Former Secretary of State John Kerry is determined to raise the global profile of climate change, so he has launched a bipartisan coalition of world leaders and Hollywood celebrities to get the job done.
“We’re going to talk to literally millions of Americans over the course of the next months and this is going to become a primary issue,” the former senator from Massachusetts said. “All of these people have come together saying, ‘We’ve got to treat this like a war.”
Kerry says the coalition, “World War Zero” will take a wartime-type mobilization to stop the rise in carbon emissions by 2050. But one of the 60 founding members, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, says communication is key with many naysayers unconcerned about what happens 30 years from now.
“When we said ‘climate change,’ there was like, of the conservatives, there were only 17% interested and thought that it was a serious threat. But as soon as we said ‘pollution,’ the numbers went over 50%,” said Schwarzenegger.
Elizabeth Turnbull Henry, president of the Environmental League Of Massachusetts, appreciates that the group is also pointing out the upside of taking action.
“Here in Massachusetts, for example, we have so much to gain by doubling down on responsibly-developed offshore wind, by pricing transportation pollution,” she said.
World War Zero members intend to hold hundreds of town halls in battleground states starting in January, as well as on military bases and in red states where climate discussions are rare.
“The fact is there is a huge number of jobs to be created here,” Kerry said.
A spokesperson for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign was critical of World War Zero, saying the U.S. should not be forced to cut emissions when countries like China and India won’t do the same.
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