Leading the Green Nation
By jack.flynn on Sep 23, 2008
California State Treasurer Advocates for Smarter Growth
By Stephen Fox.
"I'm convinced that we are going to do things to save the planet," Lockyer said. He highlighted many of the efforts California is undertaking to ensure its position as a leader in promoting environmentally friendly choices and businesses, including bond issues, pension investments in green enterprises, and support for emerging companies developing green technologies.
"I am amazed at the extent to which you find dreamers working very hard and doing very interesting things," Lockyer said about the thousands and thousands of innovations born out of California.
Lockyer pointed out that buildings account for 70% of electricity consumption and 50% of all natural gas used in California. When looking for areas to conserve, he said "the low-hanging fruit is retrofitting buildings."
Noting his personal interest in preserving rainforests, Lockyer stated that we lose 26, 000 square miles of these every year. He cautioned that we can't just recycle, reduce, and reuse. "All of those things fail if we don't protect the rainforests."
The session also featured a lively question-and-answer period, which covered topics like developing incentives for wind power, making municipalities greener, and unrestricted growth. Lockyer said "If we don't' figure out how to address urban sprawl, and the energy and emissions strategies that come with it, all the other strategies aren't enough."