Governor’s State of the State address: What he said about water and climate change

From the Governor’s State of the State address:

Gov Brown SOTS speech” … Among all our uncertainties, weather is one of the most basic. We can’t control it. We can only live with it, and now we have to live with a very serious drought of uncertain duration.

Right now, it is imperative that we do everything possible to mitigate the effects of the drought. I have convened an Interagency Drought Task Force and declared a State of Emergency. We need everyone in every part of the state to conserve water. We need regulators to rebalance water rules and enable voluntary transfers of water and we must prepare for forest fires. As the State Water Action Plan lays out, water recycling, expanded storage and serious groundwater management must all be part of the mix. So too must be investments in safe drinking water, particularly in disadvantaged communities. We also need wetlands and watershed restoration and further progress on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

It is a tall order.

But it is what we must do to get through this drought and prepare for the next.

We do not know how much our current problem derives from the build-up of heat-trapping gasses, but we can take this drought as a stark warning of things to come. The United Nations Panel on Climate Change says – with 95 percent confidence – that human beings are changing our climate. This means more droughts and more extreme weather events, and, in California, more forest fires and less snow pack.

As you know, of all the states, and even of most of the countries of the world, California is the leader in dealing with climate change. From AB 32, to our building and appliance efficiency standards, our renewable portfolio standard and our support of electric vehicles, California is leading the way. Nevertheless, in terms of greenhouse gases, our biggest challenge remains the amount of gasoline Californians use. Each year, our motor vehicles use more than 14 billion gallons of gasoline to travel over 330 billion miles. To put those numbers in perspective, the sun is 93 million miles away. Reducing our oil consumption, two thirds of which is imported by ships and tank cars, will take time, breakthrough technologies and steadfast commitment. It will also require that the countries which burn the most fossil fuel join with us. We’ve started building those partnerships with other states and countries like China. We will go to Mexico next. California can’t do this alone. … “

Read the full text of the Governor’s speech by clicking here.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: