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firebrown.jpgGov. Jerry Brown, who is preparing to submit a revised budget proposal for the coming fiscal year this month, has found a new argument for financial restraint: Climate change.

At a news conference today to kick off Wildfire Awareness Week, the Democratic governor said he will "do everything I can to deal with forest fires," but he said the bigger problem is how people adapt to climate change.

"It doesn't look like the people who are in charge are going to do what it takes to really slow down this climate change, so we're going to have to adapt, and adapting is going to be very, very expensive," Brown said. "That's another reason why we have to maintain some budget discipline."

Brown, who has urged lawmakers of his own party to resist spending despite the state's improving revenue outlook, said weather is "becoming more intense" as a result of climate change and will "cost a lot of money and a lot of lives."

Brown's remarks come amid a fire season that is off to an unusually fast start, with firefighters battling blazes throughout the state.

In that effort, officials said they will spend whatever is necessary.

Natural Resources Secretary John Laird said an emergency firefighting fund is in "reasonable shape," but that, "The message is clear: We will do whatever it takes to fight the fires and worry about that later, because public safety is first."

PHOTO CREDIT: Gov. Jerry Brown leaves a news conference that was to start Wildfire Awareness Week at a hanger at the CAL Fire Aviation Management Unit at McClellan on Monday, May 6, 2013. Hector Amezcua / Sacramento Bee


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