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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Not since Bowe Bergdahl went over the hill

It's good to see in these times of strife that at least one civic leader has the wisdom and the courage to put aside the distractions that have consumed both the public and the media for the past two days and focus on the very real threat of climate change. With almost Churchillian resolve Governor Jerry Brown leaves the tranquility of his beloved California and plunges headlong into the messy and deadly business of saving the planet in Paris.
 Environmental battles are nothing new to the stalwart champion of the snail darter and the med fly but the less wise and the less courageous among us are apt to question the Governor's priorities. They may also question his absence and the absence of practically every other elected California state official.
There are absences and there are excused absences and many of California's state leaders of taken their cue from Governor Brown and made the arduous journey to the City of Lights, following a higher calling according to the LA Times.
In an glowing post the Times tells us that during his week long trip, the governor will tout California’s policies, rub shoulders with corporate executives, sign agreements with foreign leaders and be feted at the U.S. ambassador’s residence for his efforts to urge a stronger international accord at the summit which certainly beats the hell out of dealing with the dead and wounded in San Bernardino.
“They’re not calling him Moonbeam anymore,” said Tom Hayden, an environmental activist and former state legislator, former Weatherman and former husband of Jane Fonda who has worked with Brown for years. “This is his moment.”
Oh well!
So who could expect him to cancel his trip? He will however take maybe as much as 4 hours on his way out of the country to console the families of the victims. He had been scheduled to speak at an event Friday with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He will miss that event but will likely maintain the rest of his nearly week-long schedule in France, with his first appearances now expected on Saturday.
While some may quibble he is terribly heavy on noblesse and awful light on the oblige the Sacramento Bee puts it all in perspective.
Jack Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College, said there is little Brown can do in the aftermath of the attack that would require him to cancel his plans in France entirely.
“As a practical matter, there probably isn’t much he can do in the situation,” Pitney said. “He may want to make a symbolic show of concern, to demonstrate his sorrow. But again, on the ground level, the governor can’t really do that much anyway, so there probably isn’t a reason for him to shift his plans apart from making a visit to San Bernardino.”
Correct. The state runs itself but the world needs Jerry Brown. To quote the Mamas and the Papas, California dreaming is becoming a reality.

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