It was a fitting time to talk about the weather. With some 700 dead in the massive floods that have hit the northeastern state of Uttarakhand, new torrents of rain and landslides put rescue efforts on hold on Monday. At least 10,000 people are reported to still be stranded in some of the worst monsoon flooding in years in the region, an unfolding disaster that provided a dramatic backdrop for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's two-day visit to India this week in which he called on the nation to be a more active partner in helping the U.S. battling climate change.
After expressing his condolences to the flood victims, Kerry said in a speech in New Delhi on Sunday night that the U.S. had donated $150,000 to the flood relief effort — "not the highest sum in the world," he admitted, but "a beginning." He went on to warn India not to dismiss the deadly intensity of the floods as a one-off tragedy. "Perhaps Mother Nature in her own way is telling us to heed some warnings," Kerry said before a packed auditorium. "Today the science of climate change is screaming at us for action."