I love CA
What a month to be a Californian: An election came and went, the World Series trophy finally made it to San Francisco and The Wall Street Journal called California “the Lindsay Lohan of states.” Auntie Ruth thinks of California as the Jerry Brown of states, but let’s not quibble.
If California were the Randy Newman of states, we’d sing together: “I’m different and I don’t care who knows it / Something about me / It’s not the same, yeah / I’m different and that’s how it goes / Ain’t gonna play your goddamn game.” Z’true.
Case in point: Note the many California counties that voted red in the governor’s race but voted down Proposition 23. Counties such as Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego—where men are men, Republicans are Republicans and you’ll only take their SUVs if you pry ’em from their cold, dead fingers—voted greener than Auntie Ruth would have predicted. San Diego is heavily Republican, and yet nearly 56 percent of those voting were anti-23.
That’s good news, especially when put in the national context: Republican support for increased federal funding for wind, solar and hydrogen technology dropped 20 points from 2008, according to a recent survey by The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. When it comes to “believing in ‘solid evidence’ that the Earth is warming, 79 percent of Democrats hold that view, compared to 38 percent of Republicans,” the survey said. According to the The New York Times, “This mirrors previous surveys. Among tea partiers, though, the numbers fall to 30 percent.”
What is it about us Californians that’s not the same, yeah? For starters, much of what the rest of the country considers eco-fringy is a fact of life here. We’re a Prius nation; we do solar panels. We buy organic produce grown in fields just outside of town. A fascinating study from Michigan State University crunched numbers and found that if Americans took 17 simple steps, “environmental changes that involve no major shift in ‘household well-being,’ they could cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent.”
“If that doesn’t seem like much, consider that this is equivalent to the total emissions of France,” Conservation Magazine’s Robert McClure reports. These 17 things—which includes weatherizing with attic insulation, adopting more efficient appliances and motor vehicles, resetting temps on water heaters, line drying, more efficient driving, carpooling—all look familiar. It’s California, it’s what we do. And how we vote.
We’re the California of states, bub. Get used to it.