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Brown On Climate Change Denial: "Reductio Ad Absurdum"

Joe McHugh, California Highway Patrol (via governor's office)

California Gov. Jerry Brown addresses the American Geophysical Union fall meeting in San Francisco on Wednesday, December 14, 2016.

Joe McHugh, California Highway Patrol (via governor's office)

California Gov. Jerry Brown fired up his rhetoric – and his Latin – to reassure scientists fearful of changes under President-elect Trump.

“Reductio ad absurdum – reduce to absurdity,“ the governor told thousands of American Geophysical Union scientists meeting in San Francisco Wednesday. “And when you do that, everybody sees the absurd path you’re on.”

The governor promised that California will defend its environmental policies. ”We've got the scientists, we've got the lawyers, and we're ready to fight!”

Pointing to speculation that the Trump administration could shift its focus away from satellites that observe Earth’s climate, Brown recalled his own advocacy for California launching a satellite during his first stint as governor.

“They called me Governor Moonbeam because of that!” he said, drawing laughter. ”I didn’t get that moniker for nothing! And if Trump turns off his satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite. We’re gonna collect that data!”

Brown’s remarks differed sharply from the more restrained tone he took last week, when he said he believed Washington would “come around” to the truth on climate change.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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