Home > Uncategorized > America’s Greenest Presidents – NYTimes.com

America’s Greenest Presidents – NYTimes.com

September 22, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

What do Theodore Roosevelt, Richard M. Nixon and Jimmy Carter have in common? They are viewed as environmentally progressive presidents — at least by the 12 groups that ranked them in a survey released this week. Still, the challenges faced by presidents who stand up for the environment have shifted greatly over time, some of those organizations point out, making it hard to compare one leader’s achievements with another’s.

A closer look at big issues facing the country in the 2012 Election.

Economy, Planet, Security, World and Health.

Corporate Knights, a media and financial services company that promotes “clean capitalism” for companies, asked 12 leading environmental groups to name the three presidents they felt did the most for the environment and to rank them from first to third. Point values were assigned to each rank. Theodore Roosevelt was the overwhelming victor, scoring 28 points; Richard Nixon was a distant second with 15; and Jimmy Carter followed with 12.

Perhaps most strikingly, of the 44 presidents who have held office over the last 223 years, only eight received votes. The others, ranked in order, were Barack Obama, Thomas Jefferson, Gerald R. Ford, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Bill Clinton.

Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton, said that Teddy Roosevelt was a predictable top choice. “He really initiated a lot of the conservation programs,” he said, including setting aside dozens of forest preserves for protection as well as wildlife refuges and venerated national parks and monuments like the Grand Canyon and Yosemite.

To this day, Dr. Zelizer said, Roosevelt remains a popular figure because of his rugged persona as an explorer and a “man’s man” who loved the outdoors.

“I think above all, he created an ethic in Americans to visit, explore environments,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, one of the 11 organizations for which Theodore Roosevelt was the top choice.

via America’s Greenest Presidents – NYTimes.com.

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