I published a Monday evening column analyzing President-elect Joe Biden’s initial Cabinet selections and briefly — because that’s all it merited — noted John F. Kerry's appointment as “climate envoy” post.
Even in a new, irrelevant role, the failed presidential candidate can be dangerous. And indeed it’s strange that Kerry, 77, is being called upon to serve when he should be a laughingstock. Kerry’s approach to the climate “crisis” is to “work with our allies and partners, alongside rising young leaders in the climate movement.” Young leaders? Brains don't fully develop until age 25, sir. Allies? How did that work out when you were secretary of state? Meanwhile, the Abraham Accords, the chief foreign policy achievement of the Trump Administration, confirmed how misguided Kerry’s views are. He spent decades articulating the stale wisdom that any agreements with Israel and an Arab nation could not happen until a mythical ”two state solution” occurred. This reflects the unimaginative thinking he’ll undeniably bring to his new role. He will enjoy photo ops with media-pawn teenager Greta Thunberg and other dilettantes signing back onto the toothless Paris Accord. Such “climate diplomacy” will lead us to take a mollifying line on Chinese abuses (on climate, trade, mercantilism and more) to only get meaningless commitments on pollution. As Kevin Williamson wrote in National Review on Tuesday: “Kerry’s approach to climate is, essentially, a foreign-policy approach, to “work with our allies and partners, alongside rising young leaders in the climate movement,” i.e., he’ll attend a lot of conferences and get his picture taken with Greta Thunberg. But if the Biden administration wants to do something meaningful on climate on the world stage, it is going to have to do something in Washington, because any meaningful commitment would require a treaty with Senate confirmation and wide buy-in. The failure of the Paris Agreement should make that much plain. The consensus to get that done does not currently exist, and John Kerry is the wrong man — maybe the wrongest man — to try to forge such a consensus.” I’d wager any solution needed for natural weather patterns will be resolved by American ingenuity, technology, and the free market, not inept bureaucrats, junk science, and fake global schemes. So while Biden gains brief credibility with the radical environmental lobby — Wednesday afternoon he claimed “we are going to lead the world on climate and save the planet” — the Kerry appointment is unimaginative, ineffectual and hopefully not a harbinger of things to come.