Arnold Schwarzenegger wasted no time in responding to Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement. Today, he released a Facebook video calling for a grassroots revolution to save the planet, and it already has 30 million views.
The former governor of California did not mince words, but did have a sense of humor, slipping a reference to his Terminator character within his denouncement of President Trump’s climate-change move:
“One man cannot destroy our progress. One man can’t stop our clean energy revolution. And one man can’t go back in time. Only I can do that. President Trump says he’s pulling out of the Paris Climate agreement. My message to you, Mr. President is that as a public servant and especially as president your first and most important responsibility is to protect the people.”
Schwarzenegger went on to mention just some of the ways that the state of the environment is already affecting U.S. citizens. “200,000 people die every year in the U.S. from air pollution. Half our rivers and streams are too polluted for our health,” he explains. He appeals to the comfort conservatives often find in the past but urges viewers to look toward a future that, in Schwarzenegger’s vision, looks remarkably like California.
That’s no surprise, given the former governor’s track record on environmentalism while in office. As the Guardian notes, Schwarzenegger signed a significant California climate change law in 2006, the same year that Al Gore released An Inconvenient Truth. He also launched the R20 climate network in his final year as governor. His successor carried on Schwarzenegger’s environmental initiatives and joined him in Paris to advocate for the passing of the landmark agreement.
Schwarzenegger has remained active on social media, posting about the environment and the effects of pollution. He’s had strong words on the subject of global warming, such as his famous comment that he “doesn’t give a damn if you believe in climate change.” The Republican has also maintained a feud with President Trump, which partly has to do with differences of policy and partly has to do with Schwarzenegger replacing Trump on Celebrity Apprentice. Schwarzenegger has recently tweeted at Trump about his approval ratings and cut into him for defunding “after school programs for children and Meals on Wheels for the poor people.”
In his climate change video, Schwarzenegger told Trump, “Please, Mr. President, choose the future. No one remembers the people who told Mr. Kennedy not to go to the moon. We remember the great leaders. …You see, the people will rise up. Local and state government will rise up. Other leaders from local governments will rise up and fill the void that you are creating.”
In fact, they already seem to be doing just that. A group of over 90 mayors from around the country signed their names to an open letter to the President, stating their cities will continue to adhere to Paris Climate Agreement protocols. They even have their own Medium account, called Climate Mayors, announcing their opposition to the withdrawal.
(Via Arnold Schwarzenegger on Facebook)