California Gov. Jerry Brown has challenged the GOP presidential candidates to address the issue of climate change during the first Republican debate of the 2016 election cycle. Brown issued the challenge in a letter that he uploaded via the Fox News Channel’s Facebook page.
Citing California’s drought and ongoing wildfires, Brown demanded that the Republican candidates stop ignoring or denying science. “Continuing to question the science and hurl insults at ‘global warming hoaxsters’ and ‘apostles of this pseudo-religion’ won’t prevent severe damage to our health and economic well-being. Americans, their children and generations to come deserve–and demand–better.”
Scientists say that neither the drought nor the fires are caused by climate change; the drought and fire-prone conditions are due to natural causes.
Brown also cited the Pope’s new encyclical and reminded Republican candidates that one among them, George Pataki, developed a regional carbon trading plan in the northeast U.S. when he was New York governor. (Pataki now says he is “extremely disappointed” in the results.)
The Los Angeles Times gives favorable coverage to Brown’s letter, adding that “Many of the Republican candidates, who are participating in their first debate on Thursday, have either denied the science surrounding climate change or opposed stiffer steps to address the problem.”
As noted above, however, the “science surrounding climate change” suggests conclusions quite different from the ones Brown wants the GOP contenders to draw.
Brown has said that he would run for president if he were ten years younger; he has not entirely ruled out a 2016 run.