Greening the White House

by

In his first weekly You Tube address to the nation, Obama declared that the US will be a leader on climate change. That is change we can believe in. And also breathe.

Here are some of the ways he’s gonna green the U.S. of A and save our wasteful souls:

  • Get 10% of our energy from renewable resources by 2012, and 25% by 2025
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.
  • Build a new electricity grid
  • Make 75% of federal buildings more energy efficient
  • Weatherize 2 million family homes

Ok, so we know it all starts at home. Every four years, the First Family gets $100,000 from Congress to redecorate—so how well are the Obamas going to practice what they preach?

  • The Obamas just hired Sam Kass, their locavore-minded Chicago chef, to work with White House chef Cristeta Comerford, who already uses veggies from the White House roof garden. Just yesterday, she served sustainably raised wagyu beef to Congress at the very first White House cocktail party in eight years.
  • The Bushes have already made the White House pretty efficient, installing flurorescent lightbulbs, solar-heating panels, and low-flush toilets.
  • Last fall, Obama told told Barbara Walters that he turns the lights off at home and unplugs unused electronics. “Part of what I want to do is to show the American people that it’s not that hard” to be green.

Or, Not So Much:

  • We’re all a-twitter about Obama’s no-jacket office attire. But there’s more than fashion behind that look: turns out BO likes to turn up the heat. Literally, not just on Republicans. Advisor David Axelrod told the Times, “He’s from Hawaii, O.K? He likes it warm.” Unfortunately, keeping it warm can leading to warming, i.e. of the earth.
  • You may recall that The Beast, the President’s kick-ass new car, only gets—gulp—8 miles a gallon. A Prius it ain’t.
  • Obama is going to have to work to reduce waste at social gatherings. The day after the Inauguration, the Washington sanitation department picked up 130 TONS of trash.

Hm. While it’s obvious that Obama and fam are totally committed to all things awesome and green, I wonder if he should buy a hip Armani sweater, turn the heat down, and go for more walks.

* * *

By the Numbers:

100,000 – number of dollars new White House residents get to erase all traces of the previous occupants’ bad taste

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