Arnold Schwarzenegger Stands Up For Science In A Speech Sure To Outrage Fellow Republicans (VIDEO)

Believe it or not, there was a time when being a Republican didn’t mean rejecting science or checking your empathy at the door. A time when a blowhard like Donald Trump would have been laughed out of any presidential race, not polling at a double-digit lead over his competition. A time where facts and problem solving meant much more than ideological dogma and fear of being labled a “RINO.” What might a Republican like that look like? Try Arnold Schwarzenegger.

To be clear, there are numerous areas in which a liberal might disagree with the actor and former California governor, but he’s demonstrated that he may be the only Republican left with both a conscience and a backbone to stand up to the worst of his party. When gay marriage was finally upheld by the Supreme Court, he was among the first to support it, demolishing a bigoted hater in the process.


He’s also been an outspoken supporter of science and a refreshing right-wing voice on climate change. Having led a state that is disproportionately affected by a warming planet, Schwarzenegger certainly knows a thing or two about how important addressing the issue is. Thankfully, he’s not messing around.

While Republican presidential candidates are still openly dismissing the idea that climate change even exists, Schwarzenegger was attending the world’s first “summit of conscience for the climate” this week. In a speech given at the summit, he blasted climate deniers and brought some much-needed sense to the “debate” that has dragged on despite the science being settled long ago.

“I’ve starred in a lot of science fiction movies and, let me tell you something, climate change is not science fiction, this is a battle in the real world, it is impacting us right now.”

“I believe the science is in. The debate is over and the time for action is now,” he told an invited audience of intellectuals and spiritual leaders from all faiths. “This is bigger than any movie, this is the challenge of our time. And it is our responsibility to leave this world a better place than we found it, but right now we are failing future generations.”

“This year alone we will dump 40bn tonnes of carbon emissions into our atmosphere. The World Health Organization says that air pollution causes over 7 million premature deaths every year and all over the world we can see flooding, monster storms, droughts and wild-fires that are completely out of control.”

He wasn’t just speaking metaphorically. Currently his own state of California is undergoing what climate scientists are warning is one of the worst droughts in the state’s history. As the hot summer wears on, the strain on residents and the environment will only magnify.

He encouraged attendees to go back to their nations and get serious about fighting climate change. In the United States, that is no small task. Much of the right-wing has their heads so far down in the sand that they haven’t noticed the rising sea levels have already washed over them. In some cases, Republicans have moved to ban the discussion of climate change altogether. The antipathy towards climate science or recognizing even basic observable facts is deeply ingrained.

It’s unclear what Republicans are waiting for. The science has been settled for years, and every passing year the data keeps making the argument stronger; religious leaders, including the Pope have spoke forcefully and often about the importance of being good stewards to the planet; and  some, like Schwarzenegger, among their own party are saying it’s time to act. On the other side of the “debate” you have oil company lobbyists and Rush Limbaugh. It’s difficult to imagine a more lop-sided disagreement.

Given the political climate in this country, it will likely be up to people like Schwarzenegger to help move his party (however reluctantly) forward on the issue. Conservatives view scientists and the media as having a “liberal bias” so it is important that they start seeing people change their mind from within their party. Undoubtedly, Schwarzenegger will be savaged in certain corners of the right-wing media for betraying his anti-science colleagues, but something tells me the former bodybuilder can take a few wimpy punches.

Feature image screen capture via Guardian