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Paris (AFP) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has warned that failing to act immediately and decisively on climate change will have “catastrophic” and wide-ranging consequences.

The top U.S. diplomat was reacting to a UN expert panel report that said Monday soaring carbon emissions will amplify the risk of conflict, hunger, floods and migration this century.

“Unless we act dramatically and quickly, science tells us our climate and our way of life are literally in jeopardy,” Kerry, in Paris on Sunday for crunch talks with Russia over Ukraine, said in a statement, adding: “Denial of the science is malpractice.”

“There are those who say we can’t afford to act. But waiting is truly unaffordable. The costs of inaction are catastrophic,” he added.

The United Nations report said that, left unchecked, greenhouse gas emissions may cost trillions of dollars in damage to property and ecosystems, and in bills for shoring up climate defences.

The United States and China are among the world’s biggest polluters but Kerry said that “no single country causes climate change, and no one country can stop it.”

Kerry cautioned that water scarcity and flooding were security risks, adding: “The clock is ticking. The more we delay, the greater the threat. Let’s make our political system wake up and let’s make the world respond.”

AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards

Photo by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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