TIME Going Green Blog, “California Election: Environmentalists Get Green”

From NRDC in the News. Thankyou.
TIME Going Green Blog, “California Election: Environmentalists Get Green”

November 1, 2010

By Bryan Walsh

Environmentalists are great at visualizing catastrophe — just see An Inconvenient Truth — but even the most doom-filled green would have had a difficult time imagining the past 12 months. From the debacle of the hacked Climategate e-mails to the bitter disappointment of Copenhagen to the slow death of carbon cap and trade in the Senate, the past year has mostly been one of reversals for the U.S. environmental movement.

The midterm elections aren’t looking any better. Tea Party–backed candidates not only oppose cap and trade, they question the reality of climate change. (Ron Johnson, the Republican candidate who may unseat Senator Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, chalks up any climate change to “sunspots.”) Even many Democrats are running away from climate and energy legislation — Joe Manchin, the Democratic candidate for Senate in West Virginia, filmed an ad that shows him actually shooting a bullet into a cap-and-trade bill. (That’s pandering to two constituencies with one bullet!) And fossil-fuel companies are flexing their political muscle, flooding conservative candidates with quantities of cash that environmental groups can’t possibly match.

But it’s a different story in California, where a coalition of Hollywood celebrities, philanthropists and tech billionaires is fighting to save a favorite piece of climate policy and backing its efforts with millions of dollars in campaign donations. The battle is over Proposition 23, a ballot initiative that would all but repeal California’s landmark climate-change law. And unlike in much of the rest of the country, in the Golden State, the greens look to be winning — in campaign cash and at the polls


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