Arnold Schwarzenegger may have signed the world's toughest anti-global-warming law, but it is Democrat Terry Tamminen, his environmental adviser, who is emerging as the state's real Terminator, winning industry support and the endorsement of a Republican Governor for a mandate to reduce the state's emissions 80% by 2050.
But thwarting climate change isn't a solo effort. Tamminen left his official post to build a national response to global warming one state at a time. "I am trying to Johnny Appleseed what California has done," Tamminen says. His goal is to create a de facto national climate plan out of individual efforts in the 50 states. "He is crisscrossing the country and spreading the word," says Karl Hausker, deputy director of the Center for Climate Strategies. "Terry gets state leaders interested in doing this." Hausker's nonpartisan, nonprofit group handles the technical details after Tamminen plants his seeds. Nineteen states have developed or are developing aggressive climate plans based on the work of Hausker's group and Tamminen. So much progress is being made at the state and regional level, Tamminen says, that "by the time that there is a new Administration in the White House, a majority of Americans will live in states with a meaningful plan that deals with the climate-change issue."