California Governor Jerry Brown mounted his bully pulpit at the Vatican Tuesday, citing the Bible and excoriating climate change skeptics as greedy swindlers more interested in profits from oil than the well-being of humanity.
“Right in the middle of this problem,” Brown said, “we have fierce opposition and blind inertia and that opposition is well financed. Hundreds of millions of dollars going into propaganda, in falsifying the scientific record, bamboozling people of every country, television stations, political parties, think tanks, PHDs, university personnel.”
Governor Brown has come to the Vatican along with ten U.S. mayors to discuss climate change and human trafficking with politicians from around the world. Though there has been much talk about the climate change “debate,” in point of fact there isn’t much diversity evident in the group. Among the politicians chosen to represent the United States, all eleven belong to the Democratic Party and there isn’t a single Republican in the mix.
Governor Brown seemed to want to shut down all debate, in fact, by labeling anyone not convinced by reigning climate-change theories as “troglodytes,” a favorite slur of the governor’s when wishing to silence those who disagree with him.
“We have a very powerful opposition that, at least in my country, spends billions on trying to keep from office people such as yourselves and elect troglodytes and other deniers of the obvious science,” he said in reference to U.S conservatives.
Brown seems to find “troglodyte” to be a versatile insult for dealing with conservatives.
In March, Brown said that the positions of Republican governors and attorneys general who questioned President Obama’s immigration executive actions are “at best troglodyte, and at worst, un-Christian.”
Quoting from the Bible, Brown said that “God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth that he shall also reap and what Saint Paul said in reference to God, we can also say about God’s creation.” Brown’s newfound love for Saint Paul seems to gloss over the apostle’s strong words condemning homosexual practice, which would clash with the governor’s favorable position on same-sex marriage.
A former Jesuit seminarian studying for the priesthood, Brown has evolved considerably since his seminary days, and his support of abortion in opposition to the Catholic Church’s defense of unborn children has earned him the plaudits of Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice groups.
The governor is part of a two-day climate workshop comprising some 60 environmentally friendly mayors from around the world who hope to influence climate discussions and especially an upcoming UN meeting in Paris.
Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino was chosen to kick off the event, titled “Modern Slavery and Climate Change: The Commitment of the Cities,” and said that “Slavery still exists in our cities, even in Rome.”
Marino, a former surgeon, underscored the problem of organ trafficking, saying the phenomenon was on the increase, with tens of thousands of operations carried out each year around the world to extract organs—particularly kidneys—for sale to rich patients. Marino’s statement came just after it was revealed in the United States that the nation’s largest abortion provider Planned Parenthood has been harvesting organs from aborted babies and offering them for sale.
The mayors assembled in the Vatican are expected to sign a declaration stating that “Human-induced climate change is a scientific reality and its effective control is a moral imperative for humanity.” They will also demand that their national leaders approve a “bold climate agreement” at Paris talks in December.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome