Secretary of State John F. Kerry has identified America's primary enemy. It's not Russia, Iran, China or North Korea. Nope. It's something even greater and more sinister: climate change. That's right. One of the most powerful people in the world and fourth in line for succession to the presidency, Mr. Kerry is obsessed with junk science and global temperature changes. This would be comical if it were not so tragic.
Mr. Kerry delivered his first speech as America's top diplomat at the University of Virginia. Such speeches are closely watched (especially by our enemies). They lay out the foreign-policy agenda of the new administration. Mr. Kerry's focus was on green socialism and encouraging renewable-energy sources, such as wind and solar power. Otherwise, he argued, the United States -- and the world -- is doomed.
"We as a nation must have the foresight and courage to make the investments necessary to safeguard the most sacred trust we keep for our children and grandchildren: an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate," Mr. Kerry said.
His answer is radical environmentalist legislation -- high carbon taxes, imposing a cap-and-trade system upon manufacturers to coerce them into lowering carbon emissions and greater transnational cooperation in combating so-called climate change. In short, Mr. Kerry peddled a dark prophecy of an eco-apocalypse unless collective action is taken.
"So let's commit ourselves to doing the smart thing and the right thing and truly commit to tackling this challenge," he said. "Because if we don't rise to meet it, rising temperatures and rising sea levels will surely lead to rising costs down the road. If we waste this opportunity, it may be the only thing our generations are remembered for. We need to find the courage to leave a far different legacy."
He's wrong -- dangerously wrong. Global warming is the greatest hoax of our time. In fact, the scientific evidence points the other way: Rather than heating up, the planet's temperatures have either been steady or slightly cooling off over the past decade. The progressive left, however, continues to insist that climate change is real and irrefutable. The green movement has become a pseudo-religion, marked by blind faith, emotionalism and intolerance against dissenters.
In the end, global warming is not -- and never has been --about science or even the environment. It's about politics. Specifically, it boils down to one seminal goal: crushing capitalism through massive taxation and bureaucratic centralism in the name of environmentalism. When the Berlin Wall collapsed, the secular left needed a new cause. They found it in green socialism. Progressives no longer argued that free-market economies exploited the working class; rather, they now supposedly exploit and ravage the planet. Either way, the private sector is to be dominated by a liberal ruling elite. The new green is the old red.
Mr. Kerry's speech shows how disconnected from reality the administration is. Imagine what our mortal enemies must be thinking. The Kremlin's thugs, Beijing's communists and Tehran's mullahs -- they have all (rightly) concluded that America is destroying itself. Without firing a shot, they are watching Uncle Sam slowly commit suicide. Green socialism will crush the productive sectors of our economy, draining America of the growth, dynamism and prosperity necessary to remain a world power. Embracing a climate change agenda will turn us into Europe, which is the path to national decline.
In short, Mr. Kerry is a postmodern liberal. He is a left-wing globalist, who champions anti-capitalism and multicultural social democracy. He has not fundamentally changed since his early days in politics. His philosophy is rooted in the radical chic of the 1960s: the hatred of America.
It is deeply disturbing that the man at the head of U.S. diplomacy was a traitor to his country and fellow soldiers. In 1971, he slandered our troops by lying--under oath in front of a Senate committee--that he saw U.S. troops commit countless atrocities not seen since "Genghis Khan." He then later threw away another soldier's medals on Capitol Hill to protest the Vietnam War. His actions not only libeled our noble efforts in Southeast Asia, they gave aid and comfort to the communist Viet Cong. This alone should have disqualified him from being secretary of state.
During the Cold War, Mr. Kerry preached appeasement and detente. He opposed President Reagan's military buildup. Throughout the 1990s, Mr. Kerry refused to speak out against the rising tide of radical Islam. Following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, he insisted on treating the war on Islamic terrorism as a law enforcement matter.
He is incapable of standing up to America's true enemies or waging a serious war. Instead, he prefers to fight against fantasies. Mr. Kerry can tilt at windmills all he wants. Our adversaries -- real ones as opposed to imaginary ones -- will not go away. We ignore them at our peril.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a radio commentator in Boston.
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