Most of our legislators dispute climate-change science, many of our residents drive big gas guzzlers and the environmentalism of many of our "environmentalists" does not extend beyond their own communities.
And yet, Orange County is a national leader when it comes to green jobs, according to new data.
Many Shades of Green: Diversity and Distribution of California's Green Jobs, a report released by the nonpartisan Next 10 and Collaborative Economics that is the most comprehensive green jobs accounting to date, finds Orange County had 18,000 total green jobs in 2008. Along with Los Angeles and Ventura counties, which had 40,000 green jobs from 1995 to '08, OC is considered one of California's top green transportation regions.
The data revealed these Orange County trends:
*Green transportation jobs grew a whopping 1,875 percent, including the areas concerning alternative fuels, motor vehicles and equipment.
* Energy generation jobs grew by 176 percent.
* Energy efficiency jobs increased by 78 percent.
LA trends include:
* Energy-generation jobs grew 35 percent.
* Energy-efficiency jobs grew 77 percent.
* Green-transportation jobs grew 29 percent.
Statewide, between 1995-2008:
* Green businesses increased 45 percent.
* Green jobs grew 36 percent while total jobs in the state grew only 13 percent.
* Green jobs are growing faster than the overall economy in rural areas with smaller economic bases.
* Services accounted for 45 percent of green jobs, with environmental consulting taking the biggest share.
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* Manufacturing represents 21 percent of green jobs and it has grown by 19 percent, while manufacturing represents only 11 percent of all California jobs.
* Air and environment is the largest green segment in the state, with nearly 43,000 jobs.
* Energy generation jobs expanded 61 percent from 1995 to 2008, with solar making up the largest portion.
"Data show that green sector businesses are taking root across every region of California, generating jobs across a wide spectrum of skill levels and earnings potential," said F. Noel Perry, founder of Next 10. "While green jobs clearly cannot solve the state's current unemployment challenges, over time these jobs could become a growing portion of total jobs in California."
Download the full report here.