Left-wing activist turned CNN host Van Jones ran to John Kerry's defense on Wednesday's Crossfire, after co-host Newt Gingrich slammed Kerry as "delusional" for recently hyping climate change as "the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction." Jones retorted, "It's not delusional to focus on climate disruption. It's delusional not to."
Moments earlier, the former Obama green jobs czar himself made a doom-and-gloom prediction about the hypothetical effects of what he labeled "climate disruption:" [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
VAN JONES: Now, here's a good question: should serious people focus on global political instability – terrorism, failing states, nuclear weapons – or should we focus on global climate instability – droughts, floods, extreme weather?
Here's the correct answer: yes, both, because climate disruption will make every other national security problem worse – big floods, crazy weather – that can destabilize governments, especially weak governments. That makes it easier for extremists to grab power, or to grab nuclear weapons. No food – people riot; when the oceans rise, people flee. You can imagine a world – with some of these scenarios – with a billion climate refugees. That's a dangerous place.
Gingrich led the CNN debate program with his attack on the secretary of state:
NEWT GINGRICH: In the 'Crossfire' tonight, two guests help us clarify John Kerry's priorities. Today, a traditional secretary of state might have called a news conference to address at length the near-civil war in the Ukraine; or the challenges we face in Syria and Iraq; or Iran's nuclear program – even the problems in Venezuela. A real secretary of state would focus on the real world.
Instead, we have a secretary of state who says the biggest threat we face is global warming. I want you to hear it again.
JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: In a sense, climate change can now be considered another weapon of mass destruction – perhaps, even the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.
GINGRICH: That statement is delusional. It's perfectly fine if you're in the U.S. Senate, which has a hundred members, and anyone can be randomly weird. But delusional thinking is totally inexcusable for any secretary of state.
Jones then gave a short reply to his co-host, and then accused Gingrich of being a "flip-flopper" on climate change:
JONES: ...I think it's wrong to jump on him [Kerry] about this. First of all, I've worked on this issue, as you know, for ten years of my life. Climate change is a super-serious issue. The Pentagon says it's super serious; the CIA says it's super serious.
And I'm surprised at you, in particular. You are one of the most pro-science people in public life. Here, you've got somebody trying to elevate science to the global discourse. He's right to raise this stuff. I think you're wrong to jump on him.