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John Kerry's Posts

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We work on climate change every day

Everywhere I travel as secretary of state – in every meeting, here at home and across the more than 100,000 miles I’ve traveled since I raised my hand and took the oath to serve in this office – I raise the concern of climate change. I do so not because it’s a pet issue or a personal priority, but because it’s critical to the survival of our civilization, and that means it's a critical mission for me as our country’s top diplomat.

Is it also personal to me? Of course it is. The environment has been one of the central causes of my life ever since I entered public life as an activist.

When I was just 26, I attended an Earth Day celebration in Massachusetts in 1970. It was an eye-opening immersion into the power of the grassroots to identify a problem, force it onto the national radar screen, and demand action -- action that would come not from the goodwill and benevolence of Washington, but because citizens demanded it. The explosion of our activism on that very first Earth Day led to the creation of the EPA, the passage of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, and so much more. People demanded action and the politicians followed.

Today, people all over the world are demanding action on climate change, and those of us in positions of authority globally have a responsibility to lead the way toward progress.

So it’s personal, absolutely -- but leading the way is also the right role for the United States.

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America must not back down on sustainable energy

Clockwise from top left: Sens. John Kerry, Sheldon Whitehouse, Barbara Boxer, and Bernie Sanders.If you read just the headlines these days, you might think renewable energy in America is going the way of Solyndra. Don't take our word for it: A recent headline from Fox News declared "ENTIRE Solar Industry on Brink of Collapse." We cannot allow long-time opponents of renewable energy to focus the discussion only on Solyndra (whose higher-priced panels could not compete as solar costs came down) when we should be thinking about competing with China to win the next energy revolution. Why? Because the race is …

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Introducing the American Power Act: On strategy and substance

Busy day here -- started early with some curtain-raising morning television to kick off the discussion a bit about the American Power Act that Joe Lieberman [I-Conn.] and a unique coalition are talking about later today. But sometimes those morning-show interviews are a bit of a reminder of how much detailed discussion we lose when we're crammed into a two- or three- or five-minute back-and-forth, which is especially tough on an issue like a comprehensive approach to climate and energy. Which brings me to why I wanted to come by Grist -- because of the in-depth discussions you've already had …

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It’s time to end the practice of shark finning

This post is co-authored with Discovery Channel GM & President John Ford. ----- Photo: Willy VolkEvery half-second a shark is killed for its fins, so in the time it takes you to read this post, hundreds of sharks will die. “Finning," as the practice is known, is decimating shark populations world-wide. Every year up to 73 million sharks are caught, stripped of their fins, and left for dead in the ocean. Shark fins are a delicacy in many Asian countries, and the market is expanding to other parts of the globe. Fishing boats can save cargo space and pack more …

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After many years of trying, we’re moving in the right direction at last

I'm a bit bleary eyed after midnight votes, and about to do an event in Boston on the energy fight, but I wanted to come back here to Gristmill to tell you how good it feels to have gotten something good done in the Senate instead of just stopping bad things from happening. A year ago I was battling to stop drilling in ANWR. Last night, finally -- after years of battling and five years after we introduced the Kerry-McCain legislation to raise fuel efficiency standards -- we actually accomplished things in the Senate that will improve the environment. This …

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More intransigence on climate change

Hello! I just wanted to drop by Gristmill to give all of you an update on the energy bill. To no one's surprise, the Republicans are throwing sand in the gears and trying to block any meaningful progress. The energy bill, as it stands, is not nearly strong enough, so there are a number of amendments that must be adopted to give us a bill that actually gets us started on that path of dealing with our energy crisis and our climate crisis. But when we tried to bring up the Bingaman amendment that requires the use of alternative energy …