Washington Examiner

John Kerry faces ethics complaint for ‘inaccurate’ climate death toll claims.

John Kerry Faces Ethics Complaint Over Climate Claims

John Kerry, the Biden administration’s special presidential envoy for climate, has been hit with an ethics complaint alleging that he “disregarded” scientific evidence on climate issues. The complaint, filed by Protect the Public’s Trust, focuses on a speech Kerry gave on May 10, where he claimed that 15 million people die every year due to greenhouse gas emissions.

“This claim is both tremendously consequential and entirely unsupported by scientific evidence,” states the letter addressed to State Department and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy officials.

Protect the Public’s Trust is calling for an investigation into Kerry’s comments, citing a violation of the Biden administration’s scientific integrity policies. They are urging the government to correct the public record and prevent similar exaggerated claims in the future.

Exaggerated Claims and the Need for Scientific Integrity

In his speech at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s AIM for Climate Summit, Kerry stated, “[Fifteen] million people are dying every single year around this planet as a consequence of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, in the air which travels around and drops in the form of pollution and is warming the ocean at record rates, changing the chemistry of the ocean itself.” He also claimed that an additional 10 million people die annually from extreme heat.

“There are few more perilous breaches of scientific integrity than for public officials to convey inaccurate data to the public knowingly or recklessly, especially when it is done to justify politically motivated decisions or agendas,” said PPT Director Michael Chamberlain.

Protect the Public’s Trust countered Kerry’s claims with data from scientific literature, which predicts a far lower death toll of 3.4 million per year by 2100. This prediction is significantly less than Kerry’s and is based on factors such as wildfires and mosquito-borne illnesses.

“Despite the enormity of Mr. Kerry’s claim, he did not cite any scientific evidence for its basis,” the letter states. “Nor is there any apparent scientific research that supports a claim that there are currently 15 million people dying yearly due to greenhouse gas emissions – or any other single cause of death that is tracked.”

According to Protect the Public’s Trust, Kerry’s statements violated several of the Biden administration’s scientific integrity policies, including the “Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking” memorandum and the State Department’s scientific integrity policy.

Restoring Trust in Government

“The American public’s trust in its government has plunged to depths never before seen and is unlikely ever to recover if we have powerful officials throwing out numbers unsupported by evidence,” Chamberlain emphasized.

The Washington Examiner reached out to the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the State Department for comment, but no response has been received at the time of writing.

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