|What business are you in? Oil, coal, and natural gas? Oh, I'm sorry to hear that - you are about to be terminated.|
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday all but called for a Tunisian-style revolution to overturn the United States' old energy order."It is breathtaking to see: people by the hundreds of thousands who want change ... who want to throw off the old order and subvert the status quo. It is fascinating to me how rapidly the debate in the Middle East shifted from -- could the people rise up to could the rulers hang on?" Scharzenegger said at the United States Department of Energy's ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in National Harbor, Md., according to his prepared remarks. "And then when the demonstrations reached a critical mass, the old structures gave way. They could not stand up to the momentum of the future.""All of which brings me to you here today," the governator continued. "What you in this room also are saying by the work that you do is: We want to subvert the status quo. We want change. Innovation. We want to overturn the old energy order."
"We have about 100,000 premature deaths in the U.S. each year from petroleum-related air pollution, and we have 6.5 million annual hospital visits by people with respiratory illnesses caused by the same thing," Schwarzenegger said. "These deaths are far greater in number than the combined deaths from car accidents, drunk drivers, gang wars, suicides or Iraq and Afghanistan."I've yet to find any response from Chevron Texaco Corp. or Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens - each of whom contributed at least $500,000 to Schwarzenegger back when he was governor.
I must say, I am cautiously optimistic, given that most Republican politicians mindlessly deny climate change - in spite of overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is being caused by humans, that there is a high probability of catastrophic changes in world water supply, food output, sea levels, etc, and that the worst of these catastrophic outcomes could probably be avoided relatively cheaply (for less than 1% of global GDP per year, which is a bargain, considering the alternative might be the mass starvation of billions of people, the flooding of all coastal cities, etc.). If a few high-profile Republicans like Schwarzenegger start to take climate change seriously, perhaps they'll be able to convince their fellow Republicans to think rationally about the subject.
I'm reminded of the following cartoon, which appeared in the USA Today on September 12, 2007: