|From:||Lenny Siegel <email@example.com>|
|Date:||Wed, 3 Nov 2010 09:49:00 -0700 (PDT)|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] Greetings from the Island of California|
(Please excuse the duplicate postings.)Many conclusions will be drawn from last night's (November 2, 2010) election, but the one most directly relevant to CPEO's work is that California has decided that environmental protection, particularly aggressive policies to combat climate change, is not a threat to our economy. Instead, "green" technology is the road to economic recovery.
In our most important races - governor and U.S. Senate - Californians returned to office two veteran Democrats with strong environmental credentials, Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer. They soundly defeated Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, two well-funded, mainstream Republicans. Both Whitman and Fiorina hail from here in Silicon Valley, but in our county they lost by 26% and 30%, respectively.
Democrats swept statewide offices, with San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom - who has led the implementation of numerous sustainability initiatives in his city - easily winning the Lt. Governor's race. As of this morning, it appears that Democrats gave up only one House seat in the state, by a small margin.
Meanwhile, less than 39% of the electorate supported the statewide ballot proposition (#23) that would have essentially overturned California's AB 32 law, which requires major producers of greenhouse gases to report on and reduce emissions. This proposition was opposed by outgoing Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who castigated the Texas oil companies that funded the "yes" campaign. Opposition campaign coffers were boosted by major contributions from high-tech entrepreneurs.
The consensus in Silicon Valley these days - despite the campaigns of Whitman and Fiorina - is that the next innovative wave in the state's (the world's?) center of industrial innovation will be green technologies ranging from renewable energy generation to electric vehicles to other forms of energy conservation. That is, environmentalists and key elements of the state's business community are on the same page.
Meanwhile, in a little publicized statewide ballot measure, 55% of the voters passed Proposition 25, which would require a only a simple majority of the state's legislative houses to enact a state budget, as opposed to the current 2/3 requirement. Two thirds is still required to raise taxes. While balancing the budget will remain challenging in these difficult economic times, this measure will likely eliminate the annual legislative gridlock that grips Sacramento. The Democratic Assembly and Senate, working with Governor Brown, will be able to pursue their "green" agendas.
As I watched election returns last night, I saw, for the first time on TV, Nissan's "polar bear" ads, promoting the LEAF all-electric vehicle. I earlier saw the same ad last Saturday in a temporary building in San Jose, where I joined hundreds (thousands?) of other Silicon Valley residents waiting for hours to test drive the LEAF. While initial LEAF assembly will take place in Japan, the growth of plug-in cars such as the locally designed-and-produced Tesla and Chevy's Volt present enormous opportunities for domestic production and infrastructure development.
I suspect that most other Americans, even in "Red" states, are also worried about climate change and want to change our economy to address it, but in California the political winds and economic sunshine have clearly endorsed such a strategy.
-- Lenny Siegel Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight a project of the Pacific Studies Center 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041 Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545 Fax: 650/961-8918 <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://www.cpeo.org _______________________________________________ Military mailing list Military@lists.cpeo.org http://lists.cpeo.org/listinfo.cgi/military-cpeo.org
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