Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown’s climate change warning: ‘We’re on a Titanic unless we turn’

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to reporters at the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto on Wednesday.
Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to reporters at the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto on Wednesday. The Associated Press

Gov. Jerry Brown, rallying support for carbon reduction policies at a climate summit in Toronto on Wednesday, said the world is heading toward “total unsustainability and ecological collapse” if it fails to address global warming.

“We’re on a Titanic unless we turn,” Brown said.

Brown, a keynote speaker at the Climate Summit of the Americas, has made climate change a focus of his fourth term. The Democratic governor has signed a series of nonbinding agreements with other states and sub-national governments in an effort to build pressure on world leaders ahead of global climate talks in Paris in December.

“It’s not enough if Quebec does something, or California or Canada or England,” he said. “We all are implicated because a ton of carbon in Africa or Arizona or China all adds to the same heat-trapping impact and affects our climate.”

In a largely symbolic agreement, California and several other governments committed in May to efforts to limit the increase in global temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, a threshold beyond which many scientists predict major environmental disruption.

In his speech, Brown said the world has time to address climate change but “whether we have the political leadership remains an open question.”

He lamented the influence of climate change skeptics in American politics, telling his Canadian audience, “They’re not scientists, they’re troglodytes, and we have a lot of troglodytes south of the border.”

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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