Greening the Government: The Contest

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


A few weeks ago, Barack Obama signed an executive order directing the federal government to start setting an example on sustainability. Seems like a reasonable goal, if the administration is serious about overhauling the rest of the economy.

The order directed agencies to set greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for 2020 by the end of the year, and calls on them to improve energy efficiency, reduce oil and water use, and make more sustainable technology and product purchases.

On Monday the White House launched a new website for 1.8 million federal employees to face off on who can be the greenest of all. Top ideas will be presented to a sustainability steering committee. The challenge runs through the end of the month. There aren’t many ideas so far, but here are a few:

  • “To promote mass transit use and reduce carbon emissions, I think all agencies should include public transit information on their websites.”
  • “Just as some agencies provide parking or public transportation stipends, allow employees to apply those same funds to bicycle purchases.”
  • “Require all new constructions to meet minimum LEED standards.”
  • “All federally-owned buildings should be audited to identify energy wasted due to poor insulation, then renovated to address identified inefficiencies.”
  • “Old windows should be replaced with double paned windows to conserve heat.”

All extremely practical, really.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate