Celebrating Environmental Champions

May 26, 2011
By Warner Chabot

Next week, we’re going to do something truly remarkable. We’re going to celebrate success at our annual Environmental Leadership awards on Thursday, June 2.

The environmental movement doesn’t always stop to celebrate our victories. We’re often too busy preparing for the next battle; the next election cycle. It’s not a criticism of our movement, but an acknowledgment that we’re often up against powerful forces who prioritize short-term profits over our natural heritage, our clean air and water, and our communities’ health. They don’t stop, so we don’t stop.

But how’s this for a reason to celebrate? California recently took the bold step of passing a landmark law, SB 2X, to require our state to obtain 33% of our energy from renewable sources by the year 2020. This is a huge win for clean air, clean technology, and our recovering economy.

And it’s a victory that more and more businesses are joining together with environmental advocates to make the case that what’s good for planet is good for the bottom line. Along with social justice, health, consumer and environmental advocates, business leaders played a critical role in defeating Proposition 23—the dirty energy proposal to repeal California’s first-in-the-nation clean energy and climate law last fall.

California needs champions to craft groundbreaking policies, but equally importantly, we need brilliant legal minds to defend those policies and make sure laws are followed by individuals and corporations alike. That’s why we honor Louise Renne and Joseph Cotchett.

We need visionaries who will invest in moving away from the fossil fuels of the past to clean, renewable energy, making this transition not only possible, but profitable for the companies of tomorrow. That’s why we honor Alan Salzman.

And we need advocates for those California communities that can’t afford to be left behind in this exciting shift to a clean energy future. That’s why we honor Ian Kim.

The Golden State needs all of these environmental champions, and needs each and every voter who cares about the environment to make sure victories are not only celebrated, but built upon in order to further environmental progress.

The California League of Conservation Voters is embarking on a challenging, but critical 18-month journey to elect proven environmental leaders to the state legislature in 2012. When it comes to redistricting, the rising numbers of decline-to-state voters, the increasing diversity of the electorate, and the new “top-two” primary, much is unknown, but so much is at stake.

We look forward to the continued support of CLCV's members and partners as we work toward even more environmental victories worthy of a celebration.

- CLCV Chief Executive Officer Warner Chabot



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