After a week of nearly unabashed adulation from European hosts in four countries, Gov. Jerry Brown got a reminder Saturday of the more rough-and tumble handling he receives at home.
Brown had barely begun a speech in his first formal appearance in Bonn at the U.N. climate-change summit when a small cluster of Californians began a demonstration, holding banners and shouting, “Leave it in the ground!”—a reference to oil and gas extraction activities that pollute low-income neighborhoods.
The group, which did not identify itself, called Brown a hypocrite for bragging about the strictness of California’s environmental regulations while fostering the extraction of highly polluting crude oil, and for his support of fracking.
A report from the environmental group Center for Biological Diversity, released on the eve of the U.N. conference, concluded that about 75% of the oil coming out of California is as climate-damaging as Canadian tar sands crude.
Brown attempted to continue his speech, even adopting the demonstrators’ language at one point and attempting to engage the handful of hecklers in a dialogue.
“I agree with you: ‘In the ground,’ ” Brown said. “Let’s put you in the ground so we can get on with the show here.”
The group was eventually escorted out of the room.
Asked later about the episode, Brown, who has encountered other hecklers in his long political career, replied, “No comment.”
Brown’s speech (beginning at 1:05:59) was about the coalition of cities, states, provinces and countries that have signed on to an agreement to curb carbon emissions.