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“Trump in Iowa: ‘Stop Kerry’s Climate Activism Before It Destroys Our Country!’

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump blasted John Kerry’s climate activism in an Iowa town hall, calling it a threat to the United States. In an address to supporters in Des Moines, Trump argued that the former Secretary of State’s campaign to promote global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was a deliberate attempt to drag the United States down by making it harder for communities to produce energy and create jobs. “John Kerry is trying to take away your livelihoods and your way of life,” Trump said. “Under a Kerry-led agenda, our electricity bills will go up, our taxes will go up, and our economy will be destroyed. That’s why he has to be stopped.” The president’s comments echoed recent Republican demands that the Biden administration abandon what they call the “war on coal,” which they blame for job loss in coal country, a concern which they believe has been exacerbated by the Obama-era commitment to the Paris Climate Accord. In response, Kerry defended his position in a statement released to the media, saying “We have a responsibility to address climate change head on. To do nothing is to leave a future generations with an even bigger challenge and risk of catastrophic climate-change related damage.” He added, “Climate change is already having a stark impact on our planet, and the United States should be a leader in the global effort to reduce emissions, protect our coastline and build a clean energy economy, as we promised to do under the Paris Accord.” While Trump’s comments and Kerry’s response have clearly drawn battle lines, the issue remains highly complex. Climate change affects every aspect of the natural world, from temperature and ocean currents to precipitation and agriculture. Addressing these changes requires solutions that are yet to be formulated, as well as a global commitment to changing the way we live and work. As the Biden administration and members of Congress draft a framework for dealing with climate change, it may be difficult to balance all of the competing interests at play. It is certain, however, that any agreement must address the fact that climate change presents an existential threat to our planet and to humanity. As the world continues to grapple with the magnitude of the problem, it is important that the United States continues to play a leading role, as Kerry hopes, in doing what is necessary to safeguard the future.