Kolbe is a former Republican member of the United States House of Representatives for Arizona’s 5th congressional district, 1985-2003 and 8th congressional district, 2003-2007.
Kolbe told Asia Pacific journalists at the Jefferson Fellowships program that there are differences of opinion in the U.S on climate change and thinks those differences of opinion is legitimate.
The program, organised by the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, focuses on trade, security and strategic relationships in Asia Pacific and the future of the U.S role.
Kolbe said there’s no question that climate change is taking place but there’re legitimate questions to be asked.
“And that is, what should we do about it? Should we try and prevent it or should we put in most of our resources into mitigation?
“It’s a reality that it is happening and we better be prepared for sea level rise, the change in agriculture and how are we going to develop new crops.
“There’re legitimate questions to ask about where we will we go with climate change and how we should be spending our money,” Kolbe said.
He highlighted that over the next 50 to 60 years, trillions of dollars will be required to actually reduce temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius.
“Is that going to be enough to address the issue? Clearly we should stop the trend but in the meantime, the question that we have to ask ourselves is where the resources should go to deal with climate change.
“That is the view of a lot of people in the U.S and there’s a also a lot of people who are climate change deniers who just don’t want to deal with the subject.
“I’m not sure if that we’re going to see a huge change of embracing climate change in the U.S by current politicians.”
Kolbe explained that so far the public has not yet said to its political leaders that climate change is a first level issue, however it has been the issue of jobs, trade, education, violence and immigration.
Note: Loop PNG Reporter Quintina Naime is currently on the Jefferson Fellowship study tour for journalist.She was in Honolulu, Hawaii for the past week and has now travelled to Tokyo, Japan.