Green in the White House

According to New York Times, Theodore Roosevelt was the “greenest” president. Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter follow shortly behind. Roosevelt brought in many new conservation plans for America, trying to keep the planet healthy. He set aside parks and reserves for wildlife. Richard Nixon launched the clean air act, as well as many other environmental protection organizations. Jimmy Carter supported the cleaning up of Alaska, to eliminate toxic waste. Our current president, Obama, is fourth on the list.


“Now we’re in an era when that enthusiasm has gone. A lot of the time, problems are more prevalent in the minds of Americans than the possibilities.”

When Roosevelt was president, people were much more enthusiastic about preventing the destruction of our Earth. But as time passed, the enthusiasm for helping the planet lessened. Richard Nixon did less to help the environment, and Jimmy Carter even less. Now with Obama as our president, there is even less enthusiasm for environmental protection. There are so many other problems that people want solved, things such as the economy, that affect people more directly. Still, President Obama is the fourth “greenest” president. So what is President Obama doing to help our environment? What is holding him back?

“If you look at Clinton or Carter or Nixon — every single president was able to sign legislation that Congress passed. Go through each one. Obama doesn’t have that. He has to do it in the face of this head wind from Congress.”

President Obama’s efforts are held back by Congress, who do not believe that global warming is happening. Another problem is the politics side of global warming; Congress is divided much in a harsher way between the two political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats. This has made it much harder for President Obama to get his ideas passed; he must push through to both parties, both of which do not want to make compromises.

President Obama also has not mentioned global warming in his election campaign. Most people do not think of global warming as a problem, and many potential voters might think he was talking nonsense. Also, many large oil and coal industries would not vote for him because they would not want their funds to be taken away.

In the end, President Obama may have the “greenest” ideas, but society has changed and therefore he cannot share his ideas to the world. When Roosevelt, Nixon, and Carter were presidents, people realized that the environment was a major problem and wanted to support it. In current times, most people are more concerned with the economy than they are with global warming.


About marytucker

Hi! My name is Mary, and I am a junior in high school. I enjoy playing volleyball, swimming, and track and field for my school. My hobbies include reading, cooking, writing, and traveling-- I've been to places all over the world, including Asia, all over the Americas, and Europe.

2 responses to “Green in the White House”

  1. colbyw0017 says :

    I liked this post very much because it gave me a lot of information that I didn’t know. I believe that Roosevelt was the greenest president because he was perceived to be a “man’s man”. By this I mean that he was very in touch with the wilderness and he liked to hunt and fish. So he was naturally more concerned about the environment because he spent most of his time there. However, as time progressed, we acquired more technology and people had less of a desire to spend time outdoors. This resulted in the public not caring about the environment, and since the president’s job is to appeal to the public, the environment was less of an issue.

  2. isabelled0017 says :

    This is ridiculously true, about our enthusiasm for changing the planet. Nobody really cares that much anymore, global warming’s not even second or third on our to-do list right now and it keeps getting cast-off and pushed aside because people don’t care or believe enough about it to change. Roosevelt and his congress and public had it right. Maybe we just need to change. But what if we do and our #1 and #2 problems get pushed off? What happens to them, because they will just keep getting worse and worse just like global warming is doing right now? Are we at a stalemate? Or CAN we actually change and go back to enthusiastic planet changing while we kill off our other problems?

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