GOP presidential hopefuls hit Brown back on climate

Jerry BrownAfter submitting a letter-length question to Republican candidates ahead of their first round of primary-season debates, Gov. Jerry Brown has received some responses.

Heated rhetoric

Pressing ahead with the environmental emphasis characterizing his final term in office, Brown asked the presidential hopefuls to outline their own policies. “Longer fire seasons, extreme weather and severe droughts aren’t on the horizon, they’re […] here to stay,” he wrote, as the Sacramento Bee reported. “Given the challenge and the stakes, my question for you is simple: What are you going to do about it? What is your plan to deal with the threat of climate change?”

Brown’s office told the Bee he submitted his question via the Facebook page of Fox News, which solicited questions from viewers of the debates, which it hosted and televised.

This month, as the San Gabriel Valley Tribute noted, Brown hit out against the field again, using a fresh report on July temperatures to lambaste “Republicans, foot-dragging corporations and other deniers.” Surveying the damage to the fire-stricken Clear Lake area, Brown “repeated his challenge to Republican presidential candidates,” the Los Angeles Times reported, warning that “California is burning” and asking, bluntly, “What the hell are you going to do about it?”

Republican responses

So far, at least three Republican candidates have touched on environmental issues in the wake of Brown’s challenges.

Not all their remarks have been directly responsive, however. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently took the opportunity to critique “radical environmental policies that stop things like dams from going in so that water … can be used effectively,” according to the Bee.

But Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, who had challenged Sen. Barbara Boxer’s re-election, both addressed Brown head on, the Bee added. While Cruz dismissed “alarmists” as power-hungry schemers, Fiorina took a more nuanced approach; although she first conceded it “may well be true” that California’s drought was worsened by climate change, she also criticized policymakers for failing to prepare for the kind of droughts the state has had “for millennia.”

Shifting opinions

Republicans on the campaign trail have broadly reflected opinions among constituents nationwide. Even in California, Republicans have demonstrated consistent skepticism toward claims that human activity has fostered dangerous alterations in temperatures and weather. In a new poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California, a majority of Golden State Republicans said “they don’t believe that climate change is happening and that they don’t think it will be a serious problem in the future,” as the San Jose Mercury News reported. “They also support expanding fossil fuel production — from increasing offshore oil drilling along California’s coast to expanding fracking.”

Yet the poll evinced some wiggle room on environmental policy issues. Fully 43 percent of California Republican respondents supported stricter in-state climate rules than what the federal government has passed into law. “Californians of all parties said they support increasing tax credits for electric vehicles and solar power,” the Mercury News added.

In a recent nonpartisan poll commissioned by a water policy foundation, Californians seemed to confirm that the drought had become a leading issue of worry across the ideological spectrum. According to the Los Angeles Times, “62 percent of poll subjects said they would be very willing or somewhat willing to pay $4 more a month for water if the funds were used to improve water supply reliability. Such an increase, if applied to the entire state, would generate about a billion dollars, according to poll sponsors.”

Environmentalists divided

Brown’s environmentalist policies haven’t satisfied all critics. His administration’s emphasis on reducing emissions, for instance, has led some to wonder why he hasn’t pushed harder for cheaper electricity rates, which would benefit owners of many zero-emissions vehicles. One objection, recently voiced in the San Diego Daily Transcript, warned that Brown’s policies “will systematically shift profits into a few private hands instead of building, managing and maintaining a solid and reliable electric-charging infrastructure comparable to our utility grid.”


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  1. desmond
    desmond 23 August, 2015, 17:15

    Brown is dangerous. He protects his private life, the 17000 foot loft in Oakland. Hypocrite, liar, telling people who want to debate the tunnels to pipe water to SoCall to shut up. Name dropper, just a good old ahaul. He should run for president; his ideas wouldn’t t play well in much of the USA, but would be like the Colbert show…farting out loud funny. I can see the penile headed old fool letting one go during the debates

    Reply this comment
  2. desmond
    desmond 23 August, 2015, 17:17

    Wow, is Fox doing any of those debates? “Meghan, this is a good time to………Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip.”

    Reply this comment
  3. Irv
    Irv 23 August, 2015, 18:16

    It is completely out of the question for any state or the feds to invest in electric vehicles when their production and end of life results in batteries that need to be disposed of having highly toxic chemicals in them. Further,this nation and California especially, need not invest in anything but a 24/7 renewable energy source. There is only one reliable,efficient,affordable, sustainable job producing renewable 24/7 energy source. That is Geothermal.

    Reply this comment
    • Sean
      Sean 24 August, 2015, 08:25

      I don’t think you have to worry that much about end of life issues with lithium ion batteries. One of the reasons rechargeable batteries are so expensive is that they contain a lot of cobalt and cobalt salts. Cobalt raw material sells for ~$13-14 per pound. They also contain materials like nickel and manganese which are also expensive. In our area, we’ve seen people destroy $100K air conditioning units to steal $400 worth of copper so it could be sold to a recycler. With replacement batteries costing as much as half the original price of an electric vehicle, battery theft and security may be bigger concerns.

      Reply this comment
  4. Brown Stall Mucker
    Brown Stall Mucker 24 August, 2015, 02:03

    Im confused … is Brown asking these questions to educate himself on how to become a qualified governer for the short time he has left because he is a little late to be seeking answers on what to do. Or is this just another one of his “little man talks loud ‘ attempts to spin the focus on others or other issues instead of his own accountability or should I say Lack there of. First of all , People are looking to get out of california because of the BSpolitics , I see a future of plenty of water for the population that remains long before cali runs out of water ( which it wont do unless the ocean dries up).Why is Cali Burning so bad Brown? And what the hell did you do , now what the hell you going to do to fix the lack of fire fighting personel and equipment? Here is a thought and Idea I got from Micky Mouse earlier.( for Brown) ” how about you quit wasting funds on over paid cronies to lie for you and just resign – spending our tax dollars on productive and responsible purposes clearly was too much for you ( brown) to comprehend.

    Even mickey mouse is man enough to be accountable.

    OOh and Brown, If you hate disabled people so much that you would lie to society about the funds you deliberately take from the feds and allow a convicted theft of gov. funds and fraudulent company and its employees now be incharge , manage and purposfully cause harm and with hold the life sustaining services and necessities which you claim your gov gives however I was told not too long ago by IRC supervisors that the fact that they illegally do this for our gov. is the reasonTHEY SAY OUR ” gov pays them the big bucks.” And the fact that one of their expierenced (and aware of the regional center coruption) CEO”s YOU HIRED is now running your DDS Dept in sacramento which is not only a conflict of interest but creates a atmosphere of NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR GOV AND EASY COVER UP ON THE FUNDS WHICH SELFSERVE GOV. BROWN AND HIS CRONIES INTEREST AND DISABLED SUFFER AND DIE OVER. Come on Brown, Answer your own questions and FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH , ANY ANSWER TO ANY OF YOUR QUESTIONS WILL BE BETTER THANYOUR ABILITY TO FOOL THE PUBLIC AS IF YOU REALLY GAVE A DARN ABOUT CA OR ITS PEOPLE. ….i just wasted my time didnt I…LOL.

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  5. Ted
    Ted "Doc VanNostrum " Steele 24 August, 2015, 08:49

    Listening to Gov Brown vesus those moron Repub clown car fools is like watching the a teacher scold children—- the only Repub who has even one loose brain cell up there is Kasich and he won’t get very far—- pathetic!

    Reply this comment
  6. desmond
    desmond 24 August, 2015, 19:59

    Scumbags. A well stated case is made that Brown doe not care about the disabled. The limpsausaged old fool(no kids) is a heartless jerk who would be right at home with the social engineering in 1930’s Munich, however, he is big on uneducated, poor Latinos who can be handled like sheep, fattening them for when the state needs lampshades for the reeducation centers. How is the 17000 -foot loft in Oakland for the contentious hypocrite and the pretentious Stepford wife?

    Reply this comment
  7. Hoser
    Hoser 25 August, 2015, 06:08

    When all the temperature changes over the last century fall within the error range of the measurements (less than 1 °C), when it is known NOAA and NASA have deliberately adjusted raw temperature data by systematically lowering old data and raising new data, and when we know satellite readings over the last few decades show no temperature increases, and when we know atmospheric CO2 concentration has followed temperature change up and down for 650,000 years, there is nothing we should do except change our leadership.
    Carly Fiorina points out there is nothing significant we can do to mitigate “climate change” supposedly caused by CO2. California and the US alone could not significantly alter the atmospheric CO2 concentration. And the rest of the world knows their economies would be wrecked by trying.
    Our forests are dry and more prone to fire because they are mismanaged. Trees have up to 5 times the trees they had when John Muir wrote about them. That means they are sucking up 5 times more water than they used to over 100 years ago. They are more sensitive to summer temperatures and they can’t produce enough sap to fight off beetles.
    The forests are so crowed crown fires are almost unavoidable. There is a huge increase in forest litter, many tons per acre which also promotes hot fires. These fires are not natural; they are only possible through decades of fire suppression. Now it’s too late to just let fires burn. In addition, the forests have reduced biodiversity because the tree density reduces the light available for other species that need it. Meadows are shrinking.
    These problems are caused by man, but CO2 has nothing to do with it.

    Reply this comment
    • Ted
      Ted 25 August, 2015, 06:30

      who should I believe?
      Nasa and the National Acad of Science……or “Hoser” on CWD?

      Hmmmmmmmmmm can’t decide….. I mean Hoser seems so brainy

      Reply this comment
  8. spurwing Plover
    spurwing Plover 8 September, 2015, 08:45

    Moonbeam has blamed california drouth on Global Warming Yeah sure Woo Hee Moonbeam why dont he start weating lead shoes and a lead belt to stop himself from floating away becuase of all the Hot Air he produces everytime he open his big fat piehole

    Reply this comment

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