Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Click HERE to sign up to receive Eye On Sun Valley's Daily News Email
John Kerry to Kids-Democracy Has No Autopilot
Sunday, December 29, 2019


Former Secretary of State John Kerry challenged Wood River Valley youth on Thursday to roll up their sleeves to save the planet from climate change.

Kerry, who owns a second home in Sun Valley, talked for a half-hour with 30 high school and middle school students at Ketchum’s Community Library in a conversation moderated by Lindsay Mollineaux, the new executive director for the Environmental Resource Center.

Kerry described how he had watched the Larsen Ice Shelf break off in Antarctica. Now, we’re seeing instability that would mean meters of sear rise.

He noted that entire villages are having to be moved in the Arctic and that methane is being unleashed—more damaging than CO2.

“So, more heat, more moisture in the air, more extreme storms, more flooding. This is not fiction,” he said. “A lot is at stake here, my friends. Miami is having to pump water out. And you saw the flooding that happened in Venice just this past week. And because of our lack of governance, we’re losing 200 species a day.”

 What if he’s wrong? Kerry asked. The worst thing that could come up an effort to battle climate change is cleaner air and better health.

“But we have these that prevail against us. They’re more interested in disinformation, than solving things,” he said.

Kerry noted he was not much older than many of those in the room when he began working for the first Earth Day in 1970 upon returning from the Vietnam War. Twenty million Americans turned out of their homes advocating for the environment. And they voted seven of the 12 congressmen labeled the Dirty Dozen for their votes against the environment out of office.

Those who remained in office recognized that the American public did care about the environment and that led to President Richard Nixon signing laws protect clean water, air and more.

Even then, Kerry lamented, those against noted that, “You don’t have to win. You just have to create doubt.” That strategy carried over into the tobacco wars and, now, climate change, he added.

Kerry told the youngsters that they have power in the choices they make. He, for instance, is transitioning to an electric car. And, he said, Congress needs to assist those who can’t afford an electric car so everyone can buy one. And every community needs to build out charging stations.

He added that he just built a new home in Massachusetts with an array of solar panels.

“I’ve got a solar app on my phone that tells me how much energy I’m making. I’m being paid for the power my solar produces.”

 Kerry stressed that the future lies in hands of youth, adding that 18-year-olds serve on the board of World War Zero. Those who enlist in the war will be provided period text updates on their cell phones.

“I work with students and students are inspiring to me because they’re ready to do the work. Look at what young people have done around the world on climate change—it’s had an impact.”

That said, Kerry noted that just 19 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 25 voted in 2016. In 2018 that number rose to 31 percent.

“But that still means that 69 percent of those who could have voted decided not to vote. The total turnout was 55.6 percent. over 50 percent. C’mon,” he said. “We have to get 60 percent, 70 percent, 80 percent voters to turn out--like happens in so many other countries.”

“What you have to do is exercise your rights—it’s insanity that the president of the United States says that climate change is a hoax,” he added. “But there is a way to change it, and it’s straightforward, hard work. The Civil Rights Movement, Peace Movement were driven by people like yourself.”

You’ve got to hold people accountable…and vote people out who are not willing to admit facts, science.”

Kerry told the kids to start at the local level, demanding sustainable practices from city council. Then, knock on doors and hold rallies to effect change on the state and national level.

Kerry said the largest demonstration for the planet is planned for April 22, followed by another one in September where will mobilize on five continents.

“It’s meant to empower people,” he said.

Kerry told the kids that the greatest cause of children hospitalized in the summer is from pollution-induced asthma, specifically pointing to diesel trucks being diverted through their neighborhoods.

“A different conversation needs to take place in America,” he added. “We can’t win if people sit on the sidelines. There’s no automatic pilot on democracy. But if we do what we need to do, we will win the future. We just need to build political momentum and will to do it.”

~  Today's Topics ~

Kurt Nelson Fought Fires, Floods and More to Protect Resources

Liberty Theatre Company Sells ‘Pay What You Feel’ Season Passes

Wood River Farmers Market Launches Saturday with ArborFest Booth







Advertising /Marketing /Public Relations
Inquiries Contact:
Leisa Hollister
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
(208) 450-9993
Got a story? Contact:
Karen Bossick
Editor in Chief
(208) 578-2111
Website problems? Contact:
Michael Hobbs
ABOUT US is the largest online daily news media service in The Wood River Valley, publishing 7 days a week. Our website publication features current news articles, feature stories, local sports articles and video content articles. The Eye On Sun Valley Show is a weekly primetime television show focusing on highlighted news stories of the week airing Monday-Sunday, COX Channel 13. See our interactive Kiosks around town throughout the Wood River Valley!      Press Releases only
P: 208.720.8212
P.O. Box 1453 Ketchum, ID  83340

© Copyright 2023 Eye on Sun Valley