But we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be blinded by the headlines, because hidden behind national politics, conservation forces at the local level kicked fat fanny.Don’t feel bad if you missed the story. Nearly everyone else has, too. Nationwide on Election Day, Americans voted to tax themselves an unprecedented $2 billion for conservation.
That’s right. The very same electorate that swept incumbent Democrats out of office simultaneously approved one conservation initiative after another at both local and statewide levels. According to figures tabulated by the Trust for Public Land, 80 percent of those conservation measures passed, and often by large margins.
The new, clean-energy economy is humming in the Southwest. The Arizona Republic recently reported 15 new solar projects are ready to go online in the next two years. Southwestern states are reaping the sun and reaping benefits from spinoff economies that accompany clean-energy innovation. The same can be said elsewhere for wind power and, on a smaller scale, biomass and geothermal power. It’s almost as if the debate about global climate change doesn’t need debating – it’s become a fact of life pushing local and state action.