Why is it that
A look at polling data in
In 2003, 68% of Californians believed that increased carbon dioxide and other gases released into the atmosphere will, if unchecked, lead to global warming.
In 2006, 63% believe the effects of global warming are already underway.
In 2003, 54% of Californians believed that global warming will pose a serious threat to them in their lifetime. In 2006, 79% believe global warming is a serious threat now.
In 2003, 57% of identified Democrats in
In 2006, 80% of all Californians believe that state legislators should act to reduce green house gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Along party lines, 73% of Democrats and 62% of Republicans support
So, Arnie is not so much standing up as a courageous California leader; he's just following his electorate. If you look to other states, you see that they are  also acting, and so are cities .
The question this raises, then, is: What's happening in D.C.?
Two recent national polls, a June, 2006 poll , and an August, 2006 poll  shows that 74% of respondents describe global warming as a very or somewhat serious problem. That leaves President George Bush and Senate Environment Committee Chair Jimmy Inhofe out of step.
In public relations (as is usually the case in politics) public opinion polls provide a compass in making policy and communicating on your issue. Perhaps G.W. Bush, et al, got a climate change compass from Captain Jack Sparrow - it may work, but it doesn't point north.