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Posted Sun Feb 22 2009: from Newsweek:
Greenest Nation
This is a trick question. What big country is, by most measures, greener than Japan and Germany and produces more geothermal energy than all of Europe combined? It might help to know that this nation is also a pioneer in environmental stewardship, having passed many of the world's toughest regulations on vehicle emissions, energy efficiency and nature conservation.... California, with its 37 million people, emits 20 percent less CO2 per dollar of GDP than Germany. It generates 24 percent of its electrical power from renewable fuels like wind and solar, compared with only 15 percent in Germany and 11 percent in Japan. It also has the world's largest solar-power plant (550 megawatts in the Mojave Desert), the largest wind farm (7,000 turbines at Altamont Pass) and the most powerful geothermal installation (750 megawatts at The Geysers north of San Francisco). Although California isn't immune to the economic crisis -- its finances are on the brink of collapse, which could translate into growing support for those who argue that green measures cost jobs -- its green accomplishments put it at the head of the pack. If California were a country, its economy would rank as the world's 10th largest and could lay claim to be one of the world's greenest.
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