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Not the right venue for Kerry’s lecture on climate

John Kerry gestures during a news conference with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa in Jakarta Monday.

afp/getty images

John Kerry gestures during a news conference with Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa in Jakarta Monday.

SECRETARY OF STATE John Kerry delivered a lecture to Indonesia Sunday about the dangers of global warming. (“John Kerry warns Indonesia on climate threat,” Page A3, Feb. 17). According to World Bank figures, Indonesian per capita greenhouse gas emissions are 1.8 metric tons. American per capita greenhouse gas emissions are 17.6 metric tons. So is it really true, as Kerry said in his speech, that “unilateral action by the United States will not slow the rate of global warming significantly”?

It is beneath the office of Secretary of State for Kerry to go to impoverished Indonesia and warn its people about a crisis that we in the industrialized world created, that we refuse to do much of anything about, and that will harm them more than us because their nation consists of thousands of low-lying islands.

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Secretary Kerry might do better to return to Washington and give his speech minus the “unilateral’ remark where it really needs to be heard: In the halls of Congress.

Gary Rucinski

Newton

The writer is northeast regional coordinator for the Citizens Climate Lobby.

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