On Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown compared the “existential threat” of climate change to the fight against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
Brown made the comparison while addressing a crowd of climate scientists who had gathered at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography for a two-day University of California Summit on Carbon and Climate Neutrality.
According to the Times of San Diego, Brown said addressing climate change is the moral equivalent to building the atomic bomb first in World War II, and said he couldn’t “emphasize enough how important the University of California is in meeting this existential threat.”
Furthermore, Brown warned the scientists about “skeptics” in the Golden State and beyond, noting that “we are up against very powerful opposition: partisan, industrial and media.” (He delivered a similar message at the Milken Global Conference in April, where he warned the crowd to “beware of the polarizers.”)
During his speech Tuesday, Brown reportedly criticized politicians who deny the human causes of climate change. According to the Los Angeles Times, he singled out Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson,to whom he sent a letter and flash drive that included the latest UN climate report, challenging him to “review the material.” Brown told the scientists, “I said ‘Go read it.’ I don’t know if he ever did.”
Just two weeks ago, Brown signed a landmark California law mandating that half of the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by the year 2030. According to the Los Angeles Times, the University of California has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025 and wants to to apply that model in other areas of the world.
Earlier this month, scientists said that Brown was wrong to link recent forest fires in California to climate change. Brown also suffered a setback in September, when moderate Democrats in the state legislature rejected his proposal to require the state to cut petroleum use in half over the next 15 years.