John Kerry, Wife Take on Environmental Issues

Lo and behold, he develops sores, open sores. They begin to have memory loss. They see thousands of fish floating by them dead with the same kinds of sores. What was happening is the massive amounts of wastes from the confined animal farm operations, the hog farming, was pouring out into this water body and killing everything in it and people were getting sick from it. These individuals had to go fight.

Stephanopoulos: You mentioned the chapter that Teresa wrote. How did this work? How did you write the book?

John Kerry: we read everything we both wrote and worked on everything, but she's done a lot of work with women's health issues, a lot of work on cancer, chemicals, toxins and so forth, and a lot of work on greening, greening of cities.

So that was really her bailiwick and I've done a lot of work through the years as one-time chairman of the fishery subcommittee and so forth and other things, on oceans and water bodies and Clean Air Act.

So we sort of took what we knew and what we've worked on and we developed it and worked on it. We hired a researcher. We worked very hard sort of pulling this together.

Stephanopoulos: And you edit each other?

John Kerry: We actually did and we still talk to each other.

Stephanopoulos: More power to you.

Teresa Kerry: It's very hard to do something like this, it really is.

Stephanopoulos: I believe it.

John Kerry: It was a great experience, actually. I didn't tell Teresa, but one night, while it was happening, but she woke up in the night and said, "Oh, my god," she woke up saying, "I don't want to do this book." She was sort of --

Stephanopoulos: It is all done now. You come to this naturally, though, from growing up in Africa.

Teresa Kerry: Well, I do. I think caring, specifically, I learned from my father, caring for his patients, observing why they got sick.

He used to take me on rounds in our little place in the bush. I began to understand early on why people got sick, why people got killed. ... And so my whole tendency in life is you prevent things, you prevent disaster, you prevent illness, you prevent disastrous environmental problems, as well.

Stephanopoulos: It's too late for that, for prevention, on the issue of climate change and global warming. And I know the book emphasizes what people can do, what average people can do, but a big issue like that is still it's a global problem.

John Kerry: Absolutely.

Stephanopoulos: It's going to take a global solution.

John Kerry: Yes, it is.

Teresa Kerry: It is.

John Kerry: It does take a global solution, but the key point to focus on is -- Jim Hansen, leading climatologist of the United States at NASA, says we have about a 10-year window to be able to prevent absolute catastrophe.

When I see thousands upon thousands of scientists coming together in consensus warning us, "You've got to do this, i.e., cap carbon, you've got to reduce emissions or else," I hear it. I listen.

And I think we need leadership now that makes the United States the world's leader in the efforts to develop the technology and respond to this.

Stephanopoulos: And you've now got Democrats in control of the Senate, Democrats in control of the House. Can you take the majorities you now have and actually pass something?

John Kerry: Well, we're going to put that to the test. I've talked to Senator Reed, Barbara Boxer is leading on the Environment and Public Works Committee, Jeff Bingaman on the Energy Committee.

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