A recent Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) survey shows we like the idea that California is doing something about climate change. As the Los Angeles Times graphic shows, we even want, across the political spectrum, to spend money on getting more renewables into the system.
One of the premises of much liberal politics is that, if we can just push reality-based policies through the many choke points in our political system, people will end up accepting their necessity and ever rather liking them. The PPIC findings on California's energy policy seem to bear that out. We've long fought air pollution and smog here.
When Californians see this year's array of extreme weather events -- floods, fires, heat waves -- they see climate change in progress.
Interestingly, there is a racial difference in the importance accorded to effects of global warming.
This mirrors divides throughout the national political picture: communities without wealth turn to government to soften the blows of systemic catastrophe while the more affluent think they can take care of themselves. The changing racial demographics of the population are likely to lead to shifts in government policy in the climate change arena as in so many others -- especially as Latinos increase their numbers and clout.