Video: Just how 'green' is California?

By Correspondent
NBC News
updated 4/2/2007 7:46:31 PM ET 2007-04-02T23:46:31

In a state where there are more hybrid vehicles on the road than almost all other states combined, two of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous Hummers now run on alternative fuels.

The legislature is considering 60 pieces of global warming legislation, everything from biofuel school buses to energy efficient TVs and computer monitors to “green” apartment buildings.

"We hope to have a million solar roofs over the next 10 years," says Mary Luevano with Global Green, an environmental group that promotes green buildings and cities.

"We simply must do everything we can in our power to slow down global warming before it is too late," said Schwarzenegger in September.

Since Schwarzenegger signed landmark legislation last year to cut greenhouse gases by 25 percent by 2020, California has taken the lead. Anaheim on Monday hosted the world's largest conference on alternative fuels and vehicles.

"We've had a hundred years of driving around on petroleum fuel and flipping a light switch powered by coal and other fossil fuels, so it's a matter of changing our thinking and being more informed consumers," says Terry Tamminen, Schwarzenegger's environmental adviser.

Schools like Monterey Ridge in San Diego now feature lights that turn off automatically when rooms empty and a new solar farm that on Monday was generating almost 90 percent of the school's energy needs.

"It's really cool, and it's a great lesson for the kids," says Principal Rebecca Warlow.

Even public opinion polls here, which traditionally list crime as the top concern, now reflect that for many greenhouse gases have become the No. 1 bad guy.

Record low snowfall and record drought have residents this year facing a perfect storm of drought and fire conditions — obvious reasons the political climate surrounding warming is warming here as well.

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