It actually isn’t, as far as most polls are concerned – usually Vermont is ranked first, and California comes in on the Forbes list at number 14. California tends to have a reputation for being more hippie, liberal or “green” than the rest of the country, and while it’s definitely up there, this seems like a case where stereotypes have gotten the best of actual facts.
Some of the “green” things California is doing now include building more environmentally friendly schools which will conserve more water and energy, and switching five prisons over to solar power which will offset “over 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide over 20 years” – that is pretty impressive!
I think the idea that California is a leader of all things green evolved from its history, natural beauty and people. California is blessed with many magnificent natural wonders. There are mountains, forests, deserts, wetlands, beaches, lakes, grasslands; many of which are endemic and unique. So many people are inclined to protect it. The state also has a strong history in conservation, ie. the Sierra Club was started by John Muir, water conservation is the strongest in the US because of high demand with a very finite supply, one of the first states to implement a comprehensive, binding climate change law. California is a state where the minority population is higher than the majority population. Minority population tend to be more outspoken regarding environmental justice issues because they tend to suffer from this, so that mobilizes a lot of legislative action to protect the environment and to protect people from environmental hazards.
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