Secretary of State John Kerry admitted “it pisses me off” that climate change wasn’t brought up in the presidential debates.
On a panel with Leonardo DiCaprio after a Thursday screening at UN headquarters in New York of the actor’s documentary “Before the Flood,” Kerry said that “maybe November 8th will produce a capacity for the entire Republican caucus” to see the global-warming film.
“It should be required for every single one of them,” he added, to applause from the audience.
Kerry emphasized that “we’re not sitting here chasing some pie-in-the-sky set of possible solutions somewhere down the road.”
“The solutions are here now. Every single one of them is staring us in the face. We know what we have to do. The solution to climate change is energy policy. And if we will make the right choices and everybody here exponentially grown around the planet starts to push the politicians, as the film said, then they won’t dare be against it as the populations begin to demand different sources of electricity, different sources of — of transportation, and so forth,” he said.
Kerry argued that climate-change activists “will be able to win the battle of sending a message to people about how we account for the true costs, about what our opportunities are for a new energy base for our nation, how we will be able to do transportation and meet all of our obligations.”
He recalled trying to get cap-and-trade passed during his time in the Senate and “big coal — which now, by the way, is bankrupt — spent enormous sums of money against other colleagues, scaring them and making it clear to them that they were going to have a very difficult re-election because of the funding mechanisms we have in America for our elections, and that’s why people backed off.”
“…We had the faith-based community supporting us. We had all of the environment community supporting us, all of the health community supporting us. We had the nuclear community supporting us because the people understood that we were going to have to indeed build some nuclear plants because it’s zero emissions, and this generation — the fourth generation — is safer. The environment community supported that. We even had oil and gas on our side in this effort, with Exxon, Chevron, BP, and others ready to accept a fee for the cost of carbon… and we were deprived of the opportunity to ever get a vote because not enough people felt compelled to move by this. They were compelled to move by fear.”
The secretary of State lamented that “not one single question was asked of any candidate on the subject of climate change” during the three presidential debates and vice presidential debate.
“Didn’t that piss you off while you were watching?” DiCaprio asked.
“Yeah. Totally. Totally. It pisses me off tonight, too,” Kerry replied.