Secretary Kerry Earns 4 Pinocchios From Fact Checker

Several days ago, David Middleton’s takedown of Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech to the Atlantic Council was posted on this site. There are so many things out of kilter in Kerry’s speech that this posting will highlight some additional issues.

Earning 4 Pinocchios From The Washington Post Fact Checker

First issue to discuss is Kerry’s “Brian Williams moment”. Williams, you pinocchiocartoonmay recall, was dismissed from his job as anchor on the NBC Evening New because he repeatedly said that he had been under enemy gunfire while in Iraq. This was disproven.

Now we have this from Kerry’s speech:

“ Science is and has long been crystal clear when it comes to climate change. Al Gore, Tim Worth, and a group of us organized the first hearings in the Senate on this, 1988. We heard Jim Hansen stand in – sit in front of us and tell us it’s happening now, 1988. So we’re not talking about news reports or blog posts or even speeches that some cabinet secretary might give at a think tank. We’re talking about a fact-based, evidence-supported, peer-reviewed science. And yet, if you listen to some people in Washington or elsewhere, you’d think there’s a question about whether climate change really is a problem or whether we really need to respond to it.”

 This is what the Washington Post (WaPo) has to say about this:

” In his Atlantic speech, Kerry suggested he had organized that hearing with Wirth and Gore:  “Al Gore, Tim Wirth, and a group of us organized the first hearings in the Senate on this, 1988. We heard Jim Hansen sit in front of us and tell us it’s happening now, 1988.

This is not the first time Kerry placed himself at this hearing. Back in 2009, Kerry even mentioned opening the windows: “On a sweltering June day, some Senate staff opened up the windows and drove home the point for everyone sweating in their seats during Dr. James Hansen’s historic and tragically prescient testimony.

But his pattern of exaggeration about the congressional hearings is disturbing. On repeated occasions, he has said or suggested that he and Gore were responsible for the first congressional hearing on climate change–and that he was one of the Senators who participated in the pivotal 1988 Hansen hearing organized by Wirth.

Gore might have bragging rights about organizing one of the first hearings, but not Kerry. Kerry was not even a participant in the most important hearing of that time; he simply spoke at a hearing that took place the following year. And yet, like Brian Williams claiming to have come under fire in Iraq, Kerry has repeatedly placed himself at the center of the action—and the narrative. He earns Four Pinocchios.”

WaPo saves the Four Pinocchios for the most egregious ones. WaPo calls them  Whoppers.

Considering how far off Hansen was in his presentation that Kerry misremembered sitting there listening to the speech (when he wasn’t opening windows) can be seen by clicking on CAGW Predictions-Zombie and Others. That posting also highlights the predictions that only moments were left for the world to do something or it will be too late and we will die. Kerry makes one in this speech too, where he says:

“The science tells us we still have a window of time to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, but that window is closing quickly.” (My underline.)

He Made Massachusetts A Big Player In Solar And Wind?

Kerry implies that he has made Massachusetts a big player in renewable energy:

“In 2007, we set a couple of goals. We pledged to build 2,000 megawatts of wind power capacity by 2020, and more than 250 megawatts of solar power by 2017. It was pretty ambitious. It was unprecedented. But we knew that the potential benefits to the state were enormous. Fast forward to today, and Massachusetts has increased renewable energy by 400 percent in the last four years alone. We used a bulk purchasing program for residential solar to help keep prices low for residents and businesses across the state. And because of that, today there are residential solar installations in 350 of Massachusetts’s 351 cities and towns. Today, the commonwealth’s clean energy economy is a $10 billion industry that has grown by 10.5 percent over the past year and 47 percent since 2010. It employs nearly 100,000 people at 6,000 firms, and it’s the perfect example of how quickly this transformation could happen and how far its benefits reach.”

The way to look at electrical energy production is to measure it in watt-hours. Capacity (megawatts) has little meaning where wind and solar are concerned because the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind does not always blow, hence their capacity is seldom obtained over any significant period of time.

Fossil Fuels 25,586 77.8
Nuclear     4,331 13.2
Other (biomass, wood, etc)    1,944 5.9
Hydro        624 1.9
Wind        205 0.6
Solar        106 0.3
TOTAL 32,885 100

2013 Massachusetts Electrical Generation data (released March 2015.           EIA Data

Wind and solar are not as prominent as the Secretary made it sound in his address to the Atlantic Council. Those “benefits to the state were enormous” turn out to be less than one percent of the electricity generated in the State.  Is he exaggerating or doesn’t have clue?

What Comes Out Of A Fracking Well?

Here is a remark that the Secretary made in the question period following his prepared speech:

“And so there are a lot of pluses and minuses of it, but you have to remember the primary reason for America’s good fortune in this turnaround right now is LNG. It’s the production of gas and fracking and what’s happened in terms of our independence, at least – and we’re also producing more oil, by the way, at the same time.

I have highlighted the term “LNG” as perhaps indicative of the Secretary’s actual understanding of the issues. The “L” in LNG stands for liquefied. LNG is not a product of fracking in the sense he is using it. LNG is the product of liquefying methane. To accomplish this, the other components of natural gas are removed. The methane is cooled to about -162C (-260F) at atmospheric pressure to liquefy it. We know he wants the government to control the energy sector of the U.S.   Is he just pretending he understands the science?

CO2 Deal With China A Good Thing?

Kerry highlights how he was a principal in the CO2 deal with China and I quote:

“And that came on the heels of the historic announcement in China that the United States and China, the world’s two largest emitters of carbon pollution – two countries, by the way, long regarded as the leaders of opposing camps in the climate negotiations – have now found common ground on this issue. And I joined President Obama as he stood next to President Xi, and Todd was there when we unveiled our respective ambitious post-2020 mitigation commitments. That is an enormous achievement.”

This maybe the most one-sided deals ever. From the posting “Obama Agrees To Give China A 16-Year Advantage On Energy Costs”: “The President says we will reduce CO2 emissions by an economy-wide targets by 26%-28% below its 2005 level in 2025. This will require an equivalent reduction of the use of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal).   China will continue to increase its CO2 emissions to sometime around 2030 and to make best efforts to peak early and intends to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20% by 2030.”

So, the US will incur sharp increases in the cost of energy over this period of time.  China gets the green light to use the cheapest form of energy production until at least 2030. Why would Obama think that this is a good deal?   It does nothing but strengthen China.  China is most likely the major adversary the US will face in this century.  We should not intentionally weaken our country.”

And Kerry proudly stood there silently when he should have been yelling “No Way”!

Ugh—-he calls CO2, which is necessary for life on Earth— CARBON POLLUTION

And on a political note, what is he going to give away in the talks with Iran?


In the future, comments that use DeSmogblog or comparable organizations as authoritative sources or other allusions to sources of funding that the commenter opposes, will be deleted or edited.

One response to “Secretary Kerry Earns 4 Pinocchios From Fact Checker

  1. Pingback: John Kerry Again Proves His Ignorance | Climate Change Sanity

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