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Jerry Brown predicts ‘negative, and very powerful’ reaction if Donald Trump halts climate change action

Jerry Brown: California will work to ensure laws are enforced fairly

Gov. Jerry Brown, joined Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, by his nominee for Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, said California would collaborate where possible with President-elect Donald Trump but also uphold the state's values.
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Gov. Jerry Brown, joined Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, by his nominee for Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, said California would collaborate where possible with President-elect Donald Trump but also uphold the state's values.

In his global evangelism about the threat of climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown has dismissed skeptics as “troglodytes” and “deniers of the obvious science.”

But Brown, who in recent years has emerged as a premier climate warrior, has refused to ascribe those characteristics to Donald Trump since his election as president, despite the Republican businessman’s support for fossil fuels and repeated dismissals of climate change as a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.

In brief remarks about the subject, Brown said Monday that it would be difficult for the U.S. to “go rogue” on climate change. He went further Tuesday in a broadcast discussion with former Vice President Al Gore, predicting a “negative and very powerful” backlash throughout the world should Trump continue to voice his denials and impede the environmental progress of the last eight years.

“I don’t think given the science and given the rising concern that that is a sustainable political trajectory – even for the president of the United States,” he said.

Brown was a guest on Gore’s sixth-annual “24 Hours of Reality” broadcast, a program that at least during the final hour did not appear to offer much in the way of dissenting views. Gore, one of the world’s most prominent climate activists, met with Trump on Monday, offering hope to some environmentalists.

On Tuesday, Gore seemed to commiserate with Brown about ways to break through the “formidable denial” demonstrated by “some smart people.” Brown, for his part, agreed they can be tough to convert.

“But,” he said, “there are many more people, by tens of millions, that as reflected in the surveys are open to this idea. And they know the climate is changing.”

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago

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