I don't share your same skepticism. It is not the same mistake for several reasons.

First, I worked as a Senior Science Advisor in the State Department when Sec. Kerry came it. The first major agency-wide directive that he sent out was to include climate in any and all appropriate negotiations and policy that State produced. That directive was acted upon by a number of offices, and I even drafted first language of two different international policies that eventually were approved by international bodies--including the Science Cooperation in the Arctic agreement that was legally binding (signed into law by Sec. Tillerson after I left State). Hillary Clinton didn't bring climate forward--Kerry did, and indeed orchestrated the entire behind-the-scenes negotiation with the Chinese to have a bilateral climate agreement before Paris was even signed. So at State, I saw Sec. Kerry forging entirely new ground, and turning the course of an entire 10,000+ person federal agency.

Second, John Kerry now is even more climate-forward that John Kerry then. He has even more of a passion and immediacy. Basically, he has learned from the past five years of climate devastation that things have to change significantly, and now. I know that you spoke to him recently, and perhaps I am overstating his climate passion as I have only witnessed it from afar, unlike his actions at State.

His vast experience, global respect, and elevated passion on immediacy are exactly the right combination to get something done--and I am not just talking about the easy task of rejoining Paris, I am talking about the more daunting task of moving most of the Paris actions forward to this decade.

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This is not 2016. Compare Clinton's climate plan to Biden's 2020 plan. We've all evolved.

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Nice that you can get Weber on a call so quickly and easily. He hasn’t been visible within Sunrise (Slack, meetings for quite a while, same with Varshini).

John Kerry is the best person for this international role at this time. We will continue to see older people fill out Biden’s appointees and cabinet, he likes to work with people he knows and trusts - how this still surprises some I don’t know.

But, I don’t think he deserves some of the pushback from progressives. He helped organize the first Earth Day celebrations in his home state of Massachusetts, he’s cared for the environment for decades. He was also influential in stopping Keystone XL from within the Obama administration, and he was in Paris helping get an agreement through at the 11th hour of the conference. This seems to be overlooked in a lot of yesterday’s stories.

He has relationships with international delegates, leaders, who will probably welcome a friendlier face after 4 years of “America First” policies. Am I annoyed that it’s an old white guy at the end of hit career, yes, do I think there’s someone better in that demographic for this role? No.

It’s up to the climate movement to build people power now, not wait until 2022, rely on a “total victory” strategy, or electoralism - that didn’t go well in 2020. We need millions more in the climate movement to be able to pressure all companies, politicians, mayors, etc no matter their political leanings (focusing on just “the left” increases division).

Kerry is a positive sign, not the absolute best-scenario but still a good one.

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So what fresh alternatives is Sunrise proposing that Kerry isn’t open to? The EU is plowing ahead with a relatively ambitious green deal and higher carbon pricing. China, the biggest CO2 emitter, is joining the EU’s “high ambition” climate group. Meanwhile, a good third of Americans think climate change is a hoax, and have a lock on the Senate. Yes, the US needs to do much more! But a house divided can’t stand. Last time I checked, most powerful Republicans won’t acknowledge climate change, let alone offer clear solutions. How does Heated propose solving this?

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Apologies to D-Day veterans but I guess I'm thinking of the beaches of Normandy where soldiers, facing their commanders lying dead beside them, organized themselves and ran with strategies borne in the moment, building their own momentum from nothing and eventually overwhelming the superior Germans in their bunkers who were waiting for the next order. In other words, I'm not worried about who has done what and when: this is a fight for our future and everyone, from top to bottom plays a crucial, essential role in this effort to turn the rudderless oil tanker from its certain destination. John Kerry needs us and we need John Kerry; it's fine to swear about past hesitations and inaction, but we all need to be up to the task one bunker at a time and out of that we will create our own momentum from less than nothing that Trump has thrown up.

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