- Max Whittaker/Reuters
California Gov. Jerry Brown gave a fiery speech on climate-change policy on Wednesday, during which he said, “If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite,” according to The Los Angeles Times.
Brown was speaking at the 2016 meeting of the American Geophysical Union, a prominent body of scientists who study Earth and space.
In November, a top adviser to President-elect Donald Trump suggested the incoming administration would eliminate NASA’s earth-science programs.
That would mean failing to launch, shutting down, or turning over the suite of satellites that provide the trove of data NASA releases about the Earth and its land, oceans, and air. That data set is critical for tracking hurricanes, coastal erosion, glacial melting, land use, wildfires, and even the approach of solar storms. Scientists across disciplines – and the world – have since told Business Insider that such a move would hurt their ability to do research.
The AGU meeting, not normally a hothouse of news-making political dissent, this year has been the site of public protests and appeals to Trump not to cut back or defund climate research.
And the state of California under Brown’s leadership has taken a strong stand on science and climate-change policy. In January, State Attorney General Kamala Harris (now senator-elect) launched an investigation into whether Exxon Mobil lied about climate-change risks of its fossil-fuel business.
Brown also proposed a California satellite during his first tenure as governor, more than four decades ago, earning the nickname “Governor Moonbeam.”
So it probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that when Brown said, “We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers, and we’re ready to fight,” the audience roared with applause.
Watch Gov. Jerry Brown’s remarks here: