Today on Planet 100: Top 5 Green Presidents (Video)
Clean energy technology, President Obama said in his 2011 State of the Union Address, is "our generation's Sputnik moment." And, though any mention of the climate was conspicuosly abscent, he went on to advocate for expanded use of renewables, stating that 80% of the energey used by US homes should come from renewable sources by 2035.
Indeed, even the word "environment"—it turns out—was thought too divisive for inclusion in the address, but Obama, in the midst of this polarized political climate, has still managed to do much to address the issue of climate change.
In doing so, he has secured a position as one of the top five green presidents.READ MORE: The Top 10 Greenest US Presidents
5. Barack Obama
President Obama paid less attention to climate change in his State of the Union addresses than any other president in the past 20 years.
Obama made no mention of the words climate change, global warming or environment, though he did mention green jobs and high speed rail. Despite his choice of language, Obama has to date has done more than Bush or Clinton to address global warming.
Read more about Barack Obama:
President Obama Continues Squandering Opportunities to Show Environmental Leadership
Obama's State of the Union: 80% of US Should Run on Clean Energy by 2035
In Major Speeches, Obama Talks Climate Less than Clinton, Bush
Obama Should Talk Climate Change in His State of the Union Address
4. Bill Clinton
President Clinton was unable to secure support for the Kyoto Protocol even with Al Gore as VP, but he did have some environmental victories.
Clinton increased protection for wetlands and old-growth forests, extended an existing moratorium on offshore oil leases, oversaw a 50% increase in annual funding—to research and develop clean energy technologies—and bolstered the EPA's ability to go after polluters.
3. Richard Nixon
He signed the bills that established the Environmental Protection Agency and the landmark Clean Air Act. Richard Nixon is number 3 in our Top 5 Green Presidents.
Nixon faced tremendous pressure to do something for the environment after 20 million people took to the streets on Earth Day in 1970. Nixon signed the Coastal Zone Management Act; and the Marine Mammal Protection Act; and his term saw passage of the Endangered Species Act and Clean Drinking Water Act
2. Jimmy Carter
Responding to the OPEC oil embargo, President Carter created the Department of Energy in 1977, with a key goal to promote clean energy and alternative fuels.
v/o: Carter's 1977 speech calling on the country to drastically ramp up energy efficiency and conservation was well ahead of its time. Then in 1979, Carter implemented "corporate average fuel economy" standards that mandated fuel-efficient cars and put solar panels on the White House.
1. Theodore Roosevelt
In at number one, green presidents don't get much greener than Teddy Roosevelt, a pioneer of environmental stewardship.
Roosevelt consistently lobbied Congress for wilderness protection, used the Forest Reserve Act of 1891 to set aside 150 million acres of timberland as public domains, and oversaw creation of the U.S. Forest Service. He also created 50 wildlife refuges and five national parks.
That's our Top 5 Green Presidents. Which President do you think made the biggest contribution to the environment? Let us know by leaving a comment.
Read more about Theodore Roosevelt:
12 Warriors, Adventurers With Really Loud Green Messages
Leaders, Followers, and Inspiration
Theodore Roosevelt on Frugal Green Living