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brownclimatechange.jpgMOUNTAIN VIEW - Gov. Jerry Brown complained bitterly this morning that the news media ignores climate change, in a speech attended by more than a dozen photographers and reporters.

"If you take a look at Google and type in 'global warming news,' I venture to say on most days in the news, 20 to 30 percent, if not more, of the news, will be by climate deniers or skeptics, whatever you want to call them," Brown said at a conference with climate scientists at NASA's Ames Research Center. "Everything these guys are saying either is not true, not relevant or totally distorted -- or it's not important."

The Democratic governor, who has made climate change a focus of his administration, compared interest in the event to recent news that the Bay Area will host football's Super Bowl in 2016.

"I mean, compared to getting the 50th Super Bowl, this stuff is silly," Brown said. "It's just a bunch of scientists talking. What really counts is the stuff you're going to read on the front page tomorrow. You're not going to hear about this. It's not allowed, because this is not news. News is something else. This may be true, it may be fundamentally important, but it's not news and therefore it cannot be printed in the American press."

Brown said people must "join with other individuals" and organizations to spread information about climate change and to work to combat it.

Brown championed environmental causes when he was governor before, from 1975 to 1983. In his current term he has signed legislation requiring California to obtain one-third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. He has also spoken frequently about the risk of climate change, including the issue in addresses this year in China and Washington, D.C.

In his home state, Brown has tangled with environmentalists over his effort to overhaul California's signature environmental law and, most recently, his proposal last week to loan the general fund $500 million from California's cap-and-trade program, money designated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The administration has defended the proposed loan, saying state agencies need more time to develop greenhouse gas-reduction programs.

Brown and scientists at the climate change conference celebrated the release of a paper signed by a wide range of scientists addressing pollution, population growth, species extinction and the impact of humans on climate change.

"Earth is rapidly approaching a tipping point," the scientists wrote. "Human impacts are causing alarming levels of harm to our planet. As scientists who study the interaction of people with the rest of the biosphere using a wide range of approaches, we agree that the evidence that humans are damaging their ecological life-support systems is overwhelming."

Many conservatives say the effect of climate change is overstated, and that regulations intended to address it are overly burdensome.

At the conference this morning, Brown said, "I always like to hear from people who are saying what I believe." He called his position on climate change a "lonely position ... in the face of total and complete denial."

PHOTO CREDIT: Photographers take pictures of Gov. Jerry Brown at an event in Mountain View on Thursday, May 23, 2013. David Siders / Sacramento Bee


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