William Perry Pendley said he couldn’t believe what he was hearing when U.S. Climate envoy John Kerry said his concern with the war in Ukraine was how it was contributing to climate change.
The Cheyenne native, who served as acting Bureau of Land Management (BLM) director under President Trump and deputy secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan, said Kerry’s comments illustrate an “unbelievable level of disconnect.”
“We have this terrible tragedy of this country being destroyed, tens of thousands of people dying on both sides of the battle lines, billions of dollars being expended, and he’s worried about CO2 being released into the atmosphere,” Perry told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday.
In an appearance on MSNBC on Monday, Kerry said he wasn’t suggesting that the U.S. shouldn’t be involved in the Ukraine War, but he was very concerned about the war’s impact on the climate.
“When you have bombs going off and you have damage to septic tanks or to power centers, you have an enormous release of greenhouse gas, methane, and all of the family of greenhouse gasses, ” Kerry said.
The Perfect Storm
Perry said it reminded him of a similar situation about 20 years ago in Hawaii when he was talking to an environmentalist about the book, “The Perfect Storm.”
They both agreed that Sebastian Junger’s story about the massive and deadly storm that clobbered the northeast U.S. was an outstanding book. They disagreed on what was the most tragic part of the book.
“He said, ‘You know what's the worst thing about what happened in The Perfect Storm?’” Perry recalled.
“I'm thinking 13 people died and the $200 million worth of damage,” Perry responded.
“No, it was about what happened to the fish,” the environmentalist said.
To that, Perry thought to himself, “What planet are you on?” — which is the same reaction he had when he heard Kerry talk about the Ukraine War.
Perry went on to say, in retrospect, that Kerry's response really isn't that surprising, considering he lectures people about reducing their carbon footprint while he takes a private jet around the world.
“Rules are for everybody else, but not for him,” Perry said.
Jimmy Orr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.