Who is the greenest presidential candidate?

snowman
image from Breitbart

Next week, Kansas Democrats and Republicans will rock out with their caucuses out to choose a candidate for the presidential election.

Unfortunately, little has been brought up at either side’s debates about the environment, excluding a snowman that apparently posted video questions on YouTube for one of the first Democratic debates this season.

Here is a quick look at how green each of the remaining candidates are.

Democrats

Hillary Clinton
hillary-walmart

image from AverageBro

Policy Pro: Clinton has spent her Senate years as a member of the Environment and Public Works committee, so she understands the need for change.

Controversial Con: She was on Wal-Mart’s board of directors from 1986-1992 and may still be bogged down by “big business.” She probably won’t find global warming solutions in Aisle 5.

Barack Obama
obama
image from Earthfirst

Policy Pro: Obama received endorsements from the Sierra Club and The League of Conservation Voters for his position in the Senate. He has fewer ties to polluting industries and should be able to choose better advisers.

Controversial Con: He supports the now-typical cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050, a lofty (and easily avoidable) goal.

John Edwards
edwards_convention_5
image from The Washington Note

Policy Pro: First candidate to make his campaign carbon-neutral and the first to propose many touted talking points, such as the 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050.

Controversial Con: Support of ethanol as an alternative fuel source, even though its efficiency and cost-effectiveness have been called into question.

Mike Gravel
mike_gravel_offical_photo
image from Greenhome

Policy Pro: Work with other countries to reduce emissions, outlaw coal as an energy source.

Controversial Con: Is anyone sure he’s still running for president? I think he just likes seeing himself on YouTube.

Republicans

Rudy Giuliani
75041934RR252_Pepsi_400_
image from USLiberals

Policy Pro: Um, turn the lights off when you leave the room?

Controversial Con: Supports an increased reliance on coal and domestic oil. At least the haze from unregulated greenhouse gases should avert potential terrorists.

Mike Huckabee
GYI0000628879.jpg
image from Gregqualls

Policy Pro: Draws in the much-needed Evangelical conservatives with the 11th Commandment: Father God created Mother Earth.

Controversial Con: What would Jesus do? I suppose He would support coal pollution and be vague about setting goals.

Mitt Romney
mitt-romney
image from TheBrownSpectator

Policy Pro: Supports plans for energy independence and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Controversial Con: After claiming that people don’t want change in the White House and being tied to a global warming denier group, he’s not too interested.

Ron Paul
ron-paul
image from GreenDaily

Policy Pro: Would end subsidies to the oil industry and believes that war is a contributor to pollution problems.

Controversial Con: Paul’s campaign is determined by the free market.

John McCain
mccain
image from The Guardian

Policy Pro: First Republican to talk seriously on the issue and to understand the connection between global warming and national security.

Controversial Con: Ironically, the driver of the Straight Talk Express hasn’t mentioned any specific targets to combat climate change.

Candidate information from Grist.

originally published in Jayplay magazine on Jan. 31, 2008 (PDF). Click here for its original online home.

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