The weirdest thing about John  Kerry‘s weekend speech on

climate-change—other than the fact that this is the same guy who in 1997 voted

to forbid the U.S. from signing the Kyoto Protocol—is that it begins by quoting

something Maurice Strong said at the U.N.’s 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro:

“Every bit of evidence I’ve seen persuades me that we are on a course leading to


Maurice who?

Mr. Strong, a former oil executive from Canada (he was Pierre Trudeau’s

pick to run state-owned Petro-Canada in the mid-1970s), was for many years the

U.N.’s ultimate mandarin. He organized many of its environmental mega-confabs,

including the 1972 Stockholm Conference and the 1992 Rio summit, before rising

to become Kofi Annan’s right-hand man. At various times Mr. Strong has served as

director at the World Economic Forum, chairman of the Earth Council and the

World Resources Institute, vice chairman of the Chicago Climate Exchange and

chairman of the China Carbon Corporation, to name just a few of his many

prominent affiliations.

In 2005 it emerged that Mr. Strong, who was the chairman of the U.N.

panel that created the Office of the Iraq Program, had accepted a check for

close to $1 million from a South Korean businessman named Tongsun Park, who in

the 1970s had been involved in an effort to bribe U.S. politicians. Mr. Strong

claimed that the check, from a Jordanian bank, was meant as an investment in a

family company that later went bankrupt. Mr. Park (who also sublet office space

from Mr. Strong) later went to prison for trying to bribe U.N. officials

overseeing the Oil-for-Food program that was propping up Saddam Hussein’s regime

in Iraq. Mr. Strong was accused of no wrongdoing and has denied involvement in

Oil-for-Food. He left the U.N. that year and moved to



Strong in Beijing in January 2003. Reuters

Draw your own conclusions. Ask yourself: Is this a guy who deserves a

shout-out from the U.S. Secretary of


When John Kerry speaks, people wonder:

Is he seriously clever or totally oblivious? Profound or void? Detective Columbo

or Chance the gardener?

The secretary devoted much of his speech to venting spleen at those in

the “Flat Earth Society” who dispute the 97% of climate scientists who believe

in man-made global warming. “We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy

scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific fact,”

he said. Once upon a time people understood that skepticism was essential to

good science. Now Mr. Kerry is trying to invoke a specious democracy among

scientists to shut down democratic debate for everyone


This is of a piece with the amusing notion that the only thing standing

in the way of climate salvation is a shadowy, greedy and powerful conspiracy

involving the Koch Brothers, MIT’s Dick Lindzen, Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe and

this newspaper’s editorial page. Oh, the


And yet there goes Mr. Kerry extolling Mr. Strong, who really does stand

at the obscure intersection of public policy, private profits and the climate

science that joins the two. “I have to disclose my own association with this

process in my earlier role in the United Nations negotiations which established

the basis for the development of these new [market] opportunities,” Mr. Strong

said in a 2007 speech, noting his roles in the Chicago Climate Exchange and the

China Carbon Corporation.

If George W.

Bush had left office and

immediately joined the boards of defense contractors building MRAPs for Iraq,

hard questions would be raised. When Maurice Strong, Al Gore and other climate

profiteers seek to enrich themselves from policies they put into place while in

office, it scarcely raises an eyebrow.

It should. The carbon-trading schemes enacted with such fanfare just a

few years ago have effectively ceased to operate amid collapsing prices. The

sustainable-energy craze produced the expensive bankruptcies of solar-panel

maker Solyndra, Fisker Automotive and battery maker A123 Systems, to name a few.

Germany, which has taken its climate-change fetish further than any other major

economy, is now coming to grips with a comprehensive fiasco of higher energy

prices and higher carbon emissions. Who would have thought that when the sun

doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow, people might still want to switch on the


It is now the dogma of the left that any hint of doubt when it comes to

predictions of climate doom is evidence of greed, stupidity, moral turpitude or

psychological derangement. “Climate denial” is intended to be the equivalent of

Holocaust denial. And yet the only people who’ve predicted anything right so far

are those who foresaw that the Kyoto Protocol would fail, that renewable

energies didn’t really work, and that climate bureaucrats accountable to nobody

but their own sense of virtue and taste for profit were a danger to


Rereading Mr. Kerry’s speech, I have to say he really does come across as

a true believer. That it begins by citing Maurice Strong, the ultimate cynic,

tells you what you need to know about where this strain of true belief


Comments are closed.