California governor posts a direct rebuttal to climate change contrarians
Governor Brown is pushing back against those who deny the evidence for climate change and this week, used a Lake Tahoe environmental conference to say that he’s taken his campaign online.
Governor's Office of Planning & Research
Jerry Brown's new website is a countermeasure against climate science "deniers."
The Governor has long been a vocal supporter of climate action but his new “Just the Facts” website represents his most definitive reaction against what he calls “the deniers” of widely accepted climate science.
About half the site is devoted to a rehash of the evidence that global warming is real and effects are happening now. The other half is a rebuttal to climate science contrarians, whom the site describes as, “a small-but-vocal group” that “has spread misinformation about the science, aiming to cast doubt on well-established findings and conclusions.” Continue reading
An executive order directs state agencies to cut carbon emissions, save water and energy
California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Sacramento. In 2003, the 25-story tower was given a “Platinum” rating by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2003.
Governor Jerry Brown decreed yesterday that state-owned buildings across California must go green.
The executive order stipulates that state agencies must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 20% using 2010 as a baseline, and half of all new and renovated buildings must be Net Zero Energy by 2020. The order, B-18-12, also continues a previous policy requiring state-owned buildings larger than 10,000 square feet to meet the guidelines of the U.S. Green Building Council’s “Silver” rating.
“This shows that the state is very focused on meeting very ambitious yet achievable goals,” said Evan Westrup, a spokesperson for the governor’s office.
The move is a step toward compliance with AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act, which requires that statewide greenhouse gas emissions brought down to 1990 levels by 2020.
According to a release from the governor’s office, the statewide initiative will also save one billion gallons of water and an estimated $45 million in tax dollars each year. Westrup did not have figures on projected job creation, but he pointed out that similar initiatives geared toward efficiency have created 1.5 million jobs across the state since 1978.
But the California governor relies largely on existing programs for progress
Governor Jerry Brown spent much of his State of the State address on California's environmental goals.
In a speech described by one Orange County Republican as “vintage Jerry,” Governor Jerry Brown tried to re-conjure the image of California as a can-do state. Brown also devoted a large portion of his annual State of the State address to environmental and climate-related topics.
Showing none of the climate timidity that has overtaken national politics, Brown declared that, “fossil fuels, particularly foreign oil, create ever rising costs to our economy and to our health.” By contrast, President Obama avoided using the word “climate” even once in last year’s State of the Union message, and gave global warming only the slightest nod in a recent address to science-friendly staffers at the Environmental Protection Agency. Continue reading
Brown and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar are expanding a state and federal partnership to expedite large-scale renewable projects.
Craig Miller/Climate Watch
The partnership between the Department of the Interior and the state of California expedites the approval process for large-scale solar, wind, and geothermal projects.
The partnership originates from an agreement then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed in 2009. Now Brown and Salazar are extending it, and broadening the scope of the agreement, to include not only energy, but also transmission projects. They signed a memorandum of understanding (pdf) at a solar project being built in Elk Grove this morning.
According to a press release from the state, the projects now being fast-tracked, which are the Bureau of Land Management’s seven priority projects, plus other projects on private land, will generate enough renewable energy to meet the state’s 33% by 2020 goal.
The MOU signed today doesn’t guarantee they’ll all be built, rather, it’s a move towards expediting the lengthy permitting process these large-scale projects require.
The one-day conference reinforced the need to prepare for coming climate impacts
Photo: Sarah Terry-Cobo/KQED
Governor Jerry Brown.
Governor Jerry Brown says he wants to “intensify California’s leadership” on the climate front, but his climate conference at the California Academy of Sciences on Thursday offered no new initiatives toward that end.
The one-day event was a series of panel discussions emphasizing the importance of science and how it can reinforce policy decisions on climate change.
The invitation-only event included several noteworthy speakers, including Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, business mogul and biofuels-for-planes evangelist Sir Richard Branson, and White House environmental advisor Nancy Sutley. Continue reading