’re not willing to face the facts.

Now folks, we literally do not have the time to waste debating whether we can say “climate change.”  We have to talk about how we solve climate change.  Because no matter how much people want to bury their heads in the sand, it will not alter the fact that 97 percent of peer-reviewed climate studies confirm that climate change is happening and that human activity is largely responsible.  I have been involved in public policy debates now for 40-plus years, whatever, since the 1960s.  It is rare, rare, rare – I can tell you after 28 years-plus in the Senate – to get a super majority of studies to agree on anything.  But 97 percent, over 20-plus years – that’s a dramatic statement of fact that no one of good conscience has a right to ignore.

But what’s really troubling is that those same scientists are telling us what’s going to happen, not just the fact of it being there, but they’re telling us what’s coming at us.  These scientists also agree that if we continue to march like robots down the path that we’re on, the world as we know it will be transformed dramatically for the worse.  And we can expect that sea levels will continue rising to dangerous levels.  We will see nations moved as a consequence in the Pacific and elsewhere – Bangladesh, countries that are low.

We will see large swaths of cities and even some countries under water.  We can expect more intense and frequent extreme weather events like hurricanes and typhoons.  We can expect disruptions to the global agricultural sector that will threaten job security for millions of farmers and undermine food security for millions of families.  We can expect prolonged droughts and resource shortages, which have the potential to fan the flames of conflict in areas that are already troubled by longstanding political, economic, religious, ideological, sectarian disputes.  Imagine when they’re complicated by the absence of water and food.

These are the consequences of climate change, and this is the magnitude of what we are up against.  And measured against the array of global threats we face today – and there are many. Terrorism, extremism, epidemics, poverty, nuclear proliferation, all challenges that respect no borders – climate change belongs on that very same list.  It is, indeed, one of the biggest threats facing our planet today.  And even top military personnel have designated it as a security threat to not just the United States but the world.  And no one who has truly considered the science, no one who has truly listened objectively to our national security experts, could reach a different conclusion.

So yes, this is personal to me.  But you know what?  The bottom line is it ought to be personal to everybody, every man, woman, child, businessperson, student, grandparent, wherever we live, whatever our calling, whatever our personal background might be.  This issue affects everyone on the planet.  And if any challenge requires global cooperation and urgent action, this is it.

Make no mistake, this is a critical year.  And that is why this Road to Paris series is so important.  The science tells us we still have a window of time to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, but that window is closing quickly.  We’re already in a mode where we’re looking at mitigation, not just prevention.  In December, the world will come together at the UN Climate Conference in Paris, and we will see whether or not we can muster the collective political will to reach an ambitious, comprehensive agreement.

Now even those of us who are most involved in the negotiations – and Todd and I have talked to this, and talked about it with the President – we all understand.  We know that even the agreement we’re trying to reach in Paris will not completely and totally be able to eliminate the threat.  It’s not going to.  But it is an absolutely vital first step, and it would be a breakthrough demonstration that countries across the globe now recognize the problem and the need for each and every one of us to contribute to a solution.  And it will set the market moving; it will change attitudes; it will change governments.  And then progressively, no one can quite measure what the exponential productivity of all of that effort will produce.  So we have nine short months to come together around the kind of agreement that will put us on the right path.

Now rest assured – not a threat, but a statement of fact – if we fail, future generations will not and should not forgive those who ignore this moment, no matter their reasoning.  Future generations will judge our effort not just as a policy failure but as a collective moral failure of historic consequence.  And they will want to know how world leaders could possibly have been so blind or so ignorant or so ideological or so dysfunctional and, frankly, so stubborn that we failed to act on knowledge that was confirmed by so many scientists, in so many studies, over such a long period of time, and documented by so much evidence.

The truth is we will have no excuse.  You don’t need to be a scientist to see that the world is already changing and feeling the impacts of global climate change and significantly.  Many of the things I mentioned a moment ago are already beginning to unfold before our eyes.  Just look around you.  Fourteen of the fifteen warmest years on record in all of history have occurred since 2000, in all of recorded history.  Last year was the warmest of all.  And I think if you stop and think about it, it seems that almost every next year becomes one of the hottest on record.

And with added heat comes an altered environment.  It’s not particularly complicated.  I don’t mean to sound haughty, but think about it for a minute.  Life on Earth would not exist without a greenhouse effect.  That is what has kept the average temperature up, until recently, at 57 degrees Fahrenheit, because there is this greenhouse effect.  And it was called the greenhouse effect because it does exactly what a greenhouse does.  When the sun pours in and bounces off at a different angle, it goes back up at a different angle.  That can’t escape, and that warms things – a very simple proposition.

Now it’s difficult to tell whether one specific storm or one specific drought is solely caused by climate change, or a specific moment, but the growing number of extreme events scientists tell us is a clear signal to all of us.  Recently Southeastern Brazil has been experiencing a crippling drought, the worst the region has seen in 80 years.  The situation is so dire that families in Sao Paulo have been drilling through their basement floors in search of groundwater.

And the historic droughts in some parts of the world are matched only by historic floods in others.  Malawi is currently in the midst of a disaster in which more than 150 people have died.  Tens of thousands of people have been stranded by the rushing waters, cut off from food, clean water, healthcare, and thousands more have been forced from their homes.

This is happening now.  It’s not a future event.  And you can find countries, places – in fact, California, where they’ve had 100-year, 500-year droughts and massive fires and so forth as a consequence of the changes.  Ask any scientist who studies the movement of species, and they’ll tell you how species are moving steadily north, fish moving.  Everything is changing.   It’s happening before our eyes, and that’s the first reason there is no excuse for ignoring this problem.

The second reason is that, unlike some of challenges that we face – I can readily attest to this – this one has a ready-made solution.  The solution is not a mystery.  It’s staring us in the face.  It’s called energy policy.  Energy policy.  That’s the solution to climate change.  And with the right choices, at the right speed, you can actually prevent the worst effects of climate change from crippling us forever.  If we make the switch to a global, clean-energy economy a priority, if we think more creatively about how we power our cars, heat our homes, operate our businesses, then we still have time to prevent the worst consequences of climate change.  It really is as simple as that.  But getting there is proving not to be as simple.

So what, more specifically, do we need to do?  I’m not going to come here and just describe the problem.  What do we need to do?

To begin with, we need leaders with the political courage to make the tough, but necessary, policy choices that will help us all find the right path.  And I am pleased to say and proud to serve with a President who has accepted that challenge, who has taken this head on.  Today, thanks to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the United States is well on its way to meeting our international commitments to seriously cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.  And that’s because we’re going straight to the largest sources of pollution.  We’re targeting emissions from transportation and power sources, which account for about 60 percent of the dangerous greenhouse gases that we release.  And we’re also tackling smaller opportunities in every sector of the economy in order to be able to address every greenhouse gas.

The President has put in place standards to double the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks on American roads.  We’ve also proposed regulations that will curb carbon pollution from new and existing power plants.

But it’s not enough just to address the pollution generated by dirty sources of energy; we also have to invest in cleaner alternatives.  Since President Obama took office, the United States has upped its wind energy production more than threefold and increased our solar energy generation more than tenfold.  We’ve also become smarter about the way we use energy in our homes and businesses.

And this is by far the most ambitious set of climate actions that the United States of America has ever undertaken.  And it’s a large part of why today we’re emitting less than we have in two decades.  It’s also the reason that we were able to recently announce the goal of reducing emissions by 26 to 28 percent, from 2005 levels, and accomplish that by year 2025.  And that will put us squarely on the road to a more sustainable and prosperous economy.  Now, this upper end target would also enable us to be able to cut our emissions by 83 percent by mid-century, which is what scientists say we need to do in order to prevent warming from exceeding the threshold level of 2 degrees centigrade, Celsius.

But I can’t emphasize this enough, no single country, not even the United States, can solve this problem or foot this bill alone.  And that isn’t just rhetoric.  It’s physically impossible.  Think of it this way:  Even if every single American bikes to work or carpooled to school, or used only solar panels to power their homes; if we each planted a dozen trees, every American; if we somehow eliminated all of our domestic greenhouse gas emissions – guess what?  That still wouldn’t be enough to offset the carbon pollution coming from the rest of the world.  The same would be true if China went to zero emissions but others continued with business as usual.  It’s not enough for one country or even a few countries to reduce emissions if their neighbors are unwilling to do their share.  So when I say we need a global solution, I mean it.  Anything less won’t work.

Now of course, industrialized countries, obviously, play a major role in bringing about a clean-energy future.  And the days of the Industrial Revolution all the way through the last century – obviously the industrial countries benefitted by developing and growing, but they also created the basic template for this problem.  But even if all the industrial countries stopped today, it doesn’t solve the problem.  And it certainly is a signal that other countries shouldn’t go off and repeat the mistakes of the past.  We have to remember that, today, almost two-thirds of global emissions come from developing nations.  So it is imperative that developing nations be part of the solution also.

Now I want to make this very, very clear.  In economic terms, this is not a choice between bad and worse.  Some people like to demagogue this issue.  They want to tell you, “Oh, we can’t afford to do this.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We can’t afford not to do it.  And in fact, the economics will show you that it is better in the long run to do it and cheaper in the long run.  So this is not a choice between bad and worse, not at all.  Ultimately, this is a choice between growing or shrinking an economy.  Pursuing cleaner, more efficient energy is actually the only way that nations around the world can build the kind of economies that are going to thrive for decades to come.

And here’s why.  Coal and oil are only cheap ways to power a nation in the very near term.  But if you look a little further down you road, you begin to see an entirely different story.  When you think about the real numbers over time, the costs of those outdated energy sources actually pile up very quickly.

Start with the economic impacts related to agriculture and food security and how scientists estimate that the changing climate is going to cause yields of crops like rice and maize and wheat to fall by 2 percent every decade.  Consider what that means for millions of farmers around the world and the inflationary impact that will have on food prices.  Now factor in how that would also exacerbate global challenges like hunger and malnutrition that we already face.  Add to that the other long-term health-related problems caused by dirty air – asthma is an example, which predominantly affects children and already costs Americans an estimated $50 billion annually.  The greatest single cause of young American children being hospitalized in the course of a summer in the United States is environmentally-induced asthma, and that costs billions.

The reality is that carbon-based air pollution contributes to the deaths of at least 4.5 million people every year.  No part of that is inexpensive.  And any nation that argues that it simply can’t afford to invest in the alternative and renewable energy needs to take a second look at what they’re paying for, consider the sizable costs that are associated with rebuilding in the wake of devastating weather events.  In 2012 alone, extreme weather cost the United States nearly $120 billion in damages.  When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines a little over a year ago, the cost of responding exceeded $10 billion.  And that’s just the bill for the storm damage.  Think of the added health care costs, the expenses that result from agricultural and environmental degradation.  It is time, my friends, for people to do real cost accounting.

The bottom line is that we can’t only factor in the price of immediate energy needs.  We have to include the long-term cost of carbon pollution.  We have to factor in the cost of survival.  And if we do, we will find that pursuing clean energy now is far more affordable than paying for the consequences of climate change later.

But there’s another piece of reality to take into account.  And as you can see, these arguments begin to compound and grow, become irrefutable, frankly.  Clean energy is not only the solution to climate change – guess what?  It’s also one of the greatest economic opportunities of all time.  Want to put people to work?  This is the way you put people to work.  The global energy market of the future is poised to be the largest market the world has ever known.  We’re talking about a $6 trillion market today, with four to five billion users today.  That will grow to nine billion users over the next few decades.  By comparison, the great driver of wealth creation in this country in the 1990s, when super-billionaires and millionaires were created and every income level of America went up, that was a technology market.  And it was a $1 trillion market with only a billion users – just to get a sense of the possibilities here.

Between now and 2035, investment in the energy sector is expected to reach nearly $17 trillion.  That’s more than the entire GDP of China and you just have to imagine the opportunities for clean energy.  Imagine the businesses that could be launched, the jobs that will be created in every corner of the globe.  And by the way, the United States of America, in the year 2015, doesn’t even have a national grid.  We have a great big gaping hole in the middle of our country.  You can’t sell energy from the wind farm in Massachusetts or in Minnesota to another part of the country, because we can’t transmit it.  Think of the jobs in creating that grid.  Actually, you don’t have to imagine it.  All you have to do is look at the results that we are already seeing in places like my home state of Massachusetts.

In 2007, we set a couple of goals.  We pledged to build 2,000 megawatts of wind power capacity by 2020, and more than 250 megawatts of solar power by 2017.  It was pretty ambitious.  It was unprecedented.  But we knew that the potential benefits to the state were enormous.

Fast forward to today, and Massachusetts has increased renewable energy by 400 percent in the last four years alone.  We used a bulk purchasing program for residential solar to help keep prices low for residents and businesses across the state.  And because of that, today there are residential solar installations in 350 of Massachusetts’s 351 cities and towns.  Today, the commonwealth’s clean energy economy is a $10 billion industry that has grown by 10.5 percent over the past year and 47 percent since 2010.  It employs nearly 100,000 people at 6,000 firms, and it’s the perfect example of how quickly this transformation could happen and how far its benefits reach.

If we put our minds to it, folks, if we make the right decisions and forge the right partnerships, we can bring these kinds of benefits to communities across the United States and around the globe.  To get there, all nations have to be smarter about how we use energy, invest in energy, and encourage businesses to make smart energy choices as well.

Now, we’ll have to invest in new technology, and that will help us bring renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydro not only to the communities where those resources are abundant, but to every community in every country on every continent.  We’ll have to stop government money from going towards nonrenewable energy sources, like coal and oil.  It makes no sense to be subsidizing that.  Which is why the United States has been helping to drive efforts in the G-20 and APEC to phase out wasteful fossil fuel subsidies.

And we’ve actually taken steps to prevent now global financial institutions from funding dirty power plants and putting public money into those things that we know are going to go in the wrong direction.  We’ll have to strengthen legal and regulatory frameworks in countries overseas to help spur investment in places where it’s insufficient.  It’s much easier for businesses to deploy capital when they have confidence in the local legal and regulatory policy.  And to attract money, we need to control risk.  The more you can minimize the risk, the greater confidence people, investors will have to bring their capital to the table.

We also have to continue to push for the world’s highest standards in the environmental chapters of the trade agreements that we’re pursuing, just like we are doing in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.  And just like labor standards in other agreements, these environmental agreements have to be really fully enforceable.

Finally, we have to find more ways for the private and the public sector to work together to make the most of the innovative technology that entrepreneurs are developing here in the United States and around the world.  And this is the idea that is behind the White House announcement that they made last month, the Clean Energy Investment Initiative.  Its starting goal is to attract $2 billion in private sector investment to be put toward clean energy climate change solutions.

Now, the good news is much of the technology that we need is already out there.  And it’s becoming faster and faster, easier to access and cheaper to access.  A report that the Department of Energy released this morning actually projects that in the United States, wind power is going to be directly competitive with conventional energy technologies within the next 10 years.  None of this, therefore, none of what I have said, is beyond our capacity.  It’s not a pipe dream; it’s a reality.  It’s right there.  And it’s up to us to grab it.  The question is whether or not it is beyond our collective resolve.

Now, we have seen some encouraging progress, frankly, over the past few months.  During President Obama’s trip to New Delhi early this year, and Fred referred to it in his introduction, India – well, both China and India – the President – affirmed its far-reaching solar energy target, and our two nations agreed on a number of climate and clean energy initiatives.  We also committed to working closely together to achieve a successful global agreement in Paris.  So India is joined in that challenge.

And that came on the heels of the historic announcement in China that the United States and China, the world’s two largest emitters of carbon pollution – two countries, by the way, long regarded as the leaders of opposing camps in the climate negotiations – have now found common ground on this issue.  And I joined President Obama as he stood next to President Xi, and Todd was there when we unveiled our respective ambitious post-2020 mitigation commitments.  That is an enormous achievement.

And it had an impact.  It was felt in Lima at the COP meeting in Lima recently, and had an impact on the ability to move towards Paris with greater momentum.  Around the same time, the EU announced its target as well, which means we now have strong commitments from the three largest emitters in the world.

Now we need more and more nations to follow suit and announce their ambitious mitigation targets as well.  And because this has to be a truly all-hands-on-deck effort, I invite all of our partners – businesses and industry groups, mayors, governors throughout the country and around the world to announce their own targets, their commitments leading up to Paris, so we can set an example and create a grassroots movement towards success.  This will help us come forward with plans that will help every country be able to reach their goals.

Now I am keenly aware that we can do a better job of engaging the private sector and our partners at the sub-national level of government in this effort.  And I can tell you today that I plan to make certain in the next months that that happens.  I know many of you have already made impressive announcements, those of you engaged in business or on the boards of an enterprise or eleemosynary or educational institutions.  And you’ve helped to lay out how we can combat climate change, and I thank you for doing that.  But now it’s time to build on those pledges.  Let us know how you are doing.  I say let us know through the State Department, through state.gov, and how we can help you make progress.  And this is the kind of shared resolve that will help ensure that we are successful in Paris and beyond.

In closing, I ask you to consider one basic question.  Suppose stretching your imaginations, as it will have to be, that somehow those 97 percent of studies that I just talked about – suppose that somehow they were wrong about climate change in the end.  Hard to understand after 20 years of 97 percent, but imagine it.  I just want you to imagine it.  What are the consequences we would face for taking the actions that we’re talking about, and based on the notion that those might be correct?  I’ll tell you what the consequences are.  You’ll create an extraordinary number of jobs, you’ll kick our economies into gear all around the world, because we’ll be taking advantage of one of the biggest business opportunities the world has ever known.

We’ll have healthier people.  Those billions of dollars of costs in the summer and at hospitals and for emphysema, lung disease, particulate cancer, will be reduced because we’ll be eliminating a lot of the toxic pollution coming from smoke stacks and tall pipes.  Air will be cleaner.  You can actually see your city.  We’ll have a more secure world because it’ll be far easier for countries to attain the long-lasting energy independence and security they thrive – they need to thrive and not be blackmailed by another nation, cut off, their economy turned into turmoil because they can’t have the independence they need and the guarantees of energy supply.

We will live up in the course of all of that to our moral responsibility to leave the planet Earth in better condition than we were handed it, to live up to even scripture which calls on us to protect planet Earth.  These – all of these things are the so-called consequences of global action to address climate change.  What’s the other side of that question?  What will happen if we do nothing and the climate skeptics are wrong and the delayers are wrong and the people who calculate cost without taking everything into account are wrong?  The answer to that is pretty straightforward: utter catastrophe, life as we know it on Earth.

So I through my life have believed that you can take certain kinds of risks in the course of public affairs and life.  My heroes are people who dared to take on great challenges without knowing for certain what the outcome would be.  Lincoln took risks, Gandhi took risks, Churchill took risks, Dr. King took risks, Mandela took risks, but that doesn’t mean that every risk-taker is a role model.  It’s one thing to risk a career or a life on behalf of a principle or to save or liberate a population.  It’s quite another to wager the well-being of generations and life itself simply to continue satisfying the appetites of the present or to insist on a course of inaction long after all the available evidence has pointed to the folly of that path.  Gambling with the future of Earth itself when we know full well what the outcome would be is beyond reckless.  It is just plain immoral.  And it is a risk that no one should take.  We need to face reality.  There is no planet B.

So I’m not suggesting it’s going to be easy in these next months or even these next few years.  If it were, we would have solved this decades ago when the science first revealed the facts of what we were facing.  But it is crunch time now.  We’ve used up our hall passes, our excuses.  We’ve used up too much valuable time.  We know what we have to do.  And I am confident that we can find a way to summon the resolve that we need to tackle this shared threat.  And we can reach an agreement in Paris, we can carve out a path toward a clean energy future, we can meet this challenge.  That is our charge for ourselves and for our children and grandchildren, and it is a charge we must keep.  Thank you all.  (Applause.)

MR. KEMPE:  I wanted to thank Secretary Kerry for his significant, passionate, focused remarks, important remarks that I think will really set up the road to Paris, but really way beyond that.  We understand that you have to rush out to a very important meeting at the White House.  I do want to ask just one question to close this off, and if you can broaden this to the energy world at large.  We’re seeing falling prices, we’ve got the U.S. energy boom.  How are you looking at the impact of both of those things in context of this?  What is the geopolitics of these falling prices and the rise of America as really the leading, if not a leading energy producer in the world?

SECRETARY KERRY:  Well, the impact is very significant, obviously.  It’s certainly affected Russia’s income and the current situation in Russia.  It’s affected the situation in Iran.  It’s affected the budgets of those producing states.  It has potential on some sides to strategically be helpful and the potential on other sides to be strategically damaging.  For instance, if Petrocaribe were to fall because of events in Venezuela or because of price and so forth, we could wind up with a serious humanitarian challenge on our – in our near neighborhood.

And so there are a lot of pluses and minuses of it, but you have to remember the primary reason for America’s good fortune in this turnaround right now is LNG.  It’s the production of gas and fracking and what’s happened in terms of our independence, at least – and we’re also producing more oil, by the way, at the same time.  And we’ve become one of the world’s largest, if not the largest energy producer.  That’s positive as long as we’re on a road to deal with the problem I just laid out here today.

But remember, while LNG is 50 percent less carbon-intensive than oil, it’s nevertheless carbon, and it has its impact.  So it’s a movement in the right direction, but in the end, we’re going to have to do all the things I just talked about, which is move to sustainable, renewable, alternative other kinds of energy that don’t have that problem.  And the way the world is going right now because of the dependency – another negative impact of that is that it has greatly reduced the price of coal, and therefore in certain countries, people are just going on a price basis and racing to coal.  And that means we have a number of coal-fired power plants coming online in various countries at a rate that is simply destructive.  And they’re not coming on with the latest technology in all cases.

There is no such thing in the end as absolutely clean coal.  And so we have a challenge with respect to what we’re going to do.  There are technologies that significantly clean coal, and when put in place, that’s very helpful.  And if you can do carbon sequestration and storage, which isn’t happening enough – there’s a way to use it – but it’s, in the marketplace, I think, going to be far more expensive in the end than these other technologies which are coming online to produce other things at a far better cost.  As I mentioned to you, wind is about to be in the next 10 years competitive with other energy.  So that’s going to be an enormous transformation.

But what really has to happen here is the setting of a goal through the Paris agreement so that people suddenly see that countries everywhere are moving in this direction, and then the marketplace begins to move.  That’s when innovators and entrepreneurs and investors start to say this is the future and it takes hold, and that accelerates the process itself.  And when that begins to happen, that’s when this $6 trillion market and the ultimately 9 billion users component of this really kicks in and takes over.

So it’s a mixed bag for the moment, but I think we certainly see the roadmap to move in the right direction.  Thank you.

MR. KEMPE:  So in closing, let me just say three or four years ago, the Atlantic Council gave you its Global Citizen Award in conjunction with the UN General Assembly, not knowing how much you would now be further earning it with your miles on the ground.  We want to thank you not just for your work on climate change, which is absolutely historic and groundbreaking, but really your visionary, principled, and tireless leadership at a time we know is historically challenging.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

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