Jerry Brown at West Coast Green

Uploaded by AGJerryBrown on 29.09.2008

If you look at a lot of development today,
it's not about housing, but it's about human garaging.
Human garaging.
What I mean by that is
they build these houses as far away as you can get,
east of Manteca,
you know, way up into where ever.
And then there are no jobs there
Houses are cheap by the way.
The further you get from San Jose and San Francisco
and Oakland, and the Bay Area,
the cheaper the land gets.
One problem,
then you have to drive back to get a job
and then you have to burn oil.
So most of these new human garage projects
are really oil dependency stimulators.
And that's really the challenge that we have brought.
We gotta deal with that.
Back in the 70s, the legislature passed
a 55% tax credit for solar installations
25% tax credit for all businesses
that invested in conservation technologies
We had a solar technician program
to teach young kids how to install solar collectors on roofs
That time it was hot water solar
we weren't really talking too much about photovoltaic
Then we got these building standards
and then we got the applicance standards
And then the end result, of course
California became the most efficient
energy efficient state in the country
We also
We were leading th way in so many different ways
but of course that didn't make people so happy
Ronald Regan was elected president
and we had this applicance standard for refrigerators,
for stoves to make them meet certain efficiency standard.
The Federal government came along
and in the 80s
and they preempted it.
They said, we want our own standard
and our standard is no standard
Can you believe that?
A no standard standard
preempted to Calfornia's standard.
And there's where we are.
So the Federal government has been at war
with American independence,
energy independence and efficiency
for the last 25 years.
That's a fact.
That's why we're so dependent
on the people over there in the Middle East
California, in the early 80s,
as a result of a couple of things
a result of measures taken on tax credits,
at the Federal level,
the state level,
the Public Utilities Commission rules
all that produced,
in California,
what turned out to be
over 90% of the electricity generated by wind,
about 1,800 mega-watts.
That was in the early 80s
and it was a real model.
Today, California has a very tiny fraction
of the world's wind energy
because of the various personalities in politics
the torch of leadership has spread
has gone elsewhere.
Up until a couple hundred years ago
there's only 500 million people.
And those 500 million people
weren't using coal,
weren't using oil,
weren't using gas,
and weren't driving cars.
Now those 500 million people
are 6.7 billion
we're approaching a billion vehicles
and we're obviously
bringing about unpredecented impacts,
changes on the pattern of life
and nature of which we are a tiny fractional part.
Now it was just a couple of years ago
that 98 members of the U.S. Senate
voted against signing the Kyoto Protocol.
98 out of 100!
Democrats and Republicans!
It was only a few years ago that for 20 years
the Federal government refused to increase
the fuel efficiency of automobiles
In fact, when California adopted a few years ago
fuel efficiency standards,
the automobile companies sued us.
And they're still suing us!
They're suing us here in California
they're suing other states that have copied California
And now, as they're bankrupt,
they're going to Washington to get a bailout
so that they can build efficient cars
which they could have built
if they had just opened their eyes
and did the right thing!
Congress, under both parties
hated fuel efficiency!
Why did they hate it?
Because the auto companies
had their nice advertising,
their propaganda,
their worldview,
that if you're not in a bigger and bigger car,
you're not safe,
you're not really American!
You're not a soccer mom unless you got a big car,
unless you got a couple of tons of steel and plastic
encompassing your frail little body.
I mean think about it.
How inefficient is it to put people in these
big mechanical bubbles
and move them around burning oil,
destroying the environment.
Pretty crazy.
But that's the norm.
And if you go against it, you're weird
Quantity over quality.
But there's the real conflict.
Can we appreciate quality,
can we appreciate proportionality,
so that we are in balance.
Ecology is very much tied to economics.
Economy and ecology come from the root word
it's a Greek word
meaning "household."
Economics is about the rules of the household,
the big household that we are all buying and selling in.
Ecology uses the word "logos"
to tie into the house that we are in
Logos, in ancient tradition,
is the word for the divine spirit.
So ecology is about the larger pattern
the spirit of which are all apart
and which makes everything go.
So ecology has to trump economics.
Economics is inside ecology
and if we don't pay attention to ecology,
the economics gets all screwed up
and that's exactly what's happening.
Federal government, let's go
Appliance standards, building standards.
California with our Title 24
we're ahead of rest of the country.
They gotta catch up.
And we need the investment in new technologies
in solar, in wind, in photosythesis,
and all that stuff.
That's where we gotta put our money.
And what have we done?
Hey, since I left the governor's office
the percentage going to prisons
has gone from 2% to 10%
That's 8 billion extra dollars
to do the same thing in this society
just in 30 years!
We're putting money here, putting money there
we've got to invest it
it gotta be in the private sector to a great extent
but government itself has a great obligation and opportunity
They're screwing it up
and now they need $700 billion.
By the way, you notice you get $700 billion in a few days
the Iraq war in a few years
you spend $700 billion.
Oil bill -
$700 billion in maybe 15 months.
Why couldn't we do the same kind of thing?
Hey, $700 billion for solar,
for efficiency,
for conservation.
Why not?
By the way, they tell us
the accumulated debt, public and private,
that's state, local, and Federal,
that's student loans,
that's credit cards,
that's mortgages, that's corporate,
the whole thing, well
2 weeks ago, it was $47 trillion.
Now it's about $48 trillion.
So what's another trillion?
Let's put that into solar,
and alternative energy,
and more fuel efficient cars, and trains and buses,
and better houses to live in.
You know, give a trillion here,
give a trillion there,
you could get something done.
But you've gotta think big
and that's why you're here.
There's still a principle
that has informed every religious tradition
in the history of mankind,
and that's self-limitation,
being able to perceive when enough is enough.
I once talked about we're entering an era of limits
and then people got mad at me.
They said Brown's against having fun,
he's against growth,
against - No!
Everything has a limit.
Our bodies have limits,
cars have limits,
Everything's got a limit.
We have to understand the limits
that define our reality.
And we're exceeding those limits
in the generation of CO2.
The CO2 last year
was more than what was generated the year before.
The increase in accelerating.
The capacity of the oceans is diminishing
as a sink to absorb the CO2.
The methane that has been captured in the permafrost
is beginning to leak out.
The thing builds and accelerates.
And this big weather system
whether it's a hurricane,
or a forest fire,
or an earthquake,
that's big stuff
that's a lot bigger than our little political ideas.
So while we take care of daily activities in economics,
we have to be able to turn this system in a way
that is compatible with the rules of nature,
the rules of the household that we are apart of,
and we're not there yet.
Congress is not there,
neither of the parties are there.
We need a big shakeup to get even a minimal shift.
That's what I challenge you to do today.
Think that shift in your own mind,
make that shift in your lives,
and then let's turn this political process around
so we have something to give to those that come after us.
Thank you very much and I appreciate all of your activism.