In a recent appearance on ABC’s This Week, California Governor Jerry Brown directed strong words at the country’s climate skeptics: “I can tell you, from California, climate change is not a hoax. We’re dealing with it and it’s damn serious.”
Now entering its fourth year of a record-breaking drought, the Golden State is suffering a range of deleterious side-effects: Declining revenues from its agricultural industry and a subsequent rise in food prices; a complete lack of water in several small towns; declining power streams from hydroelectric dams that are drying out; and most recently, mandatory water restrictions for residents. The drought has even led to a 50 percent increase in the number of juvenile fish being shipped by truck.
Not helping the situation is the fact that California experienced its hottest year on record last year (unsurprisingly, it turned out to be the hottest year for the globe as well). This record heat has increased evaporation rates and made it even harder for the soil to retain moisture. It has also reduced the snowpack in the Sierra Nevadas, an integral resource for the state’s spring and summer water supply. NASA senior water scientist Jay Famiglietti has warned that reservoirs now contain only a year’s worth of water.
This state of affairs has left Gov. Brown with nothing but contempt for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who recently announced a presidential bid and has repeatedly denied that the globe has warmed at all in the last two decades. “That man betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of existing scientific data, it’s shocking,” said Brown on NBC’S Meet the Press. “And I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.”
Brown also had harsh words for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has publicly vowed to reign in the Environmental Protection Agency and has urged states to ignore President Obama’s proposal to regulate carbon emissions, believed to be the leading driver of global warming. Sen. McConnell represents the state of Kentucky, which derived 93 percent of its electricity from burning coal in 2013.
By “representing his coal constituents,” Brown said McConnell was endangering “the health and well-being of America.”
“President Obama is taking some important steps,” added Brown. “And to fight that, it borders on the immoral.”