This morning I watched a very interesting interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger on BBC Breakfast. In the last few months, he has uttered his displeasure with such people as the former President of America, Donald Trump, and his supporters.
Ahead of the COP26 climate summit, the former Republican governor of California told the BBC that cutting carbon emissions will benefit global economies.
He also wished to reassure those many climate change deniers and those who claim that it is impossible to turn the tide and that it would be far too expensive to do so, and called on them to look at his state, where they have succeeded in turning back the state of massive pollution to the state of 1990. Instead of losing jobs there were created a lot more jobs and lots of money has been saved.
In a wide-ranging interview for BBC Radio 4’s 39 Ways to Save the Planet series, Mr Schwarzenegger claimed California’s continued economic success and prolific job creation proves carbon dioxide reduction and boosting wealth go hand in hand.
“They are liars, they are stupid. Or they don’t know how to do it, because we figured how to do it and it’s all about having the balls to do it,”
But therein lies the great difficulty. Politicians must have the guts to go against the current of the big international corporations that are only interested in higher profits.
Governments must promise more ambitious cuts in warming gases if we are to prevent greater global temperature rises.
He expressed particular alarm about the air pollution and greenhouse gases coming fa.o. from shipping, and suggested the most important thing we can do as individuals to cut carbon is to shop local. We just have to minimise the transport of goods we need.
“Buy local products. Every time you buy something from overseas, that is evil for the environment – this is like the worst thing you can do.”
When challenged over whether, as a Republican politician, he should support global capitalism that drives this kind of trade, Mr Schwarzenegger rejected this characterisation.
“You can have competition but you have to be smart about it… because if people are dead, they are dead. It’s over.”
In the interview he mentioned that he is planning to be at the climate talks in Glasgow next week, but that he doesn’t put huge faith in the top-down system. It looks like he does not find it a bad idea that youngsters come onto the streets to protest because he believes the solution might come from popular pressure and technological change.
Mr Schwarzenegger remains optimistic and still believes:
“There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.”
- You can listen to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s full interview on BBC Sounds.
- In case in Great Britain you can watch the BBC Breakfast show via i-Player: The latest news, sport, business and weather from the BBC’s Breakfast team 29/10/2021.
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