In his State of the State address, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. came out heavily against the country’s newly-elected President, Donald Trump, specifically as regards to the role California can play in combating the new President’s policies on immigration, health care, and renewable energy & climate change.
As we reported yesterday, California had already come out ahead of President Trump’s expected policy changes to enact new oil refinery emissions cuts that would decrease emissions by 20% by 2030. “Climate change is impacting California now, and we need to continue to take bold and effective action to address it head on to protect and improve the quality of life in California,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols.
California has been a shining light in the renewable energy and climate change sphere for some time — not just in the United States, but as a global player. If California were ranked against global rankings as a country on its own, it would rank among the top five in the world in measures such as energy productivity, clean electricity, and carbon intensity reductions.
So it should come as no surprise that Californian leadership is not particularly happy with Donald Trump.
In a State of the State address which normally outlines “a specific agenda for the year ahead,” California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. took a different tact this year, nothing that, “this morning it is hard for me to keep my thoughts just on California. The recent election and inauguration of a new President have shown deep divisions across America.”
Governor Brown reflected on the state of California “in the broader context of our country and its challenges.” Specifically, though he addressed numerous broader issues, Governor Brown highlighted the work California has done “to encourage renewable energy and combat climate change.”
Whatever they do in Washington, they can’t change the facts. And these are the facts: the climate is changing, the temperatures are rising and so are the oceans. Natural habitats everywhere are under increasing stress. The world knows this.
One hundred and ninety-four countries signed the Paris Agreement to control greenhouse gases. Our own voluntary agreement to accomplish the same goal — the “Under Two M.O.U.” — has 165 signatories, representing a billion people.
We cannot fall back and give in to the climate deniers. The science is clear. The danger is real.
We can do much on our own and we can join with others – other states and provinces and even countries, to stop the dangerous rise in climate pollution. And we will.
Governor Brown began to conclude his speech by abstractly combating the rise of “alternative facts”: “When the science is clear or when our own eyes tell us that the seats in this chamber are filled or that the sun is shining, we must say so, not construct some alternate universe of non-facts that we find more pleasing.”
His strongest words though, were his final words: “California is not turning back. Not now, not ever.”
The full speech can be read here.
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