John Kerry, the newly named White House climate envoy, is defending his use of a pollution-spewing private jet to travel to Iceland two years ago for an environmental award.
Kerry's controversial choice of travel came to light thanks to a reporter from Iceland who has released footage of a testy Kerry defending his private flight by his “offset” of carbon emissions.
Fox News, which obtained the interview this week, said it was the first time the exchange has been reported by the American media.
“I understand that you came here with a private jet,” the reporter, Jóhann Bjarni Kolbeinsson, pressed Kerry at the awards ceremony. “Is that an environmental way to travel?"
"If you offset your carbon,” Kerry replied, “it's the only choice for somebody like me who is traveling the world to win this battle.”
Kerry went on to point out he negotiated the Paris climate agreement during the Obama administration, when he was Secretary of State, and bragged that he got China’s president “to the table” to sign the agreement.
“But, what I'm doing, almost full time," Kerry continued, "is working to win the battle on climate change, and in the end, if I offset and contribute my life to do this, I'm not going to be put on the defensive."
It was not clear how Kerry is “offsetting” carbon emissions from flying privately, Fox News pointed out, especially when travel logs show Kerry’s private jet spewed 116 metric tons of carbon emissions in a year’s time. A typical automobile emits 4.6 metric tons annually.
“This is typical John Kerry," responds Climate Depot's Marc Morano, a skeptic of catastrophic man-made climate change. "This is someone who views himself as absolutely essential and so important that he is exempt from all the regulations that he wants to put on the general public."
Regarding claims by Kerry and others about “offsetting” carbon emissions, Morano likens it to a shoplifter, after being caught, telling the police that he volunteers at a homeless shelter.
In 2018, Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) was criticized for spending $300,000 on private air travel while addressing climate change during his re-election campaign.
The Sanders campaign said it purchased nearly $5,000 in carbon offsets to balance out the air travel.
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