Dear President Obama,
If you really want to secure your place as the Environmental President, you have got to do something about the White House.
Walk the walk! Send a message. Everything speaks when you’re the leader of the free world. So start in your own back yard. You’re still in there for a while yet. You get to decide this – Congress can’t hold you back.
For starters, solar panels.
I understand you put a token few on the White House roof, but how about more – lots more? Enough to actually power the whole W.H.
And some panels on the White House lawn, too. That’s a lot of land – make it productive; make it green. You could have a virtual solar farm going there if you tried. If you replaced all that chemical- and water-guzzling lawn with tasteful dryscaping and solar panels, it’d help conserve water, too.
And your motorcade? Demand that every single vehicle be electric. What a statement that would make!
Not sure if it’s even possible for Air Force One to operate without fossil fuels. But if anyone can make it happen, it's you! At least ask, and see what happens.
And how about tricking out the White House to be more energy efficient? Run a check – drafts coming in under any of the 412 doors? Are all 147 windows double-paned? When no one’s in a particular one of the 132 rooms, do the heating/AC and lights automatically go off? Do the 35 bathrooms have low flow showers and toilets? Are all the lights LED?
In the White House kitchen? You could insist on biodegradable utensils and compostable plates. Prohibit plastic water bottles and soda cans. Compost the heck out of everything. And make the guests take only as much as they can eat. People are starving all over the world. Let’s set a good example, Mr. Prez.
Regarding White House laundry – as folks in just about everywhere else in the world well know, dryers use a LOT of energy. Replace them with drying racks and clothes lines – the paparazzi would go crazy dissecting every item of laundry it could photograph.
Make a big honking deal about doing all of this. Then challenge all the leaders of the world to do the same. Angela Merkel will be all over that plan. She’ll be jealous she didn’t think of it first.
Then make every member of your Cabinet do the same for their homes and offices. Challenge Congress to green up, too. Not all of them will do it, but there will be a lot of press around this. Even if you don’t believe in climate change, diversifying energy sources is hard to oppose. And there’s no harm in using some renewable sources of power here and there.
Then extend your challenge to every business leader, every billionaire, every member of the 1%. Make it a contest. Heck, even give out some prizes.
You can do this! Yes you can.