Gov. Jerry Brown helped bring a four-day green building exposition to a close when he spoke today at the Moscone Center.
As volunteers and workers helped break the show down on the ground floor, eco-friendly building professionals from around the country and the world gathered for the closing session of the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo today.
When Brown took the stage, he communicated appreciation for those gathered, a sense of urgency for sustainable development and dismissal of those who believe California is a “failed state.”
Brown said that in his eyes, the conference represents a part of “one of the greatest challenges that humanity has ever faced,” which he described as, “dealing with our whole industrial system and how we make it compatible with our climate system.”
“The warning is pretty clear.” Brown continued, “human beings are on a collision course with nature. We gotta change, we gotta do something,” he said.
Moving on to policy, Brown criticized those who “think that California is in decline.”
According to Brown, that is not an accurate description of the golden state, which on Wednesday launched its cap-and-trade program to limit carbon emissions and create a way to auction greenhouse gas allowances.
“People talk about protecting the environment as some economic negative… They really miss the point, that there is no ability to repeal the laws of nature.”
California may be ahead, Brown said, but urged those in the audience to spread values of energy efficiency.
“California can only go so far…So it’s up to you to galvanize all the other states and the United States get with it…where we have to end up is with buildings that are zero net energy.”
Among the thousands gathering for the exposition’s closing speeches was Geoff Reiner, an engineer at Jacobs Engineering in Fort Worth Texas.
“I got to see a lot of new products and get energized. It’s nice to see a lot of like-minded people,” Reiner said.
Priya Premchandran, a LEED Manager with SERA Architects in Portland, said she had also had a good experience.
“It was pretty great. There were a lot of innovative projects,” she said. “Everybody here’s really trying to push the market forward towards the next frontier.”