When California started insisting, in the late 1960s, that automakers clean up exhaust emissions, industry screamed at the notion, threatening that the state's tough standards would bankrupt car owners and put the industry out of business.
Forty-odd years later, North American's love affair with the car has reached new heights of rapture and the air in every major city is more breathable than it was in the mid-70s, despite a tripling of the number of vehicles on the street during those years.
Now we have certain lions of industry - and certain of their political patsies - threatening economic collapse if we reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address climate change. But researchers at the University of California at Berkley say that their innovative state may, in fact reap a huge benefit by being the first to mandate and develop more efficient energy measures.
It's a shame to see the Californians grasping one more reason to be cocky, but if their actions help turn around the climate crisis, we'll have to all get gracous and say thank you.