California Governor Jerry Brown fired back at left-wing hecklers who disrupted his speech on climate change at a gathering in Germany, joking: “Let’s put you in the ground.”
The full video of the confrontation, published online by the Sacramento Bee, shows Brown being interrupted as he was addressing a conference of America’s Pledge, an initiative ledby Brown and by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. (Bloomberg apparently also contributes funding to the initiative.)
America’s Pledge describes itself as follows: “America’s Pledge brings together private and public sector leaders to ensure the United States remains a global leader in reducing emissions and delivers the country’s ambitious climate goals of the Paris Agreement.”
Several hecklers began shouting during Brown’s address. He tried to shrug off the interjections: “And we even have characters like this here, to make it the dialectic of … yeah, I wish we could have not pollution, but we have to have our automobiles.”
As the hecklers continued, Brown responded: “I agree with you, in the ground. Let’s put you in the ground so we can get on with the show here.”
“This is very California,” Brown joked as the protesters calmed down. “Actually, that’s very mild.”
Then another group of hecklers, on the other side of the room, stood up to read demands, wearing Native American garb. “I wish I could speak in rhythm, but I don’t,” he joked. He added: “If I could turn off the oil today, 32 million vehicles would stop, and 10 million jobs would be destroyed overnight.”
Despite his obsession with climate change, Brown has frequently faced environmental protests at home over his refusal to stop hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in California.
Rather than address America’s Pledge by video, Brown traveled to the conference as part of a long European tour, burning tons of carbon along the way.