California Gov. Jerry Brown, front, right, flanked by Minsignor Marcelo Sorondo, shows a paper during a workshop organized by Vatican on the climate change, at the Casina Pio IV, at the Vatican, Saturday Nov.4, 2017. Alessandra Tarantino AP
California Gov. Jerry Brown, front, right, flanked by Minsignor Marcelo Sorondo, shows a paper during a workshop organized by Vatican on the climate change, at the Casina Pio IV, at the Vatican, Saturday Nov.4, 2017. Alessandra Tarantino AP

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Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown likes veggie burgers better than SUVs

By Christopher Cadelago

ccadelago@sacbee.com

November 14, 2017 08:21 AM

UPDATED November 14, 2017 11:41 AM

BONN, Germany

Jerry Brown is generally unwilling to sink his teeth into cheeseburgers.

He showed less hesitation targeting the ubiquitous sport-utility vehicle.

First, some context.

Brown, on a tour through Europe proselytizing about climate change, has offered sharp warnings about the perils of a warming planet. Yet he’s not one to nag the public over their choice of fuel.

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At the European Parliament, a member tried to press Brown to refrain from eating cheeseburgers. So passionate was she in her vegetarianism that she cornered him following the event after first asking him during general session.

“Anne (Gust Brown) loves cheeseburgers, and I sometimes take a bite out of it,” Brown relented. “I like veggie burgers better than beef burgers, truth be known.”

But on a panel Sunday in Bonn, Germany, his inner-scold emerged as he spoke of the need for more zero-emission vehicles. That’s not easy, Brown said.

“People want to drive in SUVs. It wasn’t very long ago that people thought a truck was for work,” he said. “And now, the propaganda, or the meme, if I can use that word ... is that you’re not safe in anything smaller than one of these big SUVs.

“So they got people to think they are buying an SUV to save themselves, and their family. I think that’s a nonsense idea.”

Zero-emission vehicles are becoming more widely available, and Brown believes society must accelerate their pace of acceptance.

“We have to become missionaries,” he said. “We need prophets. We need missionaries. We need zealots to promote climate action.

“This is not enough just to talk about numbers. You have to have emotion. You have to have feeling. You’ve got to be so possessed of this reality that our climate can be destroyed for human habitation, and we’re not going to let it happen.”

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago