‘This Week’ Transcript: Gov. Jerry Brown

STEPHANOPOULOS: You say more serious than you've seen before, twice as many fires already this year than the average over the last five years. I was struck by the front page of "USA Today" on Friday. It says, "Drought Turns California into A Tinderbox."

What more are you expecting this summer?

BROWN: Well, we're in the third year of a very dry season. We're getting ready for the worst. Now, we don't want to anticipate before we know, but we need a full compliment of firefighting capacity.

The state's climate appears to be changing. The scientists tell us that definitely. So we've got to gear up here. And after all, in California, for 10,000 years, our population was about 300,000. Now it's 38 million. We have more structures, more activist, more sparks, more combustible activity and we've got to gear up for it and as the climate changes, this is going to be a radically different future than was our historic past.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that's the big question, how do you adapt to that?

You say that climate change definitely is -- is at the heart of it, at least a big part of this. You know there's a lot of skepticism, particularly among Republicans in Washington about that.

How do you build the consensus to adapt?

BROWN: That's a challenge. It is true that there's virtually no Republican who accepts the science that virtually is unanimous. I mean there is no scientific question. There's just political denial for various reasons, best known to those people who are in denial.

But whatever the thoughts of the Republicans, we here in California are on the front lines. We've got to deal with it. We've already appropriated $600 million. We have 5,000 firefighters. We're going to need thousands more. And in the years to come, we're going to have to make very expensive investments and adjust. And the people are going to have to be careful of how they live, how they build their homes and what kind of vegetation is allowed to grow around them.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So what else can you do right now to prevent the worst?

I know you've signed an executive order creating new regulations and local governments.

What more can your government do?

Do you need more from Washington?

BROWN: Well, if Washington could change the drought, I'd ask them. But, you know, we live in a world that is not just government or not just business, it's natural, the natural systems. And as we send billions and billions of tons of heat-trapping gases, we get heat and we get fires and we get what we're seeing.

So we've got to gear up. We're going to deal with nature as best we can, but humanity is on a collision course with nature and we're just going to have to adapt to it in the best way we can.

In California, we're not only adapting, but we're taking steps to reduce our greenhouse gases in a way that I think exceeds any other state in the country. And we'll do more.

In the meantime, all we can do is fight all these damn fires.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Before you go, I want to ask you a final political question.

Back in 1992, you stayed in the primaries against Bill Clinton right up until the convention. You said it shouldn't be a coronation. You saw both Clintons out in full force this week.

Do you think Hillary is headed for a coronation this time around?

And is that a good thing for Democrats?

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