Thursday, July 9, 2020
John Kerry Asks Sun Valley Residents to Join World War Zero
John Kerry told those attending a fundraiser for the Blaine County Democrats that it was the Democratic Party that saved the auto industry and brought the country back from the brink of global disaster following the crash of 2008.
Sunday, December 29, 2019


John Kerry was a U.S. Senator when 9-11 terrorists forever changed Americans’ sense of security. But, he says, he can’t think of a moment in history where more has been at stake.

“We’re relying on all of you to pull America back from the brink,” he told a full house of about 400 people at the Argyros Performing Arts Center on Thursday. “We are in an incredible race against time. And not just a race against climate change. We’re in a race to win back democracy.”

Kerry, who has long had a second home in Sun Valley with his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, spoke to a packed crowd of 200 at Ketchum’s Community Library organized by Hailey’s Climate Action Coalition  before heading across Ketchum to the Argyros where he spoke at a gathering that raised money for the Blaine County Democrats.

Carol and Hailey Gullstad and Levie Smith were among those attending a VIP Reception with John Kerry. “I deeply care about the state of Idaho and the state of our country,” said Carol Gullstad, who is working with Common Purpose and Flip Nation.

He also set aside a half-hour to hold a conversation with 30 high school and middle school students.

At all three gatherings he asked Wood River Valley residents to take up the fight against those who are denying the climate crisis and standing in the way of policy changes that could save the planet by joining World War Zero. The organization, started by Kerry and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“We declared a war because there are people who have purposely declared war on science and, ultimately, war on our people, who are dying in mudslides and other extreme weather events.”

The star-studded bipartisan coalition includes former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, former Republican Gov. John Kasich, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Gen. Stan McCrystal, and the former prime ministers of Sweden and other countries.

Levie Smith was among those who had her picture taken with John Kerry.

They will take their cause to town meetings on military bases, battleground states and economically depressed areas that could benefit from clean energy jobs beginning in January.

Kerry noted that the fight against climate change is not new.

He accompanied fellow Senator Al Gore and others to Rio de Janeiro in 1992 where they came up with ways to combat climate change but it was never acted on.

As Secretary of State he negotiated bilateral cooperation that included China at the Paris Accord. But it was mocked at the Madrid  climate conference, where negotiations were aimed at strengthening that agreement.

Gini Ballou, president of the Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus, helped herself to some of hors d’oeuvres at the reception.

“There were three countries responsible for blocking the major initiatives: Australia , Brazil and the United States of America—the country that led us to get the major agreement in Paris,” Kerry said. “I am not happy with what our country is doing, not doing right now. We can do better.”

Currently, 13 countries emit more than 80 percent of emissions.

“The next time we have a meeting we need a President that will lock the door and say, ‘We’re not leaving here until we solve the problem,’ ” he said.

“There’s no secret I support Joe Biden. I think he has real chance to solve the problem,” he added. “He has can put together relationships with leaders all over the world that can quickly send the message: America is back.”

Nick Miller, who served on the staff of the U.S. Senate as legislative assistant to Sen. Warren Magnuson, and in combat in Vietnam as executive officer of a Division of River Assault Craft, joined Ed Northen at the reception.

Kerry noted that during his 28 years in the U.S. Senate it was a given that if you could establish a baseline of truth you could build a consensus. In the dysfunctional nation we live in now, we seem to have lost the ability to understand what facts are, he lamented.

“I don’t know how you do something if you can’t agree on the facts: That 2 plus 2 equals four, not five. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts,” he said quoting the late US. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, an advisor to President Nixon.

Without good leadership America is floundering in creating new energy and technology models, he said, because only governance can create the structure to move some things along.

“I rode a train from Beijing that goes more than 200 miles per hour for nearly 1,500 miles. We have a train between Washington and New York City that goes 150 miles per hour--for only 18 miles.”

Iceland has 100 percent renewable power thanks to its geothermal resources. And the United States could drill to take advantage of geothermal resources, as well, Kerry said. Right now the country doesn’t even have a smart grid from coast to coast—there’s a giant hole in the middle of the United States.

“What we need is massive transformation.”

Kerry noted that he had been asked: How can you make judgment when you have a political science degree?

“Mainly because I read and don’t listen to just one channel,” he responded.

He remains optimistic even though, he said, the ice sheet in Greenland is melting four times faster today than 10 years ago and even though the president of Palau is no longer talking about adaptation but, rather, where his people are going to move.

 “There isn’t one problem in that isn’t man made. The solutions are not something we need to find because they’re out there. What we don’t have is the leadership taking us in the direction we need to go.

“And economic analyses show the transition to clean energy is the best thing that could happen to the economy,” he added.


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