THE BLOG
10/28/2010 12:49 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

¡No a la 23! - VIDEO - Prop 23 is not just about California.

The following (in Spanish!) is an effort to reach out to Latino voter on California's proposition 23. An English explanation is below.

The video is a series of photos from a two-year bicycle trip I took across North and South America, followed by a plea that we need to vote no on California's proposition 23.

California's proposition 23--a proposition that would effectively overturn the state's landmark global warming law--is not just about California. It is the largest public direct vote on global warming legislation ever. Also, it is being held in California, a state that is the "first mover" on environmental issues--so moves California, so moves the nation (usually, eventually). Oil companies believe that if they can stop global warming legislation in California, they can prevent it from being adopted elsewhere.

The key to solving climate change is simple: we must make clean energy cost competitive with dirty energy. Yes, energy efficiency is part of the solution. But over two billion people live on two dollars a day and rightfully want to use more energy and not less. They will use dirty energy unless we can make clean energy at least somewhat cost competitive.

Enter California. California has the right combination to meet this innovation challenge: we have policies that promote clean energy and a private sector built on technological innovation. Over the past few years, nearly half of the world's private investment in clean technology (the majority of which is clean energy) went to California--an amazing fact given that California has only 0.5% of the world's population! I live in San Francisco, and I know people who are trying to develop high altitude wind generation, new methods for manufacturing solar panels, and sleek cars that run on electricity. Countless companies are anticipating an energy revolution.

But because dirty energy is currently cheaper than clean energy, these companies need policy that supports their innovation. California's AB32--the global warming law passed in 2006--has a host of measures that encourage the growth of clean energy.

It is good economics to promote these companies. Jobs in clean tech have been growing even during the recession. About one out of every 25 jobs in California is in clean tech, and that number will only grow; by 2020, clean technology is expected to be the world's third largest industrial sector. By getting ahead of the curve, California can be an exporter to the world.

Overturning AB32 (voting "yes" on prop 23) would kill many of these companies, kill this future job growth, and slow the innovation that is required to stop climate change.

The video above makes the plea that we must protect our global warming law not only because it is good for us in California, but also because the entire world will benefit from our innovation and success. I made the video in Spanish partly because I thought enough great videos had already been made in English, and partly because I thought that my story would resonate more with Latino voters, many of whom have recently emigrated from Latin America.

So vote no on proposition 23 and believe in California--believe in the state's ability to develop solutions to climate change.

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Also, vote no on 26. Like Prop 23, it is funded by oil companies and it would make it more difficult to implement California's climate change law. Proposition 26 effectively makes it much more difficult for the state legislature to tax polluters, which is one of the ways in which the legislature plans to help pay for AB32.