SACRAMENTO, Calif. - As several deadly wildfires continue to burn in California, and climate change becomes a major issue in the 2020 election, former California Governor Jerry Brown is sounding the alarm. “Scientists tell us: the drought, lower humidity, lack of rain, the intensifying heat, and the duration of all this, is all in part due to climate change," said Brown from his Northern California ranch. "It will get worse.”
The Democrat served four terms as California's governor, making environmental issues like climate change a top priority during his term in office and beyond. Brown said the state needs to continue what it's doing to reduce carbon emissions and more. “One: protect the people, by making million dollar investments, for protecting against fire," said Brown. "And secondly, stay on course, to reduce carbon emissions.”
The California wildfires were thrust into the national political spotlight this week. Democratic vice presidential nominee Senator Kamala Harris made a stop in the state saying the country needs to do better dealing with climate change. President Trump also visited, responding to challenges about climate change. California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot confronted the president:
“If we ignore that science and put our heads in the sand, and think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed together in protecting Californians," said Crowfoot.
“It’ll start getting cooler, you watch," responded President Trump.
“I wish science agreed with you," said Crowfoot.
“I don’t think science knows," responded President.
Former Governor Brown reacted to the president's comments this way. “He speaks out of his own narcissism, out of his own subjective view of the world," said Brown. "And he’s not listening to science. That’s why he doesn’t wear a mask and why he doesn’t listen to scientists about climate change”
Brown agrees with the president about the need for better forest management, something Governor Newsom also acknowledge. Brown pointed out the federal goverment owns about 60% of the forests in the state. As for California's response to COVID19 and the related budget deficit, Brown declind to give any public advice to his successor, only saying this. “I thought a lot about what would I do? And I think the governor’s done everything he possibly could," said Brown.
As for the election, Brown knows Democratic Joe Biden well, each of their political careers spanning nearly 50 years. Responding to questions about Biden's age and mental acuity, Brown pointed to himself. “You might ask me, at 82, am I as sharp as I was at 78? Quite frankly, I think I know more, and I think I’m better equipped.”