Environmentalists are watching closely for signs of how seriously the incoming Biden administration will take the rapidly escalating climate crisis. The latest indicator receiving mixed reviews was the announcement that former Senator, Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry will be appointed Special Presidential Envoy for the Climate. Some, like Food and Water Action, raised the alarm about Kerry, suggesting he is a longtime apologist for fossil fuels, while others have assailed Kerry’s focus on market-based “solutions” to climate issues.

In this clip from The Damage Report, John and Ana discuss the surprisingly positive reaction others on the left have had to Kerry’s appointment, including encouraging statements from both Greta Thunberg and Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash. Ana acknowledges that with his wealth of diplomatic experience, Kerry may be well-positioned to help address the inevitable climate-driven refugee crisis to come, although he’s traditionally supported the wars and “anti-terror” bombings that have sent the numbers of refugees skyrocketing.

John points out that many are likely responding to the contrast with the Trump administration, so Biden is going to be praised as long as he doesn’t appoint another former Exxon CEO to the cabinet. Adding to that contrast, he points to a recent tweet from Ivanka Trump, who boasted that US greenhouse gases have dropped 9.2 percent in 2020, as if that’s some sort of accomplishment resulting from her father’s policies, as opposed to the consequence of a devastating pandemic.

“That’s like an axe murder coming up and hacking your arm off and someone points out, ‘Hey, you just lost weight’ and it’s like, ‘Well, yes, but context is key,’” he says.