California poised to become epicenter of climate action movement

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- State and local leaders along with representatives from 39 countries on Wednesday will discuss how to continue with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement without the Trump administration.

Governor Jerry Brown is hosting the Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. With names like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actor Alec Baldwin, it's the event where people want to be seen and heard.

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"You have to be warriors and innovators and missionaries," said Brown, referring to the people who will help lead the way and reverse the effects of global warming.

Among the so-called warriors is former Vice President and environmentalist Al Gore, who spoke at Fort Mason, site of an temporary exhibit called "Coal + Ice" which is meant to inspire climate action through art and ideas.

Gore asked an audience Tuesday to stop treating the atmosphere as an open sewer.

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"But the main thing is we have to stop burning fossil fuel as quickly as possible," said Gore.

The innovators in this movement are many of the business people like Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farms--he's the COO of the company. COO stands for Chief Organic Optimist. For him, protecting the environment is the way to make money.

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"If I can tell a consumer that I am reducing my toxic or climate or water input and footprint and I can get their loyalty, that's gold," expressed Hirshberg.

Finally, in the mix are the missionaries. Grace Cathedral and other Episcopalian churches in Northern California have become visual faces of the movement. Leading them is Bishop Marc Andrus.

"I've dedicated my life to racial reconciliation, to immigration rights, to gender equality, anti war, all kinds of things, but the health of the plant holds all of those, so if the planet is falling apart, all of those issues become worse, and worse and worse," said Bishop Andrus.

Find more information on the Global Climate Action Summit's website.

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