Arnold’s Advice to Jerry

Give incentives, don’t inflict guilt, repackage the climate message

A forest ablaze in Brazil. (Photo: Haroldo Castro/Conservation Int'l)

Arnold Schwarzenegger has some advice for his successor as governor of California, Jerry Brown: “The important thing is for California to stay in there and continue the things that we started.” The former governor was talking to actor Harrison Ford at a recent fundraiser for the non-profit Conservation International (CI), about advancing the environmental and climate agenda.

“Concentrate on giving incentives to companies because in the end it’s technology that will save us all,” Schwarzenegger told the group of several hundred CI donors at San Francisco’s Four Seasons Hotel last week.

Ford, who was moderating the on-stage dialog, expressed frustration that apathy toward climate change is “a daunting obstacle to overcome.”

Schwarzenegger urged a repackaging of the message. “I’m not a big believer in the guilt trip that has happened; in the Al Gore type of philosophy where you make people feel guilty,” he said. “Forget talking about the environment,” he said, if that’s an obstacle for Republican lawmakers. “Let’s talk about green energy. Let’s just reframe it.”

Ford seemed to be taking a different tack, pointing to California’s involvement under Schwarzenegger in programs to curtail deforestation, known by the acronym “REDD.”

“The answer’s not technology in the short term, but taking expedient and important critical steps immediately, like REDD, which can address at very low cost, without technology, the issue of climate change,” said Ford. Loss of forests around the world, especially in tropical zones, has been blamed for as much as 20% of global carbon emissions.

Ford said CI is working to “value the free services of Nature appropriately (such as clean air & water, healthy soils). We’re working on framing that argument.”

CI founder Peter Seligmann told the gathering that his organization has reframed — not just the message — but its mission emphasis from protecting biodiversity to improving human well-being.

Speaking to the value of framing, the former governor said he was “tricked” into making the appearance by Ford, who is also a CI vice chairman. According to Schwarzenegger, Ford asked if he believed in “free speech.” When the latter replied that he did, Harrison said “Good, because you’ll be giving one.” (Pa-rump-bump — One gets the sense that this gag has been used before to break the ice before a speech).

Referring to the former governor, Seligmann said he was touched by the presence of an endangered species: “a moderate Republican” (pa-rump-bump).

  • http://cagreening.blogspot.com/ Wes Rolley

    There are 2 things that concern me. One is the acceptance as fact that Conservation International is truly interested in doing what needs be done. I can’t imagine that any organization with Stewart Resnick on the Board of Directors is going to encourage really getting down to dealing with climate and especially it’s affect on CA Water.

    Then, as these organizations bow to Arnold for the one ecological action that he got right, climate change, I have to think a lot about the manner in which he failed to deal effectively with water issues, especially with his ramming through a fast track Marine Live Protection Act and then put an oil industry lobbyist in charge of making sure the rules got written the way they wanted and not for the benefit of the public. Read Dan Bacher’s post today. http://blogs.alternet.org/danbacher/2011/03/06/

    My advice to Jerry would be a bit different and start with making sure that the ARB continues to do it’s existing job while trying to figure out how to auction carbon. The fact that air quality was a key reason for Fresno and Bakersfield being on Forbes Magazine’s list of the top toxic cities in the US indicates that they just might not be getting the job done now.

  • pat

    As the hoax becomes apparent, the tulip sellers leave the field slowly, pretending that they always had concerns. To hide behind the millions they made off of this infantile scam.

  • http://www.lifewatchgroup.org Anonymous

    All the talk about what we can do to stop environmental degradation, poverty, drugs, unemployment boils down to the fact it is idle unless we address the root cause:
    too many people, not enought jobs, resources, funds.
    See what Thailand has done about it, and how much fun they had while doing it.
    They used WEAPONS 0F MASS PROTECTION

    http://www.ted.com/talks/mechai_viravaidya_how_mr_condom_made_thailand_a_better_place.html

  • JR

    CO2 is not the reason of climate variations.
    CO2 is food for plants.
    The optimum concentration for plants is 1000ppm, and even if we burn all our fossile fuel, we cannot reach that.
    Windpower is useless. They give 17% of the declared kWh: too much wind or too little.
    We continue to need for 100% stand-by powerstations: coal, oil, gas , nuclear an di twenty years probably fusion. Stop telling lies to the taxpayers.

  • spepper

    Refreshing to read a lot of common sense in the comments–

    Where ya been, Arnie? You allowed the Gorites (fanatic globalist anti-American environmentalists) to run roughshod over your state’s energy and environmental (incl. water) policy during your time as Gov.– thinking you were just trying to “go along to get along”, but at what cost to your adopted state? Now that you’re no longer Gov, you feel emboldened– that should have been the case WHEN you were Gov!

  • Mkjon

    Clear or green energy is just the new name for Cap and Tax.