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Jerry Brown: GOP in 'denial' on climate change

December 15, 2011 | 11:57 am

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Gov. Jerry Brown took on  Republicans and the Cato Institute and joked about Jesuits in a speech to his climate change conference in San Francisco Thursday.

Speaking to about 250 scientists, activists, policy officials and Richard Branson, Brown blasted Republicans for being in "absolute denial" about the risks of global climate change.

He singled out the conservative Cato Institute of contributing to the "cult-like behavior of the political lemmings that would take us over the cliff."

"I know something about cults," quipped Brown, a former seminary student. "I don't want to say my time with the Jesuits was a cult experience, but it was dogmatic, somewhat one-sided to say the least, and not particularly open to contrary opinion."

Brown said addressing the risks of a changing environment demanded cooperation.

"We have to pull together and do everything we can to wake people up" about climate change, Brown said.

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, will address the crowd Thursday afternoon.

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Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown. Credit: Reed Saxon / Associated Press

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