"This is a path that must be pursued today, the next decade, the next 100 years, and it's something that has yet to fully capture the public imagination," the Democratic governor said at a conference on climate change at the California museum. "There's still great denial."
Brown has made climate change a priority of his administration, and his speech Monday covered familiar ground.
"If something is discrete and it happens, like a forest fire or an accident or a tornado, it's easy to grasp and we can react to it," Brown said. "But when we have the buildup of these heat-trapping gasses globally and then you say, 'What do we do?' And this is the kind of challenge where it's not just California. We're 1 percent of the problem. We have to get other states and other nations on a similar path forward, and that is enormously difficult, because it requires different jurisdictions, different political values to unite around this one challenge of making a sustainable future."
Brown was protested outside the museum by about 30 activists opposed to the Brown administration's permissiveness of hydraulic fracturing, a controversial form of oil extraction. The activists, who have dogged Brown at public appearances since last year, marched on the sidewalk and chanted, "Climate leaders don't frack!"
PHOTO: Gov. Jerry Brown looks at protesters opposing fracking after his speech at the California Democratic Party's convention on March 8, 2014, in Los Angeles. Associated Press/ Jae C. Hong