Friday, April 13, 2007

In praise of the Governator

Back in my flying days (I'm grounded now), I had the immense pleasure of spending several months in a writers' colony in Iowa City. My stay there coincided with the special election for Governor of California.

Back in 2003, Bush and his ilk seemed unstoppable, along with their aggressive and environmentally destructive agenda. So it was with dismay that I watched a glib, musclebound Austrian movie star defeat the Democrat incumbent to hand the Republican party one of the most coveted prizes in American politics.

Nearly four years on, I'm glad yet surprised to confess to a change of heart. I never thought I'd write this, but I'm a fan of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

While the rest of his Republican Party continues to pretend that global warming isn't happening, the Governator is pushing ahead with truly bold legislation to combat the crisis. Last year, he signed into law a target calling for emissions to be reduced by 25 % by the end of the next decade. As leader of the tenth largest economy in the world - and the hub of a 'green tech' revolution - Arnie can make a real difference to the way we, and especially the US, respond to climate change.

But Arnie isn't satisfied with legislation. In his own, somewhat peculiar, style, he is trying to make the green movement mainsteam. "We have to make it sexy," he says. "We have to make it attractive so that everyone wants to participate."

Claiming that "for too long the environmental movement has been powered by guilt", Mr Schwarzenegger predicts that it will become powered by "something much more positive, much more dynamic, something much more capable of bringing about major change.

"So the new environmental movement is not about guilt, it's not about fringe, and it's not about being overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem, but it is about mainstream momentum."

The retention of California was the one bright spot for the Republicans in the November elections. Arnie's conversion to the cause of planet Earth was largely responsible. In a very important warning to his party, he has this to say. "Politics plays a big part in the tipping point here. If you are against taking action on greenhouse gases and common emissions your political base will melt away as surely as the polar icecaps, I can guarantee you that. You will become a political penguin on a smaller and smaller ice floe that is drifting out to sea."

Not bad progress, from a man who used to wax lyrical about his several Humvees.


Blogger Alban said...

Dear Gregory,

I would like to direct your attention to A Miracle Festival in Edinburgh, April 27 - 29, 2007.

"Forgiveness Is the Key to Happiness"

We are celebrating our escape from this place of darkness and death to the light of Eternal Light.

Here is the link to the site with all necessary updates:

If you want to write about it, please do so. If you want to join us for this event, please do so. Everyone is welcome.

Alban Fenle

5:17 PM  

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