California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) told scientists on Wednesday that he would protect climate research in his state, even as President-elect Donald Trump presents retrograde ideas and proposals to quash studies on the subject.
“We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers, and we’re ready to fight. We’re ready to defend,” Brown said while addressing the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.
The governor unloaded on Trump while referencing the president-elect’s proposal to scrap NASA’s climate research program in an effort to, as a senior adviser said, crack down on “politicized science.”
“If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite,” Brown said to cheers and applause. “We’re going to collect that data.”
Brown offered support in response to reports that some climate scientists are copying information from public servers to independent servers because they’re afraid that a Trump administration may try to alter or dismantle the federal government’s reams of climate data.
“If they start deleting databases, look, we’ve got a lot of databases in California,” he said. “We can take a few more. We’re here. We’re here to collaborate and stay on the course.”
He also pledged to protect any labs within the public University of California system that are doing climate research.
“As long as the University of California manages those labs, we’re not going to have political interference, we’re going to have honest independent science,” Brown said. “You can count on that.”
Trump has previously denied that climate change is real, saying instead that it’s a hoax created by the Chinese. He falsely claimed over the weekend that “nobody really knows” if climate change is real. However, scientists are overwhelmingly in agreement that climate change is occurring, and at least 97 percent of active climate researchers say it’s “extremely likely” that human activities have caused the warming trends in recent decades.
“We know the data, we know what’s happening in the world, despite the deniers,” Brown said. “The climate is changing, the temperatures are rising, the oceans are becoming more acidified, habitats are under stress. The world is really facing this tremendous danger.”
Brown also made a jab at former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who Trump has tapped to head the Department of Energy, by criticizing the Lone Star State’s economy. California has a long history of embracing renewable energy, and its economy has improved under strict environmental regulations.
“We have more sun than you have oil and we’re gonna use it,” Brown said.
Brown was referring to a 2013 radio ad, in which then-Gov. Perry encouraged California-based businesses to relocate to Texas. At the time, Brown lambasted the ad, saying, “It’s not a serious story. It’s not a burp. It’s barely a fart.”