Larry Wilkerson, former colonel and chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, appeared on “The Real News” program’s “Reality Asserts itself” with Senior Editor Paul Jay on May 12, 2014 to talk about the environment and security in East Asia. His remarks focus on the implications of climate change for US-China relations, and draws on the themes of the Asia Institute seminar in Washington D.C. “The United States Re-balancing in East Asia: Adopting a 100-year Time-Frame”on the Pacific Pivot at which he was a speaker.
“Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, United States Commander for the Pacifc Command–Probably the most influential man in terms of immediate US. China policy and US Asia–he said this recently:
‘China and the United States probably have more in common than they have different. It is not a large majority, but it is a majority.’
The problem that we have, the challenge that we have is to deal with is the fiction created by that minority. Those issues where we don’t agree. Well that is what a great states pact does. It says: “We are going to push those issues aside,work on them if we can in the corridors, and try to fix what we can.
But we have got to have a relationship that basically brings the two together, because you can’t do it alone. You can’t. No country can do it alone, meet the challenges of this century which are huge.
If [it is the case that policy makers look at China as just another predator] then let just keep being predators and watch the planet cast us off. Because the planet will cast us off, or at least a sizable majority of us. There is no question in my mind about that. The planet will go one, as it went on after the dinosaurs. But human life might not. And that is the nature of the challenge we confront in this century. In this century: In my grandchildren’s lifespan, major impacts will begin to occur, indeed may already be occurring.
Nations like Tokelau understand that they are going to be underwater, and that they have to relocate their whole populations. These things are going to occur with a frequency and a drama that is going to convince everyone. But is it going to be too late?