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Governor Brown Will Head To Rome To Talk Climate Change With The Pope

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"Hey Jerry!" (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
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California Governor Jerry Brown will be heading to the Vatican later this month to meet with Pope Francis to discuss taking aggressive action on climate change. (And, yes, his flight will have a carbon footprint, but do you expect the man to have a Google Hangout with His Holiness instead?)

Brown will be joined in Rome by an international cadre of government officials and United Nations representatives, who will be discussing the growing threat of climate change in the summit Francis is hosting. The talks will also address modern slavery and human exploitation, according to the L.A. Times. The visit is part of Brown's efforts to "light a fire" under national leaders to take stronger action on climate change, and follows soon after a recent letter issued by the Pope to Roman Catholic bishops to join the effort as well.

Earlier this week, Brown said Francis is bringing a welcome moral and theological dimension to the political and market discussions on climate change. Brown explains, "We face an existential threat to human existence as we know it. It's not being taken seriously by the vast majority of powerful people. When the pope, as a powerful person, issues this encyclical, it's a helpful addition to the mix."

Brown and Francis might have some issues to hash out, however, as it seems the Pope has expressed concern about cap-and-trade programs, an approach to controlling emissions that is a cornerstone of Brown's climate change policy. Apparently the programs aren't radical enough for the progressive pope, who explains, “In no way does it allow for the radical change which present circumstances require. Rather, it may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors.”

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But surely Brown and the Jesuit pope will find some common ground, after all, the Governor spent a few years attending a Jesuit seminary before he dropped out.