Sunday, September 24, 2006

Arnie to auto-makers: I'll be back

One of the strategies of the fossil-fuel lobby is to confuse people down to a state of hopelessness - the argument you hear goes, "It's sheer arrogance to think that mankind can affect something as big as the atmosphere." It's fatalistc, wrong and dangerous.

Learned helplessness is the giving-up reaction, the quitting response that follows from the belief that whatever you do doesn't matter.
Arnold Schwarzenegger

It was easy to laugh from all the way from Down-Under when the film-mogul Schwarzenegger became the Republican Governor of California, especially after marrying a Kennedy. The joke had been nicely set up by the Gipper becoming US President Ronald Reagan. But this guy seems to be doing a good job, and with him recognising his leadership responsibilities, i.e. to face up to climate change and take the hard decisons needed to implement laws to fight it, he's got my cyber-vote as a global citizen on a global issue: :::[SMH: Arnie goes green]

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday is expected to sign into law the United States' first state cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

But even before the bill is signed, the law's future is in doubt.

Federal lawsuits related to greenhouse gas issues, involving California, Vermont and Massachusetts, could cloud California's latest attempt to be a leader in the fight against global climate change.

At the heart of California's attempt to curb the gases believed responsible for global warming are state vehicle regulations that are being challenged by US and foreign car makers. The rules, adopted in 2004 by the state Air Resources Board, would force vehicle companies to cut emissions from their cars and light trucks.

Rulings favourable to industry would greatly complicate efforts to cut overall emissions in California, knocking out nearly a quarter of the state's reduction strategy. The goal is to reduce emissions to 1990 levels over the next 14 years.

"Reducing greenhouse gases is a hugely difficult challenge," said Daniel Sperling, director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis. "It's going to be very difficult with the auto regulations. Without them, it's going to be impossible."

Vehicle makers have sued California and Vermont for setting greenhouse gas emission standards on vehicles, saying the rules are tantamount to imposing a fuel-economy standard. Only the federal government can set gas-mileage rules.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts and 11 other states, including California, are challenging the Bush administration's decision not to regulate heat-trapping carbon dioxide as a pollutant. The case is before the US Supreme Court.

A lot is riding on Govenor Schwarzenegger winning:

California is the world's 12th largest producer of greenhouse gases, and experts warn that the state will suffer if industries and vehicles aren't forced to cut their pollutants.

It will be a tough fight against the motor industry.

Climate change experts say the state can't afford to wait any longer to begin scaling back its carbon emissions - slashing its use of fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal.

But a win in court for the motor industry on the previous regulations would send state regulators scrambling to meet the deadlines outlined in the global warming bill that Schwarzenegger is scheduled to sign this week.

They would have to find other ways to force the transportation sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 30 million metric tons, about 20 per cent of the statewide cap.

Linda Adams, head of Schwarzenegger's Environmental Protection Agency, said a court loss would take away an essential tool.

"Any attempt to undo the progress California has made to reduce climate change emissions would threaten the state's ability to meet the governor's goals," Adams said in a statement.

As a precaution, state MPs inserted a provision into the global warming bill that would give the Air Resources Board power to impose other regulations on the motor industry designed to reduce greenhouse gases.

One reason why I like him is that he had a previous life. Isn't a career-politician. But like all these high-profiles that political parties like to parachute in, the question is, is he tough enough? And in this case it's, is he tough enough to take on the motor industry and win?:

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.
Arnold Schwarzenegger
The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That's what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they'll go through the pain no matter what happens.
Arnold Schwarzenegger
The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tone the spirit just as exercise conditions the body.
Arnold Schwarzenegger

The wisdom he brings from his job before politics augers well for a post-material world:

Money doesn't make you happy. I now have $50 million but I was just as happy when I had $48 million.
Arnold Schwarzenegger

My grandfather was funnier: "Money may not make you happy, but I wouldn't mind finding out." I think he was paraphrasing Marx. The other Marx.

But this is the funniest yet:

I just use my muscles as a conversation piece, like someone walking a cheetah down 42nd Street.
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Funny man.

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