John Kerry isn’t pleased. 

As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the former senator and secretary of state says a profound lack of leadership is causing the United States to fall behind on climate action and clean energy innovation.

In this episode of Political Climate, we speak to Secretary Kerry about his outlook on combating climate change. We get his views on abolishing the Senate filibuster, decarbonizing the power grid, the future role of fossil fuels, American leadership (or lack thereof) on the international stage, and more.

We also get an update on Kerry’s World War Zero coalition. The initiative was launched last year with a high-profile cast of founding members to mobilize mass action to combat the climate crisis. The coalition's main goal is to host more than 10 million “climate conversations” in 2020 with citizens from across the political spectrum. Has the star-studded effort been successful so far?

Finally, we turn to a brief interview with Tia Nelson, environmental leader, climate program director at the Outrider Foundation and daughter of former Senator and Governor Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day.

Tia Nelson was 13 years old on April 22, 1970 — the first Earth Day ever. We get her thoughts on how the environmental movement has evolved over time. 

Recommended reading:

  • WaPo: John Kerry: Why I’m an optimist this Earth Day
  • WBNS: Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Kerry, John Kasich hold town hall on climate change at Otterbein
  • Heated: A conversation with John Kerry
  • Isthmus: Earth Day turns 50
  • When the Earth Moves Film

Political Climate is produced in partnership with the USC Schwarzenegger Institute. This episode is brought to you by the nonprofit environmental forum EarthX. Listen and subscribe on Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcherGoogle Play or wherever you get podcasts!