Gov. Jerry Brown told attendees at an environmental conference Friday that climate change must be prevented or humans might one day be forced to live on another planet.
Addressing the Greenbuild Expo in San Francisco, Brown lauded California's cap-and-trade auction for greenhouse gas emissions, which began this week. It was the formal launch of the nation's most ambitious carbon-trading market, which for the first time established a market-based system to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions.
The Democratic governor said future generations will be living "indoors ... or we'll be living on some other planet." He urged other states and the nation to follow California's lead, saying the state can only do so much by itself.
"Human impact on climate is real," Brown said. "It is growing, and we need to take steps to stop it or there will be catastrophic consequences."
Brown said he has always been a steward of the environment, saying he earned the nickname "Gov. Moonbeam" decades ago during his first gubernatorial stint in part because of his interest in solar energy.
"That was not a term of endearment," the governor joked. "The people who invented that term aren't around anymore, but I am."