Ready for your weekly dose of irony? The Presidential library built to commemorate George W. Bush’s legacy (I’m pretty sure every President gets a library no matter how questionable the legacy) recently received a “Climate Hero Award” from California Senator Barbara Boxer.
Although the Bush family made its fortune sucking climate-changing oil from the ground, and one would be hard-pressed to find a pro-environmental policy during George W.’s eight long years in office, whomever designed the library apparently drew upon different values.
According to former first lady Laura Bush, who accepted the award on behalf of her husband, the distinction “recognizes how hard we worked to achieve LEED Platinum certification.”
LEED Platinum is the highest designation awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. According to the SF Gate, the Bush Library is “a showpiece of sustainable building, integrating architecture and materials to raise energy efficiency. The building has an underground cistern to recycle rain water, a green roof, and solar energy to heat water. All its materials come from a 500 mile radius.”
If only Bush had worked as hard to protect the environment during his tenure as America’s Commander in Chief. Instead, “he firmly rejected the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the most ambitious global effort to combat climate change undertaken during his Presidency” and “tried to prevent the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act from being used as tools to help regulate environmentally related climate issues,” reports Think Progress.
This was the inaugural year for Sen. Boxer’s “Climate Hero Award.” The distinction will also be presented to the LEED Platinum-certified William J. Clinton Presidential Center at a later date.