We all know Bill Gates is a philanthropist — he’s got so much money it must be a blast for him to give it away to good causes. Well, he’s added one more to the list: Maplight.org recently reported that he gave $700,000 to the fight against California Proposition 23. If passed, Proposition 23 will repeal California’s law — called AB 32 for short– meant to curb global warming. The proposition supporters are hoping to repeal the law because they feel it is curbing the creation of new jobs. Didn’t someone tell them that new technology and innovation fuels the job market? Californians: you better be reading this and get your butts to the ballot box on the 2nd!
The glaring contradiction afoot in Prop 23 is making us squirm in our seats. First of all, it hopes to repeal AB 32 until California unemployment drops below 5.5% for four consecutive quarters. Now, California does have an unemployment problem — it is presently up above 12% — but these proposition supporters have it all wrong. California currently has the most venture capital money invested in green technology — over 60% of the total in the US — and their green job market is growing 10 times faster than their general job market. Seeing that the state is the biggest proponent of green technology — the Governator recently mandated green energy storage for utilities and the state is an early adopter of green tech like these quick charging all-electric buses in southern california — stopping AB 32 kill green job growth and therefore run unemployment figures even higher.
AB 32 was passed in 2006 and as its longer title states: “Air pollution: greenhouse gases: California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006″, it not only fights climate change but also aims to curb California’s dangerously high levels of air pollution. As we’ve reported, instituting green technology in place of the current awful emitters of dangerous fumes could save 9,000 lives in California a year. So, perhaps these Proposition 23 supporters are planning on cutting unemployment by cutting the population of California? But no, that doesn’t seem right. The proposition doesn’t seem right either, so we’re left to applaud Bill Gates for helping to raise awareness about this terrible proposition and to shake our heads at the people trying to get it passed.
By the way, case you are wondering who the supporters are — in addition to the big money from oil companies — The California Manufacturers & Technology Association, secretary-treasurer of the State Building & Construction Trades Council and the Americans for Prosperity of California, among others. Seems to us the people supporting it are exactly the people set to benefit by an onslaught of new green technology. So, in our stupor the only thing left for you California voters to do is to get out there and defeat this thing and thank Bill Gates for helping you.