Women, gays, and non-Muslims are breathing a sigh of relief. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has declared air conditioners and refrigerators a far more serious threat than Islamic terrorism.
"Yesterday, I met in Washington with 45 nations — defense ministers and foreign ministers — as we were working together on the challenge of [the Islamic State], and terrorism," he said. "It's hard for some people to grasp it, but what we — you — are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself."
Kerry was in Vienna negotiating a global climate deal to phase out chemicals used as refrigerants in basic household and commercial appliances such as air conditioning and refrigerators, called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. The chemicals are a potent source of greenhouse gas emissions that many scientists blame for contributing to global warming.
Kerry made the remarks as part of a talk for negotiators working through the weekend to amend a 1987 treaty called the Montreal Protocol to deal with the chemicals.