My Kind of Environmentalist


Speaking at Georgetown University, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is pushing guiltless green. According to San Francisco Chronicle, Schwarzenegger nailed old-fashioned environmentalists

…as kind of weird fanatics…. You know the kind of serious tree huggers. Environmentalists were no fun. They were like prohibitionists at the fraternity party.

But that can all change.

"For too long the environmental movement has been powered by guilt," Schwarzenegger said in a keynote speech Wednesday at a global warming conference at Georgetown University.

"You know the kind of guilt I'm talking about: Smokestacks belching pollution and powering our Jacuzzis and our big-screen TVs and, in my case, powering my private airplanes. It's too bad for us that we can't live the lives of Buddhist monks in Tibet, but you know something, it doesn't happen."

He added, "I don't think any movement has ever made much progress based on guilt. Guilt is passive, guilt is inhibiting and guilt is defensive. … Successful movements are built on passion, they're not built on guilt. They are built on passion, they are built on confidence and they are built on critical mass." …

"We don't have to go and take away the muscle cars. We don't have to take away Hummers or SUVs or anything like this, because that's a formula for failure," he said. "Instead we have to make those cars more environmentally muscular."

My Roman Catholic and Jewish friends may beg to differ about movements being built successfully on guilt. But despite Schwarzenegger's touching faith in the efficacy of government action, I must confess myself charmed by his optimism. So much more inspiring than the usual green gloom.

Whole Chronicle article here.