It certainly helps. You either need a green thinking leader, or a leader who actually listens to the general population and a population who is green thinking. The problem right now is that green energy is expensive. Obama is green thinking (or at least pretends to be for PR), but with the massive debt that we have it is difficult to provide funding. I think that there would have been a far bigger step towards going green had we not had the recession. With the gulf oil spill I think that there will be a greater push for green energy, and more funding will be provided. The good thing is that green energy will pay for itself. We will be less dependent on foreign oil, so we wont be spending immense amounts on that. However, the startup costs are great and will need to be paid somehow, and it could be difficult to find the funding to initially start the movement.
I think the country needs a majority of the decision makers and influencial people to be environmentally oriented for the country to be green. If the leader thinks in this manner, but is not the sole person to vote, they may be overruled by the senate and house or the equivalent in the country of concern. You also need big business people and other influencial people (perhaps famous actors or talk show hosts) to support a green movement so the general public on all political sides will join the movement.
It is very difficult to get everyone to join forces, but definitely having influencial leaders and example-setters is a step in the right direction.
I don’t feel that its necessary to have green leaders to have a green movement. What is necessary is to have enough citizens who are willing to stand up for what they believe in, and fight until they get it. Elected politicians don’t have much of a choice but to follow what their demographic wants if they hope to be re-elected.
A country can be green without a green president, but having an environmentally conscious leader helps the situation tremendously. He/she can set an example by being eco-friendly in office and pushing environmental legislation in Congress. The people are truly the ones who decide if they want to be green. A president can facilitate a country going green, but the people have to make the choice whether or not they want to be eco-friendly.
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