Tuesday, June 8, 2021


American climate czar, John Kerry, was recently in the UAE to evangelize on behalf of Mother Earth. But this preacher of global green is nothing more than a snake oil salesman who is unserious about his mission and about achieving the results he proclaims to want.

The scientific community globally is united in the knowledge that the only way to power the planet, while also decarbonizing it, is through nuclear power. If the goal is to achieve both of those goals, why wouldn’t John Kerry acknowledge the success and promote the advances the UAE has made in nuclear power production while he was visiting that nation? They have one of the world’s most successful nuclear power programs, which has been created peacefully and transparently with its allies, and should be a model for the world. Yet not a word was uttered about it.

During Mr. Kerry’s trip, he visited a solar park and released a press statement highlighting the UAE’s commitment to prioritizing climate change. He mentioned all of the ways they are tackling these issues — without talking about the most successful part — their nuclear power program. Why didn’t he promote it, praise it and set it up as a model for nations of the world to emulate? An incredible missed opportunity. But was it just an oversight? Or a strategic move?

It seems curious until you realize the true priorities of Mr. Kerry and the Biden administration which he represents. Perhaps he didn’t want to highlight the successful nuclear power program of the UAE because he simultaneously is trying to take America back into the JCPOA Obama-era Iran deal and doesn’t want to jeopardize those ongoing talks. While the opportunity was ripe to contrast the success, cooperation and transparency of the UAE with the opaque and belligerent pursuits of Iran and the ambiguity of its nuclear weapons program, he failed to do so. 

John Kerry turned his back on our allies, caved to our enemies and remained silent, precisely when his voice could have been a powerful endorsement of good. That silence shows precisely where his priorities are — and they can’t be about climate change and green energy by this strategic omission. His priority appears to be Iran. Iran over the UAE. Iran over true clean green energy. Iran over even our ally, Israel, including recent reports that intelligence about Israeli covert actions in Syria were illegally disclosed to Iran by John Kerry. Why is someone on the side of our enemies representing the U.S. globally?

While the previous administration led by incentivizing behaviors aligned with peaceful allies, the Biden administration seeks to appease and capitulate to our enemies, incorrectly believing that if we give them everything they want, they won’t harm us. Their folly is assuming our enemies can be appeased. It will never be enough though, and America will always be asked to surrender more — something which this administration appears postured to do. Weakness breeds hostility and aggression — which we saw clearly with the recent Hamas attacks on Israel. A strong and resolute America is the only buffer against a dangerous world. 

If we are allowing climate change to drive policy, then we need to be consistent in reinforcing good policy, supporting our allies and amplifying examples of what a robust model of abundant, clean and affordable base load nuclear power looks like. While America has fallen behind in many ways with our own nuclear energy pursuits (we haven’t built a nuclear power plant in 30 years), we can and should still use our platform of influence to lead a global conversation which is driven by science and sound policy, not by fear of angering Iran. Climate change, energy production and national security are all intertwined.

John Kerry is a charlatan who is fleecing the world with green gab, while endangering us all by prioritizing talking with our enemies over praising those in alignment with us. Returning to the JCPOA is like a dog returning to its vomit. It was a bad idea back in 2015, has been violated by its signers since before the ink was dry, and has not aged well.  John Kerry needs to move away from posturing and empty talking points and lean into successful examples, like that of the UAE. Yet he appears so desperate to keep our enemies at the negotiating table that he missed the opportunity to acknowledge and praise our allies in the very arena he claims to support. Shame on him.

• Peggy Grande (@peggy_grande) is the author of “The President Will See You Now: My Stories and Lessons from Ronald Reagan’s Final Years.” She was executive assistant to President Ronald Reagan and served as a political appointee in the Trump administration. 

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