California Gov. Jerry Brown is leaving tonight for June’s climate talks with China in a birch bark canoe he built by hand.
Brown traveled to China in 2013, and was in Paris for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in late 2015. Both trips he made by jet, a decision he says he now regrets.
“If I had already paddled this canoe across two of the world’s great oceans – the Pacific and the Atlantic – the world would have grasped the seriousness of the carbon catastrophe that’s engulfing us,” he said, underscoring his vast depth of knowledge in geography, oceanography, climate science, world affairs, and human nature.
“Most people don’t want to think about catastrophe,” Brown told his audience on the beach in San Francisco. “I am not most people. And I’ll have plenty of time to think about that as I read my favorite obscure sixteenth century Spanish prayer book that established two key elements of my spiritual life: prayer and mortification.”
Brown also took the opportunity to call President Donald Trump a doctrinally deviant heretic, a heroin addict, and a slave to war.
“China is the great hope,” he said just before boarding his canoe. “I trust the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, who is doing a hell of a job dealing with climate change. But I don’t trust Donald Trump or any of the Americans who voted for him.”
Then Governor Edmund Gerald Brown Jr. pushed his canoe into the surf, and turned to his disciples once more.
“Pray with me,” he said, and everyone knelt on the beach for a Jesuit benediction.
“We need prayer to deal with Trump because we need divine assistance,” he intoned. “And we need mortification because you got to tighten your belt, you got to do difficult things, like paddle to China in a canoe. Lord, show us clearly what our duty is, and help us to be faithful in doing it, especially when Republican assholes like Trump display a slavish adherence to the non-belief in anything to do with climate change. And bring back the Holy Inquisition so we may punish the climate deniers. Amen.”
Editor’s note: As this article is published, Gov. Brown is three miles past the Golden Gate Bridge and paddling hard. President Trump assigned the guided-missile frigate USS McClusky (FFG 41) and an SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopter – which will hover over his position 24 hours a day – to make sure the governor reaches his destination.