California Gov. Jerry Brown is “playing president” at the UN climate change conference in Paris, according to veteran political prognosticator Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia.
“Jerry Brown was never elected president, but he sure wanted to be,” Sabato told the San Jose Mercury News. “….Nobody says to him, ‘You’re a rookie; you don’t know what you are doing.’ He is probably the most experienced high-level official in the country. It’s unusual, but then Jerry Brown has always been unusual.”
Brown’s agenda in Paris is to showcase California’s “achievements” on climate change–though he recently suffered a setback when his own party rejected a legislative effort to cut the state’s fossil fuel use in half over the next 15 years.
On that occasion, Brown vowed “to wage a “life-and-death struggle” to “change the very basis of our industrial economy.” In California, at least, that promise is coming to fruition, as manufacturing leaves California , along with middle class families and small business.
Last week, Brown signed a multinational agreement between regions in twelve different countries, including four U.S. states, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically.
It is a somewhat easier task in the United States, which has reduced emissions even in the absence of draconian regulations simply by shifting from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas fuel, often obtained through hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).
Brown and others on the left, however, say that mere technological advance is not enough.
The result has chiefly been to shift productive activities to other places, including not just U.S. states but countries such as China, . Brown is also touting California’s high-speed rail project, which to many observers, including environmentalists, is a colossal waste of resources.
Gov. Brown will be joined in Paris by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and billionaire Tom Steyer.
He considered canceling his trip due to the San Bernardino terror attack, but merely postponed it, the Los Angeles Times reports.