In this regard, California has burnished its status (and considering the mid-nineteenth century Gold Rush, some might say birthright) as a vanguard for the nation since its admission into the union in 1850.
According to a 2008 study by Popular Science magazine, it is the only state to have three cities -- San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley -- ranked in the nation's top 10 greenest.
And Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been a major force in managing the continued development of the Golden State's pro-environmental ideology (and not only because he has Hummers powered by hydrogen and biogas).
In September 2006, he signed a bill that launched America's first cap on greenhouse gas emissions, regulating the amount of pollution that manufacturing plants, refineries and utilities are allowed to release into the atmosphere.
A month later, he signed an executive order permitting California to work with the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the country's first mandatory, market-based effort to reduce emissions from greenhouse gases.
And on November 18, he will host the Governors' Global Climate Summit, a two-day conference where American governors will join international leaders to address the issue of climate change.
True to his state's ballot-initiative-loving philosophy, everyone is invited to attend (and if you can't make it, you can view it live online from the University of California).
On the summit's Web site, he says that he wants to "set forth a potential blueprint for the next global agreement on climate change solutions."
Here's hoping that Mr Schwarzenegger's meeting will result in that magic moment crystallized in California's state motto: Eureka.
- Visit the Governors' Global Climate Summit Web site
- Watch the summit Webcast on November 18-19
- Read "America's 50 Greenest Cities" (Popular Science, February 8, 2008)
- Join the Greenpeace "Energy [R]evolution"
- Sign the "We Can Solve It" petition for a global treaty on climate change
- Analyze and reduce your impact on the environment with the National Grid Floe
- Bush's Last Deregulatory Gasp (November 11, 2008)
- California Passes Landmark Anti-Cruelty Act (November 7, 2008)
- First US Emissions Trading Market Opens (September 28, 2008)
- Senate Holds Hearing on Bush's Environmental Record (September 24, 2008)
- Californians to Vote on Landmark Anti-Cruelty Act (September 22, 2008)
- California Moves to Protect Endangered Turtles (July 25, 2008)
- Legal Win for California Wildlife (April 25, 2008)
- Critics Say EPA is "Missing in Action" (April 18, 2008)