Kerry in 2019: I have no choice but to fly my private jet to fight global warming; UPDATE: Video added

Kerry in 2019: I have no choice but to fly my private jet to fight global warming; UPDATE: Video added

Call this eruption of tone deafness from John Kerry a version of the “do you know who I am” defense. Joe Biden’s new climate czar traveled to Iceland in 2019 to get an award for his efforts to curtail carbon emissions. Kerry took a private jet to get to the event, which prompted one of the reporters to question Kerry about his mode of travel and the example it set.

Kerry responded by reading his CV aloud:

Icelandic reporter Jóhann Bjarni Kolbeinsson confronted Kerry at the event over his choice of transportation, asking: “I understand that you came here with a private jet. Is that an environmental way to travel?”

Kerry responded by claiming that it was the only way. “If you offset your carbon — it’s the only choice for somebody like me who is traveling the world to win this battle,” Kerry said.

“I negotiated the Paris Accords for the United States,” he added, referring to the multilateral climate agreement signed while he was secretary of state under President Obama.

“I’ve been involved with this fight for years. I negotiated with [Chinese] President Xi to bring President Xi to the table so we could get Paris. And, I believe, the time it takes me to get somewhere, I can’t sail across the ocean. I have to fly, meet with people and get things done,” Kerry said, sidestepping the fact that he chose a private jet over a commercial flight.

Exactly. No one’s asking Kerry to take a slow boat to China, but maybe check into first-class availability on American Airlines. It might have become de rigueur for climate activists to flit around the globe on private jets, but it tends to make their climate hysteria and demands for clampdowns on the hoi polloi‘s use of modern conveniences sound a wee bit hypocritical. Airlines have regular service to Iceland, China, Paris, and pretty much anywhere in the globe where they’re handing out awards for self-promotion.

Kolbeinsson wasn’t the only one at the event asking about Kerry’s conveyance. The person in charge of the group also criticized Kerry’s choice at the time:

John Kerry, former US Secretary of State and presidential candidate, was this Saturday awarded an Arctic Circle Prize. The chair of the Arctic Circle Round Table says Kerry received the prize for having been a consistent voice pressuring the American authorities to commit to tackle environmental matters; though he also criticised Kerry for coming to Iceland for the assembly on a private jet.

But … but … but … Kerry needs to travel to save the world! And to accept prizes and eat some free dinners, too! He talked with Xi, people!

Why has this episode floated to the surface today? For one thing, Fox News dug it out of the archives this morning. However, it’s only relevant because Joe Biden put this stentorian hypocrite in charge of Biden’s climate-change portfolio in the new administration. Kerry’s use of a private jet came up a week ago, when he told oil and gas workers that they would have to make “better choices” for earning their livings in the next four years and suggested they learn to assemble solar panels instead. Kerry’s claims of breakout growth in green tech got two Pinocchios from the Washington Post, which makes him not just a hypocrite but a fibber as well.

We’ll have to listen to four years of Kerry’s lecturing the rest of us on “better choices.” Maybe he should make a better choice to fly commercial, or better yet, learn to Zoom.

Update: Video added above. In a way, Kerry ends up sounding like Frank Langella in Dave, muttering angrily about his membership in the Trilateral Commission after being questioned. I can’t find the clip, but it’s a fun movie to watch.

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John Sexton 10:00 PM on June 02, 2023