Jerry Brown compares climate change to war

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Former California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) told The Associated Press in an article published Tuesday that the Biden administration should prioritize climate concerns, comparing the potentially disastrous effects of a climate crisis to war.

Brown exhorted President Biden not to increase U.S. oil production beyond current levels despite rising gas prices and calls from many Republicans for the country to produce more.

"It's true that the Russians are earning money from oil and gas, but to compound that problem by accelerating oil and gas in America would go against the climate goals, and climate is like war: If we don't handle it, people are going to die and they're going to be suffering. Not immediately, but over time," said Brown.

Brown also expressed concern about the possibility of nuclear war, commending the Biden administration for choosing not to raise the U.S.'s nuclear threat level amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Brown is executive chairman of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, known for its "Doomsday Clock" that measures how close the human race is to self-destruction, and is on the board of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the AP noted.

He also leads the California-China Climate Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, which aims to advance research and collaboration on climate change, per the wire service. Since his retirement from public office in 2019, he has organized conversations with special presidential climate envoy John Kerry, Chinese climate envoy Xie Zhenhua and former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

"No matter how antagonistic things get, cooperation is still the imperative to deal with climate and nuclear proliferation," Brown said.

He added, "We have to have enough bandwidth to look at the big issues, because if they get away from us we won't have the little issues to worry about."