Environment

California Governor Jerry Brown Just Slammed Ben Carson Over Climate Change

September 14th 2015

By:
Kyle Jaeger

Republican presidential primary candidate Ben Carson, who is second only to Donald Trump in the latest polls, shared some of his thoughts on climate change recently, commenting that there is "no overwhelming science that the things that are going on are man-caused and not naturally caused." After reading Carson's statement, California Gov. Jerry Brown, who has long championed progressive, environmentalist policy in the state, had some thoughts of his own.

Brown sent a letter to the retired neuroscientist, urging him to read the 2014 synthesis report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for a refresher on the latest, scientific findings concerning global warming. He even included a flash drive containing the report for Carson's convenience.

"This is just one of the thousands of reports authored by the world's top scientists on the subject, including a study published just last month by Columbia University, University of Idaho, and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies scientists that found climate change has intensified California's drought," Brown wrote. "These aren't just words. The consequences are real."

"Please use your considerable intelligence to review this material. Climate change is much bigger than partisan politics," he added.

As California firefighters struggle to contain two of the latest wildfires to devastate northern regions of the state—displacing more than 23,000 people, killing one, and destroying at least 600 homes this past weekend—the letter's timing seems especially appropriate. For the past four years, California has experienced record high temperatures and record low rainfall, straining the state's expansive agricultural industry and creating dangerous fire conditions.

These are only a couple of the many environmental consequences that scientists have attributed climate change to, and that is the point that Brown hoped to make clear to the Republican candidate in his letter.

"When asked to comment on Saturday, Carson's campaign communications director Doug Watts said the candidate had not yet received the letter," CNN reported. "But Watts maintained that Carson is not a 'climate denier' but what he called a 'climate questioner.'"

"Watts said that Carson would read Brown's letter once it arrived, adding that he "could be persuaded."