Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Worth Quoting: Arnold Schwarzenegger

This is probably the first time I’ve ever said something positive about Arnold Schwarzenegger (except, maybe about his Terminator movies…). But Arnold posted something on Facebook and gets it SO right that I had to share it.

I saw a mention of this earlier this morning, and went back to the original on Facebook, which was fraught (about which, more later today–that's now posted). I think Arnold sums up my thinking extraordinarily well—but more about that after what he posted on Facebook:
I don’t give a **** if we agree about climate change.
By Arnold Schwarzenegger • Tuesday, 8 December 2015

I see your questions.

Each and every time I post on my Facebook page or tweet about my crusade for a clean energy future, I see them.

There are always a few of you, asking why we should care about the temperature rising, or questioning the science of climate change.

I want you to know that I hear you. Even those of you who say renewable energy is a conspiracy. Even those who say climate change is a hoax. Even those of you who use four letter words.

I've heard all of your questions, and now I have three questions for you.

Let's put climate change aside for a minute. In fact, let's assume you're right.

First – do you believe it is acceptable that 7 million people die every year from pollution? That's more than murders, suicides, and car accidents – combined.

Every day, 19,000 people die from pollution from fossil fuels. Do you accept those deaths? Do you accept that children all over the world have to grow up breathing with inhalers?

Now, my second question: do you believe coal and oil will be the fuels of the future?

Besides the fact that fossil fuels destroy our lungs, everyone agrees that eventually they will run out. What's your plan then?

I, personally, want a plan. I don't want to be like the last horse and buggy salesman who was holding out as cars took over the roads. I don't want to be the last investor in Blockbuster as Netflix emerged. That's exactly what is going to happen to fossil fuels.

A clean energy future is a wise investment, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either wrong, or lying. Either way, I wouldn't take their investment advice.

Renewable energy is great for the economy, and you don't have to take my word for it. California has some of the most revolutionary environmental laws in the United States, we get 40% of our power from renewables, and we are 40% more energy efficient than the rest of the country. We were an early-adopter of a clean energy future.

Our economy has not suffered. In fact, our economy in California is growing faster than the U.S. economy. We lead the nation in manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, entertainment, high tech, biotech, and, of course, green tech.

I have a final question, and it will take some imagination.

There are two doors. Behind Door Number One is a completely sealed room, with a regular, gasoline-fueled car. Behind Door Number Two is an identical, completely sealed room, with an electric car. Both engines are running full blast.

I want you to pick a door to open, and enter the room and shut the door behind you. You have to stay in the room you choose for one hour. You cannot turn off the engine. You do not get a gas mask.

I'm guessing you chose the Door Number Two, with the electric car, right? Door number one is a fatal choice – who would ever want to breathe those fumes?

This is the choice the world is making right now.

To use one of the four-letter words all of you commenters love, I don't give a damn if you believe in climate change. I couldn’t care less if you're concerned about temperatures rising or melting glaciers. It doesn't matter to me which of us is right about the science.

I just hope that you'll join me in opening Door Number Two, to a smarter, cleaner, healthier, more profitable energy future.
I have to admit that I laughed when I read the top comment (17,000 "Likes" last time I checked) to this, which said, “Why didn't you just end this with 'Come with me if you want to live'”. Appropriate nerdy pop-culture reference aside, I think that Arnold makes a great point: It doesn’t matter at all whether people “believe” that climate change is happening, because even if it wasn’t, ending pollution and the use of fossil fuels is a bloody great idea all by itself!

This is what I don’t understand about climate change deniers: Why wouldn’t they favour eliminating pollution? Who could possibly be FOR pollution, apart, of course, from those who make money by polluting? For the rest of us, ending pollution is an absolute no-brainer, something that will benefit us all.

And our dependence on fossil fuels must end, not just because of pollution, but because it’s what gives the islamist terrorists the money they need to wage their “holy war” on civilisation: Cut off their source of income, and they lose the ability to buy weapons, and they lose their power (for many reasons, including that the West would no longer need to station troops in the Arab world, itself a reason people in the area become radicalised).

From my end of the political spectrum, moving to clean, renewable energy has the added benefit of taking away the income of the USA far-right’s most powerful oligarchs and plutocrats, making it far easier for everyday Americans to take their country back from the ultra-rich and ultra-powerful.

But politics is completely beside the point: Cleaning up the planet and ending the use of fossil fuels will benefit the entire planet. Arnold provides the best summary I’ve yet seen on why that is.

The image up top is a detail from the header on Arnold's Facebook Page. I was also amused by this on the post:

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