And it reminded me that lots of people thought Jerry Brown was over the top in 1992 in his last run for the Democratic Presidential nomination when he talked about campaign finance being bribery. But like a lot of things, he was talking about trends that were happening years before other politicians would talk about them that way. I looked up this video of him giving a campaign speech in 1992, where he made campaign finance a central issue. And I notice that just following 12:50 in the video, he even talks about the One Percent. And that was when a lot of Occupy Wall Street protesters weren't even in preschool yet. Gov. Jerry Brown at UCSC-1992:
He doesn't use Paul Krugman's current term of "zombie ideas" here. But he does complain about "these dead ideas that are so dominant." This was long before the re-animated corpses of Herbert Hoover and Heinrich Brüning were dictating economic policy in a new world depression. (Or Great Recession, if you prefer.)
Of course, times have changed in some ways. In this speech, Jerry was talking about the scandal of "thousand-dollar checks." These days, run-of-the-mill multimillionaires are grumping because they don't get the kind of attention from political fundraisers they used to because the fundraisers only want to talk to zillionaires.
He also talks at the end of the speech about reducing energy consumption by 50%. In a letter to Donald Trump (really!) he says (GOVERNOR BROWN TO GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES ON CLIMATE CHANGE: WHAT IS YOUR PLAN? 08/05/2015):
Continuing to question the science and hurl insults at "global warming hoaxsters" and "apostles of this pseudo-religion" won't prevent severe damage to our health and economic well-being. Americans, their children and generations to come deserve - and demand - better.
From the lab to the boardroom and even to the pulpit, global leaders aren't waiting around. They understand there's no time for delay or denial.
In May, the Pope, issued a call to arms on climate change in his encyclical, Laudato Si' - a charge he echoed last month at a Vatican symposium of the world's mayors and governors organized by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences. Earlier this week, the President announced ambitious, yet achievable, nationwide limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. More than a dozen major companies - from Google to Walmart - representing more than $1.3 trillion in revenue in 2014, have pledged to act on climate change.
In the scientific community, there's overwhelming consensus that climate change is real and happening. This conclusion has been endorsed by nearly 200 national and international scientific bodies throughout the world, including those in Brazil, South Africa, India, China, Russia, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Japan and the U.S.
Here in California, we plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels, increase from one-third to 50 percent the electricity derived from renewable sources and reduce today's petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent all in the next 15 years, among many other efforts. For those that think we have to choose between fighting climate change and growing our economy, let's not forget that California outpaced the nation last year in job growth.