If comedic writers were still in the business of mocking the powerful and influential, they could write a hilarious scene parodying the two-plus minutes that youth-media powerhouse NowThis gave John Kerry for a rambling green-energy pitch.
Looking for somewhere to stick the former Democrat U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, who has also been a presidential candidate and Secretary of State, the Biden administration created for Kerry the job of “special presidential envoy for climate.” On NowThis, like an old TV star reduced to pitching meds or retirement plans, he provides a stilted mini-lecture with unquestioned assumptions and questionable data.
The idea that NowThis would produce such a video in answer to audience demand is beyond implausible.
“Let me be factual, above all, but let me also be blunt and… and hopefully motivating,” Kerry says in the video. “We’re in trouble. I hope everybody understands that.” The world’s “not on a good track,” and it has to do with the fact that “coal went up 6% in the last six months… year… the use of coal.”
As with all of the statistics that Kerry spits out, he doesn’t elaborate. About a week before his video went live, news broke that the “global seaborne coal trade rose by 5.7%,” which rounds up to 6%. Maybe that’s what he means. Or perhaps the special presidential envoy for climate had in mind an October article in the New York Times reporting that “China is expanding mines to produce 220 million metric tons a year of extra coal, a nearly 6 percent rise from last year.” Reporter Keith Bradsher explains that China outdoes the entire rest of the world in mining and burning coal. The communists’ 6% increase alone is more than Western Europe’s annual total.
However, that isn’t how John Kerry or NowThis want the news to be taken. Whatever the evidence, their message must always be more spending on “renewable energy” and restrictions and taxes on traditional carbon-based fuels.
Therefore, Kerry can’t acknowledge that the key reason for coal’s explosion is the rocketing price of natural gas, which is much cleaner. According to the International Energy Agency, price increases have resulted from delays in new production projects as well as reluctance to invest in natural gas, in part out of fear that new regulations and ideological demands will continue to harm the market.
If the young viewers of NowThis videos were to follow their curiosity down that path, they would soon discover that Kerry’s boss and patron bears much of the blame. Within a week of taking office, President Joe Biden issued an executive order to “pause new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or in offshore waters.” He also killed the Keystone XL Pipeline, restricting the ability of Canadian oil to keep energy prices down.
Months later, a federal judge suspended Biden’s lease order as an abuse of power, but the administration has maintained its public hostility toward the industry while also encouraging its activist troops to get involved.
That is where John Kerry and NowThis come in. To keep the pipeline of young activists open, they must proclaim the existential threat of traditional energy (in the form of coal) while distracting from their role in suppressing a cleaner alternative (natural gas) that also happens to be a huge opportunity for the country they supposedly represent.