Candidate’s Green Initiatives

The fact that the election and this house project are going on at the same time has me thinking more and more about which candidate has the strongest green initiatives. If I type “Obama Green Initiative” in my Google Toolbar I get about 263,000 results. If I Google “McCain Green Initiative” I get about 225,000 results. At first blush one would think that they both have strong opinions and intelligently formed policies regarding safe guarding our environment. Funny thing is, when I type in “Obama Green Initiative” I get an automatic suggestion of my search term before I’m even done typing it. Not so much when typing “McCain Green Initiative”. Also, the first page results for Obama leads to articles where Obama has either laid out a plan for creating “green” jobs and helping our environment, while the first page results for McCain are a mixed bag of a few green initiative items as well as other random articles that don’t have much to do with my search.

A quick visit to the candidate’s respective sites reveals that, of course, they both have bullet pointed plans for helping the enviroment. In stark contrast, though, the Obama bullet points read more like a “Can/Must Do” list, while McCain’sreads more like a “Let’s Appoint an Oversite Committee to Review These Initiatives Before We Actually Do Anything About It” list. E.g:


  • Provide short-term relief to American families facing pain at the pump.
  • Help create five million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next ten years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future.
  • Within 10 years save more oil than we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined.
  • Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars — cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon — on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America.
  • Ensure 10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025.
  • Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.


  • Climate Policy Should Be Built On Scientifically-Sound, Mandatory Emission Reduction Targets And Timetables.
  • Climate Policy Should Utilize A Market-Based Cap And Trade System.
  • Climate Policy Must Include Mechanisms To Minimize Costs And Work Effectively With Other Markets.
  • Climate Policy Must Spur The Development And Deployment Of Advanced Technology.
  • Climate Policy Must Facilitate International Efforts To Solve The Problem.

Is it just me or does Obama’s plan read like an actual list of targets and goals while McCain’s reads more like a “If this than that” list meant to be a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card if their administration fails to do anything in regards to the environment? To be fair, reading the rest of McCain’s “plan” does set forth some realistic targets and goals, but to me the whole thing starts off on a negative tone by not taking responsibility for actually owning the initiative.

In the end our politicians can only do so much. We as a society have to actually want to change our habits and our current way of life if we want to start reversing the negative effect we’ve had on the environment. Trust me – I in no way think it’s an easy thing. You don’t just wake up one day and decide to be green. It takes an every day, conscience effort to change your habits to actually positively affect your own environment, thereby positively affecting the environment around you.

So what do you think? Which candidate’s “green” plan is better? Which one will actually implement it? Will it matter?

Posted by: JMH


One Response

  1. Ha, great minds think alike! I just wrote on this same topic today:

    More important than the next President’s green initiatives is Congress’ green initiatives. 2009 should be a very interesting year.


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