The proposal came yesterday during a freewheeling panel discussion among California Gov. Jerry Brown, Virgin Group Chair Sir Richard Branson, and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Chair Rajendra Pachauri. Kicking off a conference on “Extreme Climate Risks and California’s Future” held at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Brown pledged to protect his state from the “huge problems” posed by climate change, including from efforts by climate science deniers to impede climate action.
“Our biggest problem is to deal with the skepticism and denial of the cult-like lemmings who would take us over the cliff,” said Brown, a Democrat, eliciting cheers and laughter from an audience of roughly 200 policymakers, businessleaders, and activists. “The skeptics and deniers have billions of dollars at their disposal … But I can tell you we’re going to fight them every step of the way until we get this state on a sustainable path forward.”
More laughter came when Pachauri joked that Branson could give climate deniers tickets on the aviation mogul’s planned flights into outer space. “Perhaps it could be a one-way ticket,” Pachauri said, smiling, “though I’m not sure space deserves them.”