Saturday, 12 December 2015

Arnold Schwarzenegger Climatic questions

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shockingly reasonable climate-change plea

The former governor & movie star makes an emphatic call for climate action. Of course the GOP won't listen

Arnold Schwarzenegger's shockingly reasonable climate-change plea (Credit: AP/Chris Pizzello)
Arnold Schwarzenegger posted an article on his Facebook page this week that could be one of the most salient arguments in support of fighting human-made global warming we’ve yet seen — especially from a Republican.
Never in a million years did I think Arnold Schwarzenegger would be the guy who’d so clearly define the realities of the climate crisis. But there you go.In typical Arnold style, he took the fight directly to the people who need it the most. It’s too bad that the people who he tried most to convince will be the bubble-people who will plug their ears and shout, “Not listening!”
Arnold asked three questions. The first: “Do you believe it is acceptable that 7 million people die every year from pollution?”
He writes:
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?
Of course this makes perfect sense to anyone who enjoys even the slightest grasp of logic and reality. Unfortunately, too many deniers either don’t believe there’s a problem in the first place, or the ones who accept the existence of pollution don’t think it’s connected to global warming. So, this first point is a relatively easy sell. Poison air is poisonous. Who can seriously argue with that?
His second question is more specific to the climate crisis itself, but still exists on the periphery: “[D]o you believe coal and oil will be the fuels of the future?” Arnold’s answer here ought to be embraced from a purely capitalistic point of view:
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.
Outstanding point. Blockbuster was a particularly appropriate metaphor, but while it’s more recognizable as a defunct brand, I’d go further and suggest coal and oil is not unlike the big video rental retailer of the 1980s, Erol’s Video, which was eventually absorbed by Blockbuster. That’s old. And Erol’s betamax section makes it appropriately useless.
Arnold continued by adding:
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.
The economic argument in support of mitigating the impact of global warming is a very strong one, but again, you have to accept that there’s a problem in the first place. Too many conservatives don’t. Why? Because smart people do.
And finally, Arnold’s final question is possibly one of the best extended metaphor relating to the climate crisis.
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.

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