California Governor Jerry Brown went Biblical on Sunday evening, telling CBS News’ 60 Minutes that President Donald Trump does not fear God because he does not believe in climate change.
“I don’t think President Trump has a fear of the Lord, the fear of the wrath of God, which leads one to more humility. And this is such a reckless disregard for the truth and for the existential consequences that can be unleashed,” Brown told CBS’ Bill Whitaker.
Brown was interviewed about California’s efforts to fight climate change by reducing fossil fuel emissions, forcing businesses to buy carbon permits, and raising taxes on fuel.
Despite the fact that lower emissions in California have a negligible effect on global climate, Brown has boasted about his state’s environmental record on trips across the world — trips that happen to burn tons of carbon.
Last year alone, California’s greenhouse gas emissions fell by 5 percent. However, Calmatters.org noted, the main reason was higher rainfall driving hydroelectric power plants.
Brown told 60 Minutes, “California is showing that dealing with climate is good for the economy, not bad.” But he has acknowledged in the past that California’s regulations are onerous. Never mind, though: “Smart people figure out how to make it,” he said in 2014. Everyone else leaves, to pollute the same planet from more hospitable states.
The governor has frequently tried to enlist religion in his push for tougher climate change policies, often confusing the two. At a conference at the Vatican last month, he told religious leaders that the world needed a “total … brain washing” on climate change. He asked them to use their religious influence to spread belief in climate change.
Asked by CBS whether California is “way out of step with the rest of the country,” Brown responded: “I’d say we’re more in tune with the future than many parts of the rest of the country.” He explained Trump’s victory in the Upper Midwest by suggesting there was more “fear” there than in California, where “[p]eople are looking to the future.”
It was the same explanation Barack Obama gave in 2008 to liberal donors at a San Francisco fundraiser, in trying to explain the behavior of Pennsylvania voters drawn to his opponent: “[T]hey get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Where “fear” of God fits in California, Brown did not explain.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.