California Gov. Brown on Climate Efforts

“California isn’t resisting—we’re pioneering an intelligent path forward”

Yesterday’s session at the annual Navigating American Carbon World conference was a bit of a California lovefest, with relief and gratitude spilling over for the state’s leadership on climate policy.  The crowd was California’s choir, and Governor Jerry Brown delivered the keynote address to two standing ovations.  It’s rare to hear a politician sound, by turns, so fiery, sensible, philosophical, resolved, and even (can I say this?) a little loopy, all in one speech.  But that’s kind of Governor Brown’s brand.  I figured Legal Planet readers might enjoy a few quotes from his address. Long live California.

On Trump’s statement that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese:

“If there’s any hoax, it’s in the White House, not in Beijing.”

“We’re in Alice-in-Wonderland world.”

“Truth is powerful.  We’re on the side of truth. Whatever the flimflam artists do or say, we’re going to overcome them.”

[Referring back to his days studying the Jesuit tenets of prayer and mortification:] “We need both prayer and mortification to defeat Trump.”

On California’s path forward:

“California isn’t resisting—we’re pioneering an intelligent path forward.”

“We gotta go against the flow, rechannel the flow—because the flow is now leading us to catastrophe.”

“Whatever they’re doing in Washington, we are forming our own Under 2 Coalition.”

On the general challenge of climate change:

“Stopping carbon will be like stopping a heroin addiction.”

“Don’t relax.  Don’t feel good about yourselves.  See how bad it is, and then make it good.  And feel good about that.

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Reader Comments

One Reply to “California Gov. Brown on Climate Efforts”

  1. It is worth remarking here that there are a number of ocean based approaches to sequester carbon dioxide either physically, chemically/geologically or biologically (the latter being an important mechanism of carbon sequestration in the paleological past; marine organisms made CO2 into oil and limestone and tucked it away in rocks). They are not a complete solution, but could be a cost effective part of the larger solution.

    Some of these approaches are not only sequestration mechanisms, but are generally good for the environment (I hope everyone gave money for otter restoration on their state income tax form), and at least one, OTEC, is an energy source as well, and would certainly bring back jobs to California if we built hundreds of grazing OTEC plants (or floating wind turbines) at Mare Island.

    As to the Jesuit prayer theme brought up by Gov. Brown, I did a presentation a number of years ago on ocean sequestration and referred to it as a “Hail Mary” play for climate change. It looks now that we are pretty far down, and it’s late in the game, so it’s time to start thinking about this kind of thing.

    As to self-mortification, there are a lot of low-energy and alternative energy solutions that might not only reduce carbon based energy, but do so at reduced cost. We don’t have to suffer for all of them and some of the changes that might be considered to involve “suffering”, might actually give us a better life. I would rather commute in to Silicon Valley from Eureka, for instance, via the Internet than drive in from Salinas (not that I could afford to live there either) by car. And, I would love to live in a small affordable residence close into the Bay Area and commute by bicycle and public transit (ferry, please).

    Ursula Kroeber LeGuin (yes, Kroeber hall) wrote a somewhat dystopian novel about a future Northern California long after a series of unspecified environmental disasters (“Always Coming Home”). We don’t actually have to go this far.

    Yet.

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About Cara

Cara Horowitz

Cara Horowitz is the co-executive director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law. The Emmett Institute was founded as the f…

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