Gov. Ronald Reagan signed the California Environmental Quality Act in 1970, a monumental year for the nation’s environmental movement. That was the year the nation first celebrated Earth Day and that President Richard Nixon signed the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
An early environmental leader as California’s governor nearly four decades ago, Jerry Brown is now easing restrictions for oil companies and talking about overhauling the state’s landmark environmental law to boost the economy.
As we approach year’s end, the news about the California economy is less gloomy than it was a year ago. A look at some recent reporting shows a mixed bag, but with the trends in the right direction.
If you use solar power to charge your iPod, it requires an array of panels, it takes a long time, and you will need to do it again in a day. That’s not a knock on solar energy, the efficiency of solar power panels are pretty good, about 8 percent; by comparison even plants using photosynthesis are only 5 percent efficient and it’s hard to argue with plants and photosynthesis. But efficiency alone is not painting an accurate picture. The energy density of gasoline is much, much greater. For perspective, Ken Cohen of ExxonMobil (I kid you not, they have a blog – it’s pretty interesting too) notes that a gallon of gas has enough energy to charge an iPhone every day for almost 20 years.