Check out our nominations for the most ass-kicking hero of 2007, then vote at the bottom of this post. (And tell us who we missed.)

Barbara Boxer. Sen. Boxer (D-Calif.) has been pushing for tough climate and energy legislation as chair of the Senate Environment Committee, and going head-to-head with James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on global warming. She’s also trying to make Capitol Hill more energy efficient.

Leonardo DiCaprio. This green-leaning actor shined a spotlight on the world’s top environmental leaders in his eco-documentary The 11th Hour, plotted a reality TV series about green building, and topped Grist’s list of green celebs.

John Edwards. Edwards pushed other Democratic presidential contenders to go greener by coming out first with an aggressive climate plan and environmental platform.

Al Gore. This climate crusader won a Nobel Peace Prize, starred in an Oscar-winning film, and, uh, was named first runner-up for Time magazine’s Person of the Year.

James Hansen. Hansen, the top climate scientist at NASA, has been outspoken and aggressive about the need to fight global warming. He’s taken his share of hits, and punched right back.

Van Jones. Jones has been everywhere this year fighting for environmental justice and promoting a green economy. Plus, he’s a hottie.

Angela Merkel. German Chancellor Merkel has made fighting climate change a top priority this year. She had hoped to advance her cause at the G8 summit this past summer; unfortunately, the U.S. got in the way.

Nancy Pelosi. The House speaker doggedly pushed through an aggressive energy bill — though the Senate neutered it before it got to Bush’s desk. Pelosi has also kept up demands for action against climate change, called for green-collar jobs, and worked to green the Capitol — even if she doesn’t “carry a big stick.”

Kevin Rudd. Elected as Australia’s prime minister in November 2007, Rudd followed through on his campaign promise to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on his first day in office, leaving the U.S. all by its lonesome.

Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Governator continues to be California’s most pumped-up environmental defender and ambassador. Watch out, Bush, cause he’s pissed about the EPA’s auto-emissions decision.

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