The editorial board operates independently from the U-T newsroom but holds itself to similar ethical standards. We base our editorials and endorsements on reporting, interviews and rigorous debate, and strive for accuracy, fairness and civility in our section. Disagree? Let us know. A strong case can be made that modern environmentalism was born in California.

In 1864, Yosemite Valley and a nearby grove of sequoias became the nation’s first publicly protected wilderness area. Exactly 100 years later, after many other environmental landmarks, the state issued the world’s first tailpipe-emission standards. This history is and should be a source of immense pride.

But sometimes that environmentalism must be tempered with a touch of pragmatism. This essentially is the argument that Gov. Gavin Newsom has made of late about opposition to desalination and nuclear power.