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4 Surprisingly Green Presidents
By Callum Beals
Presidents Day is here once again, a holiday that encourages us to reflect on the legacy on some of our most influential presidents (and gives us an excuse to relax on our federally mandated day off). By the nature of their position, U.S. Presidents have an unrivaled platform from which to dictate policy and enact legislation with regards to the environment. While many presidents have shirked their environmental responsibilities, others have championed our nation's greatest attribute, attempting to ensure its glory for future generations. Here are a few of our most environmentally proactive Presidents:
Despite his unabashed taste for hunting, Theodore Roosevelt was undeniably a lover of nature, and perhaps our first environmentalist president. Throughout his presidency, Roosevelt used executive action like no other president before him to reach his conservationist goals. Roosevelt ensured that Yellowstone National Park could not be exploited for commercial goals and established more than 50 national bird refuges through executive action. He would go on to found the U.S. Forest Service and create the first 18 National Monuments, including Muir Woods, Grand Canyon, and Devils Tower.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
With the country being ravaged by unemployment during the Great Depression, one of the most successful aspects of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal policies was the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps. In the decade before World War II, the CCC employed millions of Americans in conservation positions, helping reintroduce wildlife to depleted areas and helping establish outdoor recreational infrastructure for many of our national parks and forests.
When you think of environmentalists, Richard Nixon is probably not the first name to pop into your head. Nevertheless, in 1970 President Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, the first centralized government agency with the goal of protecting the health of Americans as well as the environment. Nixon also went on to sign the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
Though he only served one term as president, Jimmy Carter's legacy as an environmentalist will be long lasting, as he was the first U.S. President to install solar panels on the White House roof. This visionary move came years before solar panels began to make a serious dent on the energy market, and marked a pivotal and symbolic moment in our nation's continuing shift towards renewable energies. Though President Reagan dismantled President Carter's solar panels in 1986, panels once again adorn the White House over President Obama.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Bijal Trivedi
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.
By Joe Vukovich
Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.
By Emily Moran
If you have oak trees in your neighborhood, perhaps you've noticed that some years the ground is carpeted with their acorns, and some years there are hardly any. Biologists call this pattern, in which all the oak trees for miles around make either lots of acorns or almost none, "masting."
By Catherine Davidson
Tashi Yudon peeks out from behind a net curtain at the rooftops below and lets out a sigh, her breath frosting on the windowpane in front of her.
Some 700 kilometers away in the capital city Delhi, temperatures have yet to dip below 25 degrees Celsius, but in Spiti there is already an atmosphere of impatient expectation as winter settles over the valley.