Knowledge is PowerVarious government bodies gather tons and tons of data on all kinds of things. Thanks to the internet, it's now much easier to make that data accessible (sometimes even the raw data so that others can use it directly), and that includes environmental data. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has decided to take its data on major sources of greenhouse gases in California and make it easy to access via a Google Earth layer.
“Knowing the exact quantity of greenhouse gas every major source pumps into the atmosphere is the foundation of an effective cap-and-trade program,” said Mary D. Nichols, ARB Chairman. “Thanks to our rigorous reporting program we know the amount of greenhouse gases each source emits down to the ton. This new application provides an easy way to pinpoint those sources on a map, and allows everyone to see at a glance how it compares to other facilities in the same county, or throughout the state.” (source)
For the past three years, some 625 facilities in California with emissions exceeding 25,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year have been reporting their annual emissions to ARB. The results are independently verified by greenhouse gas emissions verifiers, trained and accredited by ARB. (California’s is the only system in the nation to require third-party verification of greenhouse gas reporting.)
If you have the Google Earth plugin, you can access the CARB layer here. If you don't have the plugin, you can still see the data on a regular 2D Google Maps layer.