Richard Nixon: Environmentalist (compared to us today)
Environmentalists today like to try to enlist conservatives and republicans by pointing out how Richard Nixon started the Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental initiatives. As summer begins, I propose citing him to enlist environmentalists to take personal responsibility—a necessity to lead others.
Would you like to influence others?
It’s not yet summer. Have you turned on your air conditioner? I can hear them all over my neighborhood. How much do you plan to use the air conditioner this summer? Richard Nixon said
How many of you can remember when it was very unusual to have a home air conditioned? And yet this is very common in almost all parts of the nation. As a result, the average American will consume as much energy in the next seven days as most other people in the world will consume in an entire year. We have only 6 percent of the worldâ€™s people in America, but we consume over 30 percent of all the energy in the world. Now our growing demands have bumped up against the limits of available supply.
It’s Memorial Day Weekend in the U.S. Do you plan on flying? During the oil crisis, Nixon ordered lowering by 25 percent jet fuel for passenger flights. As President, he flew on a regular commercial flight instead of the Presidential Jet to save fuel.
Elsewhere in transportation, he asked Congress to impose a 50 mile per hour speed limit on cars and 55 for trucks and buses. Congress passed a 55 mph limit for all. He wanted gas stations to shut down their pumps from 9 p.m. Saturday through midnight Sunday.
Do you head your home to where you can wear shorts in the winter? How about this New York Times headline?
Nixon Asks Householders to Save Heat by Lowering Thermostat 4 Degrees
Heating oil deliveries were going to be cut by 15 percent to homes, the White House said, by 25 percent to stores and other commercial customers and by 10 percent to industrial users.
Read his Address to the Nation About National Energy Policy. You may find it inspirational that at a time Americans consumed and wasted far less than today, a conservative President called for reductions likely below your use. He called to light Christmas lights less.
Could you use less?
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