Climate Change

Jerry Brown Touts 'Coercive Power of the State' on Climate Change

Tells an audience in Paris to never underestimate that power being used "in the service of good."

|

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) raised some eyebrows while attending the United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, proclaiming the "coercive power of the central state" is needed to promote good public policy, specifically when it comes to a cleaner environment.

Taking part in an onstage presentation with billionaire and climate activist Tom Steyer, Brown said government regulations force companies to adopt clean technologies.

After Steyer mentioned business frameworks, Brown said, "Tom, you used the phrase 'policy.' Good policy. But I want to unpack that term a little bit. Inside the policy, you need a law. You need a rule. You need the coercive power of government to say, 'Do this.' Now, you have to be wise and don't say something stupid or order something stupid but the fact is, the regulations supported by the laws drive innovation."

The Sacramento Bee reported that Brown later urged a small crowd to "never underestimate the coercive power of the central state in the service of good."

"You can be sure California is going to keep innovating, keep regulating," the 77-year-old Democrat said. "And, shall I say, keep taxing."

The Brown administration has been aggressive in instituting stricter environmental laws and regulations in California.

In October, the four-term governor signed legislation calling on California to generate half of its electricity from sources such as solar and wind by 2030. At the same time, the law mandates homes, offices and factories to double their energy efficiency.

Such moves have prompted opposition from the energy industry, saying they will raise utility bills and gasoline prices, and Brown's comments in Paris drew a swift reaction from critics, who seized on the "coercion" remark.

"Gov. Brown's statement is a frank admission that politicians and government in the U.S. are out of control," said Dan Kish, senior vice president at the Institute for Energy Research, a public policy organization that calls for free market solutions on energy policy.

"The governor bragged about the 'coercive powers of government' and how his state would keep regulating and taxing. The United States was formed to put citizens in charge of their lives by putting a fence around government power and control," Kish said in an email to Watchdog.org.

"Gov. Brown has shown he thinks people should be inside the fence, with government, and their crony business partners, using its coercive and taxing powers to make them do what the politicians say, and it's illustrative he is doing it at the Climate Summit in Paris. This is how freedom is lost and tyranny and coercion prevail."

Brown led a California delegation in Paris that includes Steyer, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León, D-Los Angeles, and other state legislators.

Brown made the remarks in a discussion about reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"This is an art and a science," Brown said. "You have to push business further than they want to go, but within their capacity to reach it."

Clean power companies have long been criticized for their reliance on federal and state subsidies and tax credits, with the bankruptcy of California-based solar company Solyndra used as a prime example. The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Solyndra $536 million in loan guarantees prior to its collapse in 2011.

Green energy advocates have defended the subsidies, arguing that fossil fuel industries have long received tax credits and that government help is often a necessity to launch companies that require large start-up costs.

"Just as with any other major economic transition—the Industrial Revolution, the Marshall Plan, the fall of Communism—there is a role for government policy, finance and investment in speeding the adoption of the new, while easing the phaseout of the old," Kate Gordon, vice chair at the Paulson Institute, said in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal earlier this year.

At a news conference in Paris, K.R. Sridhar, CEO of the fuel cell technology company Bloom Energy, said it would be wrong to single out renewable companies, saying that taxpayers pay for highway and road maintenance that benefit gasoline-powered cars.

Clean technology, the Bee quoted Sridhar, only needs a "helping hand," not a permanent subsidy. "For us," Sridhar said, "it's a feeding bottle and not an addiction bottle."

This article originally appeared at Watchdog.org.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

99 responses to “Jerry Brown Touts 'Coercive Power of the State' on Climate Change

  1. Just saw the US Sec Of State John Kerry on a morning talk show.He spabbled nothing but goobledegook about the Paris agreement. The host ask him waht would happen of Congress defunded the Presidents actions to live up to his agreement. Kerry replied “the President has worked hard on this and it means a lot to him. If Congress wants to challenge this resident they should be careful. The President will use everything within the power of his office to enact these measures.

    He basically had a threatening tone hinting that there may be more than a veto at hand shoulld Congress try to challenge him.

    Kerry was so effusive about this agreement. He said that we would see countries doing this and doing that and all of thses things were so so rosy.. When asked about compliance and enforcement he hemmed and hawed and talked about financial incintives to do the right thing.

    This agreement is nothing more than Obamacare writ international. It is going to prove such a large boondoggle.that doesn’t work but will once again hit American citizens in the wallet

  2. “Coercive power of the state”

    I just got done reading Sheldon Richman’s article about the misutilization of the term “radical.” I would suggest that in this era where politicians of both parties issue pro forma denunciations of government power that any politician willing to acknowledge that a coercive power of the state can bring about public good is a radical– in a good way. Sheldon, what do you think?

    1. You know who else thought the coercive power of the State could bring about public good?

      1. Jar Jar Binks?

        1. Jar Jar was a far greater mind than AmSoc. Which is of particular interest, as Jar Jar does not exist.

      2. “Repression for the attainment of economic ends is a necessary weapon of the socialist dictatorship”-Leon Trotsky..

      3. FDR? Woodrow Wilson? Stalin?

      4. Johnny Fuckerfaster!

    2. I would recommend that both parties issue prima face castigations of state influence that any attache capable of demonstrating that a violent enabler of the government can achieve widespread awesomeness is profound.

      Sheldon, please pay attention to me.

    3. According to the DSM V I think talking to yourself is a warning sign.

  3. Climate scientists are now also 99% certain the planet isn’t flat!

    The price you fear fostering liberals will pay for this reefer madness of climate blame will be in our children’s history books for your decades of needless CO2 panic and your criminal exaggeration and abuse of vague climate science.

    Who’s the neocon?
    Are you fear mongering climate blame “believers” willing to be prosecuted for issuing your CO2 death threats to our children

  4. REAL radicals, REAL rebels, real progressives and real open minded and intelligent civilized humans question, doubt and challenge ALL authority, especially ones that goose step our children to the exaggerated greenhouse gas ovens.
    Are your CO2 gods also only 99% certain the planet isn’t flat?
    The price you merchants of climate change fear will pay will be in our children’s history books for decades of needless panic and CO2 death threats to billions of innocent children.

    1. Climate change is a socialist hoax.

      If mother earth is in danger, the hoaxers would not have met in Paris and would have used Skype to negotiate a deal.

      But no, they went to Paris, to scope out the hot babes, eat at fancy restaurants, and stay a luxury hotels – all paid for by hard working tax payers.

      The Paris Climate Talks Will Emit 300,000 Tons of CO2, by Our Math. Hope It’s Worth It

      http://www.wired.com/2015/11/t…..-worth-it/

      1. There are several million years of evidence that climate change is real. So, it won’t be difficult for any competent scientist to prove. The question at hand is will the continued free exploration of economy have an appreciable impact. The answer to that question has been rendered meaningless as the socialist radicals have co-opted the entire process.

        1. if climate change is or becomes a real issue wouldnt it be relatively cheaper not to pollute?

          1. Your question is totally not relevant to the topic. It makes no difference if there is pollution or not, the socialist radicals want to arbitrarily “equalize” wealth and use of resources.

        2. ^^ THIS!

        3. He means AGW. AGW is just a boogeyman to justify more socialism.

  5. It’s not like someone would use the coercive power of government for motives other than good. It’s not like all of the greatest tragedies in human history have been the result of the coercive power of government. My gawd, why would anyone be skeptical of a Power grubbing statist?

  6. I wish Jerry Brown would make up his mind about the “coercive power of government”. Does he want more gun violence or less gun violence?

    1. There will be no need for violence if you just put down your unnecessary gun and do what Jerry Brown tells you!

    2. I wish Jerry Brown would develop inoperable, agonizing stomach cancer.

    3. Comrades! Isn’t it blatantly obvious that Comrade Brown is right? The use of coercion is a necessary step to enslave the masses, not only for the good of the collective, but for the elitist ruling turds and their cronies? How else are your obvious betters going to enforce their asinine and repeatedly failed policies for their profit if force is not employed? The only way to improve the environment in any socialist slave state is to depopulate the excess number of people. The remaining will be re-educated in our colleges, universities and gulags. From there, the little people will be able to either work in a sweat shop making widgets for the State, live in a cave, eat bark, weeds, etc and drink from the rivers. This is why violence and force is necessary in any true totalitarian socialist state…to improve the lives of the people the State is so kindly murdering and enslaving.
      Any progressive will tell you that.

  7. I’d like to see Brown’s coercive plan to prevent the next glaciation.

    1. One can only assume that Grandpa Simpson….Governor Brown emits so much hot air on his own that this possibility will be eliminated.

      1. Gov. brown is no Abe Simpson. That’s for damn sure.

    2. Careful now.

      He went to divinity school you know? He’s got the inside track to the highest powers. Way above the Governorship! He’ll be standing on the capitol dome before we know it, raising his arms and commanding the deluge to start.

  8. “… the fact is, the regulations supported by the laws drive [broken window spending].”

    This statist twerp has NEVER held a job; he was a trust-fund kid and has slopped at the taxpayer trough ever since. His idea of “innovation” is a new campaign technique.

    1. As are/were most CA politicians.

      Anyone who actually worked for a living and made something of themselves, shuns government service. Joining the guberment after all those years of fighting for one’s own self preservation in the face of it, is akin to sleeping with the enemy.

  9. I’d like Sridhar to tell us how much tesla drivers pay for roads. Nothing you say? Good gig if you can get it…

    We’ve been subsidizing greed energy for decades and it STILL can’t compete with conventional energy. And unless someone figures out how to cheaply store massive amounts of energy, greed energy will always be more expensive for the simple reason that it has to be backed up by real, dependable energy sources like thermal baseload. Or we could all go back to burning our own shit in home firepits like FOE, Sierra Club, and Greenpeace would like.

    1. ‘greed energy’ you nailed it!

    2. Where’s the equivalent whining about subsidizing dirty energy for close to a century?

    1. Moonbeam’s taking that as his text for the services this morning.

  10. Fuck you, governor Moonbeam. If you piss me off enough, I’ll make a bonfire of old tires every earth day for the next forty years.

    -jcr

    1. He is a good argument for composting progressives.

      1. No, Comrade Brown is a walking poster child for abortion. Abort you kids, ladies, or they will end up be as brain dead of Governor Shit-for-brains.

  11. Who’d have thought stoner hippies would get all fascist once their dicks stopped working?

    Though I bet Moonbeam traded his bong for coke once he made the big time, long ago. And now it’s all anti-depressants and viagra… *shuddder*

    I’m sure Jerry Garcia’s bloated corpse has rotten down enough, so plenty of space now to stuff this asshole in there too.

    1. “Who’d have thought stoner hippies would get all fascist once their dicks stopped working?”

      You, Sir Doombringer of SexBot, are the winner.

  12. The mask slips a bit more each year. They’re finding it easier and easier to rationalize their fascism. They’re doing it for our own good. They love us really, but we’re just too stupid to understand what’s good for us so a little bit of force is needed.

    1. We are their children, and they love us so much that sometimes they have to force us to do things for our own good that we don’t want.

      1. We are their childrenserfs

        FTFY

      2. Spanking is evil remember?

        /derp

        1. Well, it’s certainly naughty.

  13. BTW, this is the guy who, in 30+ years of “public service”, in a state with recurring droughts, has used the “coercive powers of the state” to reward pub sec unions with lavish pay and benefit increases while adding absolutely NO water storage. Zero, none.
    And he’s claiming that the ‘right people’ must exercise that power……

    1. TOP. MEN. ONLY.

    2. 3%@50 for “safety” workers. Started with the CHP. Pretty soon was spread to all law enforcement and fire fighters.

      With his recent PEPPRA regs that moved public sector retirement min age up to 62, he had the chance to correct his past mistake. Instead, he purposely left the “safety workers” out of it.

      Wouldn’t want to mess with the goons with guns now, would you. Guns and MRAPs, helicopters, full auto long guns, etc.

  14. ” Brown said. “You have to push business further than they want to go, but within their capacity to reach it.”

    There is a word for this…right on the tip of my tounge….what is it?…F…something.

    Oh well. You know what other government official was a fan of pushing businesses around?

    1. Coercive power is not just “pushing”.
      ” In actual fact, it is the State, i.e., the taxpayer who has become responsible
      to private enterprise. In Fascist Italy the State pays for the
      blunders of private enterprise. Profit is private and individual.
      Loss is public and social”- Gaetano Salvemini.

  15. Fun Climate Quotes- Opening remarks offered by Maurice Strong, who organized the first U.N. Earth Climate Summit (1992) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, revealed the real goal: “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrialized civilization to collapse. Isn’t it our responsibility to bring this about?”
    Former U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth (D-CO), then representing the Clinton-Gore administration as U.S Undersecretary of State for global issues, addressing the same Rio Climate Summit audience, agreed: “We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” (Wirth now heads the UN Foundation which lobbies for hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help underdeveloped countries fight climate change.)
    Also speaking at the Rio conference, Deputy Assistant of State Richard Benedick, who then headed the policy divisions of the U.S. State Department said: “A global warming treaty [Kyoto] must be implemented even if there is no scientific evidence to back the [enhanced] greenhouse effect.”

    1. In 1988, former Canadian Minister of the Environment Christine Stewart told editors and reporters of the Calgary Herald: “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony?climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
      In 1996, former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev emphasized the importance of using climate alarmism to advance socialist Marxist objectives: “The threat of environmental crisis will be the international disaster key to unlock the New World Order.”
      Speaking at the 2000 UN Conference on Climate Change in the Hague, former President Jacques Chirac of France explained why the IPCC’s climate initiative supported a key Western European Kyoto Protocol objective: “For the first time, humanity is instituting a genuine instrument of global governance, one that should find a place within the World Environmental Organization which France and the European Union would like to see established.”
      Kevin Trenberth, a lead author of 2001 and 2007 IPCC report chapters, writing in a 2007 “Predictions of Climate” blog appearing in the science journalNature.com, admitted: “None of the models used by the IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed state.”

      1. Trenberth associate Tom Wigley of the National Center for Atmospheric Research wrote: “Mike, the Figure you sent is very deceptive ? there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC ?”
        Wigley and Trenberth suggested in another e-mail to Mann: “If you think that [Yale professor James] Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official [American Geophysical Union] channels to get him ousted [as editor-in-chief of the Geophysical Research Letters journal].”
        Tom Crowley, a key member of Michael Mann’s global warming hockey team, wrote: “I am not convinced that the ‘truth’ is always worth reaching if it is at the cost of damaged personal relationships.”

        1. Phil Jones wrote: “Basic problem is that all models are wrong ? not got enough middle and low level clouds. ?what he [Zwiers] has done comes to a different conclusion than Caspar and Gene! I reckon this can be saved by careful wording.”
          Writing to Jones, Peter Thorne of the U.K. Met Office advised caution, saying: “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these further if necessary?”
          In another e-mail, Thorne stated: “I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.”

          1. HIDE THE DECLINE- Mikey Mann

    2. “which lobbies for hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help underdeveloped countries fight climate change.”

      If anyone believes that’s how those billions are used, I’ve got a world renowned bridge to sell you. Right here in JB’s Golden State.

  16. “California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) raised some eyebrows while attending the United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, proclaiming the “coercive power of the central state” is needed to promote good public policy, specifically when it comes to a cleaner environment.”

    Politicians and those that support their violence and coercion only do so because they are backed by standing armies. Jerry Brown and his supporters wouldn’t get to far going door to door trying to coerce or extort individuals.

    Yet this pussy is elected, and all of the sudden believes he’s a tough guy…….as he hides behind his standing army of course.

  17. Gee. Lemme find my shocked face.

  18. Ah, Steyer and Brown.

    They have woodchippers in California too, just sayin.

  19. “A man’s admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him”– Alexis de Tocqueville

  20. “it’s a feeding bottle and not an addiction bottle.”

    Where does one get an addiction bottle? Asking for a friend.

  21. Never, EVER turn your back on a failed Jesuit priest.

    1. Or, bend over to pick up the soap in the shower!

  22. I’ll throw a party when that piece of shit (Brown) dies. It can’take come soon enough.

    1. Fucking spellcheck. It CAN’T COME soon enough.

    2. “I’ll throw a party when that piece of shit (Brown) dies. It can’take come soon enough.”

      I used to say I’d be happy to piss on his grave, but I’ve decided I don’t like standing in lines.

      1. He belongs face down in a landfill. Just like every other progressive. I hope the revolution comes soon. The way this kind of trash keeps pushing, it can’t be that many years away.

    3. Bury him with Tom Hayden.

  23. “Climate Change” is not about science anymore, sadly this subject has been hijacked by politics and ideology . I can’t trust anymore on whatever you have to say about it.

  24. “Climate Change” is not about science anymore, sadly this subject has been hijacked by politics and ideology . I can’t trust anymore on whatever you have to say about it.

  25. “Climate Change” is not about science anymore, sadly this subject has been hijacked by politics and ideology . I can’t trust anymore on whatever you have to say about it.

  26. “Climate Change” is not about science anymore, sadly this subject has been hijacked by politics and ideology . I can’t trust anymore on whatever you have to say about it.

  27. “Climate Change” is not about science anymore, sadly this subject has been hijacked by politics and ideology . I can’t trust anymore on whatever you have to say about it.

  28. “Climate Change” is not about science anymore, sadly this subject has been hijacked by politics and ideology . I can’t trust anymore on whatever you have to say about it.

  29. I am so sorry for my multiple posts , how do i fix this? arghhh!!!

  30. So the guy whom Gillespie, Welch and Walker tried to portray as a crypto-libertarian is a statist shithead? What a shock.

    1. Can I hear an Amen for the ciggy butt.

    2. Well, those pro Brown articles were probably worth an invite onto Bill Maher, and maybe a few hipster cocktail parties. So well worth prostituting their purported libertarian ideals. Hell, maybe it got one of them some face time with that Lena Dunham. Maybe one of them had a hook up and got some of that action.

      You can’t put a price on that.

      1. Stay the course man! Stay the course.

  31. “coercive power of the central state” is needed to promote good public policy, specifically when it comes to a cleaner environment.

    Yeah, this is what Progressives are. Peasants (those opposed to their power) should be ruled by their betters (Progressives), by force. That’s what they’re all about.

    “Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”
    ? George Orwell, 1984

    1. There has always been a percentage of the human race that wishes to be dominated by their “betters”. Which is part of how monarchies survived for so long. Some douchebags instinctively gravitate to that kind of servile thinking. I have an aunt like that. If she had lived in last times, she would have supported the worst kind of statist scum. I also have relatives that are dazzled by Hillary. Constantly gushing about how smart she is. One of my cousins says she just loves Obama because “he makes my heart sing”. Seriously, she really said that.

  32. My guess is that he’ll turn the suede-denim secret police on anyone failing to comply sufficiently.

    1. Will they come for my uncool niece?

  33. regulations supported by the laws drive innovation.

    You hear that sound? That’s the sound of my hand impacting my face.

  34. “Now,you have to be wise and not say something stupid or order something stupid…”

    Politicians are generally not Engineers. They have little to no expertise on the subject and have no idea when they are even contemplating something stupid in this realm and therefore can be easily manipulated (if they are, somehow, well intentioned) by those who claim to be experts.

    There is no reason to trust the government with this kind of authority.

    1. They aren’t business people either.

      But, their role as board members, particularly at the local level, requires business acumen. That’s why they make the stupidest decisions one has ever seen.

      But hey, they mean well. They are only looking out for the best interests of you and I.

  35. Part of me is happy nations care about preserving the planet. Part of me is also unhappy they took the path of least resistance to secure funding (strong-armed fear mongering). The tinfoil hat wearing me says climate change is just a smoke screen to stifle manufacturing in emerging industrial countries which is why China is thumbing their nose.

  36. Governor Jerry Brown, California’s newest stand-up comedian!

    1. He was mildly amusing as a stoner When Ronstadt left grief drove him batshit.

  37. The ends justifies the means.

    It’s as old as mankind itself.

  38. Lets all listen to the governor of one of the most fiscally unstable states in the country and his sidekick that wasted 76 million dollars funding his own failed super-pac.

  39. It seems the “warmist” are fighting their inner dictator, but not too hard.

    John Kerry on use of “shame” against skeptics and now, Moonbeam and “coercion”? http://freebeacon.com/issues/k…..agreement/

  40. “You can be sure California is going to keep innovating, keep regulating,” the 77-year-old Democrat said. “And, shall I say, keep taxing.”

    Yes, and Californians keep leaving.

  41. “never underestimate the coercive power of the central state in the service of good.”

    Hmm, no way THAT could ever go wrong, eh, Jerry?

    Brown is increasingly reminding me of Dr. Cocteau from Demolition Man. The media is his Associate Bob.

  42. Being a California resident, I can say we have had a long line of poor Governors, but Brown has set the new standard for awful. His clear desire it for a totalitarian state. Wake up, it’s 1984.

  43. Sridhar is one really big dope – roads are paid for by gasoline taxes. And one could hardly call building roads (which was done long before there were gas powered cars) a subsidy for fossil fuels.). The problem with Gov Brown is thta he’s a junk scientist. Already he has consigned thousands to lung cancer by outlawing e-cigararretes, making sure that people don’t switch and avoid cancer as well as the enormous taxes collected from cigarette sales. Any effect on the climate due to California being 100% non-fossil fueled (which will never happen) is so tiny it cannot be calculated
    As stupid as he is on climate, Brown is even a larger jerk when it comes to an alternative fuel. Wind nd solar are primitive technologically absurd methods of making unreliable electricity.. Molten salt reactors is what the world will go to in the near future. Rushing to bankrupt his state building idiotic windmills and solar panels is the ultimate stupidity.

    The next generation will simply tear them down

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.