Schwarzenegger warns that climate ‘despair’ has public tuning out


The former California governor has served as a global ambassador of the climate change movement since 2006.

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said the climate change activism movement is “wearing the public out” with a barrage of dystopian warnings about the “existential threat” to life on Earth. He urged activists instead to target pollution as the globe’s single biggest threat.

“To the public, the environmental movement is stuck in despair and confusion,’’ the former “Terminator” action hero said in remarks prepared for a keynote address to the Austrian World Summit, a major climate conference in Vienna that he co-hosted with Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen.

In the speech, which was obtained by POLITICO, Schwarzenegger warned that with the onslaught of news coverage of potential flooded cities, burning forests and rising seas, “Is it any wonder people are confused or tuned out?”

The barrage of warnings have provoked “constant alarm which cannot be sustained’’ among the general public, he said.

Schwarzenegger has served as a global ambassador of the climate change movement since 2006, when, as a GOP governor in a solidly blue state, he shepherded the passage of a landmark climate change bill, the California Global Warming Solutions Act, which established California’s cap-and-trade system.

The governor later successfully defeated a ballot initiative aimed to undo the legislation.

He urged the movement to instead target pollution, including fossil fuels, as the single biggest priority to engage the public and protect the planet.

“Focusing on pollution is not overwhelming,” he said, “it’s all about hope.” He likened it to the lesson of hope through struggle that defines his famed “Terminator” films.

“If pollution is created by humans, it can be solved by humans,’’ he said. “We can kill it.”


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