Who Are the Greenest Presidents in U.S. History?
Corporate Knights, the magazine for clean capitalism, recently announced its Greenest U.S. Presidents ranking just seven weeks before Americans head to the polls to select their next commander-in-chief. The results of the ranking, the first to be determined by top environmentalists themselves, show that protection of our natural world has a long tradition with both Democrats and Republicans.
Indeed, Republican presidents captured the two top spots in the ranking, followed by two Democrats. Of the 12 environmental groups surveyed, America's 26th President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was overwhelming selected as the greenest president in history for making conservation of the country's natural resources a cornerstone of his policy. Richard Nixon, America's 37th president, who was responsible for creating the Environmental Protection Agency and signing several seminal pieces of environmental legislation into law, ranked second.
"Conservative environmentalist is not an oxymoron," said Theodore Roosevelt IV, a managing director at Barclays Capital and the great-grandson of Teddy Roosevelt. "The records of my great grandfather and Richard Nixon show the GOP is also the 'Green Old Party.' Reconnecting with these roots is crucial, not only to honor our covenant with future generations, but for our relevance as a political force."
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"Every single person on the planet depends on nature – the environment – for their survival and prosperity," said Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy. "As the Greenest Presidents list attests, we have a strong tradition in America of bi-partisan support for conservation issues. We should be able today to find ample common ground on issues so fundamental to our own well-being."
Twelve individuals led their respective group's participation in the survey: Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Phil Radford, executive director of Greenpeace USA; Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club; Carter Roberts, CEO of WWF-US; Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy; Robert Engelman, president of the Worldwatch Institute; Erich Pica, president of Friends of Earth; Kevin Knobloch, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists; Van Jones, president of Rebuild the Dream; Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org; Joe Romm, publisher of Climate Progress; and Ralph Nader, founder of Public Citizen.
"Determining the greenest president is a tricky exercise," said Tyler Hamilton, editor-in-chief of Corporate Knights. "Does one give credit to intentions, actions or successes? Jimmy Carter, for example, may have had the best intentions but his successes were more limited compared to Richard Nixon, who by all accounts didn't have a green bone in his body but was politically motivated to get the job done."
Corporate Knights asked top environmentalists to make the judgment call. The result is a first-of-its-kind survey that shines a light on a bi-partisan environmental tradition in the White House that is often forgotten. The ranking and an accompanying feature story can be found in the latest issue of Corporate Knights, distributed today through the Washington Post and available for download on iTunes via the App Store. Results, including each judge's selections and a background research document, can also be found at www.corporateknights.com.
Source: PR Newswire
Major move forward for UK’s nascent marine energy sector
Although the industry is small and the technologies are limited, marine-based energy systems look to be taking off as “the world’s most powerful tidal turbine” begins grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre.
At around 74 metres long, the turbine single-handedly holds the potential to supply the annual electricity demand to approximately 2,000 homes within the UK and offset 2,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Orbital Marine Power, a privately held Scottish-based company, announced the turbine is set to operate for around 15 years in the waters surrounding Orkney, Scotland, where the 2-megawatt O2 turbine weighing around 680 metric tons will be linked to a local on-land electricity network via a subsea cable.
How optimistic is the outlook for the UK’s turbine bid?
Described as a “major milestone for O2” by CEO of Orbital Marine Power Andrew Scott, the turbine will also supply additional power to generate ‘green hydrogen’ through the use of a land-based electrolyser in the hopes it will demonstrate the “decarbonisation of wider energy requirements.”
“Our vision is that this project is the trigger to the harnessing of tidal stream resources around the world to play a role in tackling climate change whilst creating a new, low-carbon industrial sector,” says Scott in a statement.
The Scottish Government has awarded £3.4 million through the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund to support the project’s construction, while public lenders also contributed to the financial requirements of the tidal turbine through the ethical investment platform Abundance Investment.
“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” says Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Net-Zero, Energy and Transport for the Scottish Government.
“With our abundant natural resources, expertise and ambition, Scotland is ideally placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy whilst helping deliver a net-zero economy.
“That’s why the Scottish Government has consistently supported the marine energy sector for over 10 years.”
However, Orbital Marine CEO Scott believes there’s potential to commercialise the technology being used in the project with the prospect of working towards more efficient and advanced marine energy projects in the future.
“We believe pioneering our vision in the UK can deliver on a broad spectrum of political initiatives across net-zero, levelling up and building back better at the same time as demonstrating global leadership in the area of low carbon innovation that is essential to creating a more sustainable future for the generations to come.”
The UK’s growing marine energy endeavours
This latest tidal turbine project isn’t a first for marine energy in the UK. The Port of London Authority permitted the River Thames to become a temporary home for trials into tidal energy technology and, more recently, a research project spanning the course of a year is set to focus on the potential tidal, wave, and floating wind technology holds for the future efficiency of renewable energy. The research is due to take place off of the Southwest coast of England on the Isles of Scilly