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5 Times Arnold Schwarzenegger Openly Raised His Voice to Protect the Environment

Published 03/23/2024, 12:00 PM EDT

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Arnold Schwarzenegger is just as passionate about saving the planet as his other endeavors. Now, days after successfully wrapping the Arnold Sports Festival in the UK, the former Governor of California is back to defend his state against oil giants. Despite being born in Austria, the Hollywood icon calls California his home and is ready to fight for its people and environment.

The multi-billion dollar oil industry is attempting to overturn Senate Bill 1137. Gavin Newsom, the 40th Governor of California, approved the Senate Bill into law in 2022. The aim of the law? To ban oil corporations from drilling within 3,200 ft of homes, schools, hospitals, and parks from 2025. It’s no secret that drilling for oil causes immense pollution, and corporations are waging war to dismiss this law. However, Arnold Schwarzenegger has joined Newsom in raising his voice for the environment.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s fight against oil drilling

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The 38th Governor of California joined the present Governor and Jane Fonda to raise his voice against oil corporations. The former governor is a climate warrior with his own initiative against environmentally damaging activities like drilling for oil. So Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jane Fonda gathered with other activists at Ladera Heights soccer field.

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The soccer field is close to America’s largest urban oil drilling site, the Inglewood Oil Field. “They’re spending millions and millions of dollars because they want to tell the California people that it is safe to drill next to a house,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, the governor believes California can withstand the oil industry’s push in the November 2024 vote.

In their offensive against Senate Bill 1137, the oil companies have spent $20 million and gotten enough signatures to put the law on the ballot. Voters will decide the fate of the law in the upcoming vote. Schwarzenegger is hopeful that educating Californians about the dangers of drilling close to home will lead to a positive outcome. However, Arnie’s stand against oil drilling is the latest in a long list of contributions toward the environment.

When Arnie urged everyone to “terminate pollution”

Arnold Schwarzenegger hopes that the plans of the oil corporations would get “terminated.” Similarly, in 2022, he delivered a speech calling on leaders to pool their resources to “terminate” pollution. The Hollywood action star expressed optimism at the 2022 Austrian World Summit on Climate Change in Vienna, organized by the Schwarzenegger Climate Initiative.

During the annual summit, Schwarzenegger said that everyone at the summit should learn from the past but not dwell on it. “Instead of doom and gloom, we will show the world that change is possible,” said the Austrian Oak. Arnold Schwarzenegger urged regional and world leaders to come to combat climate change through “collaborative effort.” 

“Together we can terminate pollution and stop climate change,” announced Arnold Schwarzenegger at the inaugural speech of the sixth Austrian World Summit. In 2023, the bodybuilding icon raised a different issue at this climate summit. 

The Austrian Oak called out critical delays

In May 2023, Arnold Schwarzenegger sounded the alarm bells against critical delays crippling the green energy movements across the globe. The 76-year-old highlighted that solar and wind energy have gotten cheaper than coal thanks to technological advancements. He also said that electric cars are making significant efficiency improvements. However, these and various other projects have got stuck behind “red tape.”

Schwarzenegger said solar energy projects in Europe have to wait four years, while wind energy projects often have to wait ten years. “Thousands of clean energy projects sit waiting to be built. Delayed by bureaucracy… by permits… by old transmission lines,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnie also highlighted that 2,000 gigawatts worth of clean energy projects are on hold in the United States.

So, 76-year-old Arnold Schwarzenegger urged leaders and nations to get rid of such inefficient processes. He said if nations do not speed up green energy adoption, humans might fail to halt global warming. However, it won’t be because we never found a way, but because we didn’t implement them in time. Thanks to his efforts to have a positive impact action on climate action, The Terminator has faced criticism from climate change deniers.

Arnold Schwarzenegger on climate change deniers

The former Mr. Universe has been fighting for our planet for over two decades. Throughout the years, he faced criticism from people who think climate change is a myth and humans don’t play a role in the rising temperatures. However, in 2015, Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote a hard-hitting reply to the doubters titled, “I don’t give a **** if we agree about climate change.”

In the Facebook post, Arnold Schwarzenegger acknowledged that many people challenge the science of climate change online. However, the bodybuilding legend asked some uncomfortable questions to those who do so. The former governor asked if such people were ok to know that thousands die of pollution-related causes each year.

He also asked if they were fine with children growing up with respirators. Finally, Schwarzenegger described a scenario pitting green energy against fossil fuels. Arnie said that if the doubters were given a choice between staying in a sealed room with a fossil fuel car emitting harmful gases and an electric one with no emissions, which one would they choose?

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Arnie hopes that even the doubters will join him in staying in the room representing “A smarter, cleaner, healthier, more profitable energy future.” Finally, as Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger did more than raise his voice for the environment.

When Arnold Schwarzenegger did it himself

In 2006, Arnold Schwarzenegger made history by making the Global Warming Solutions Act a California state law. After being vocal about the need to reduce emissions, the governor took direct action to help the environment. The law was the first of its kind in the United States. It earned him the nickname The Green Governor.

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The act put comprehensive measures in place to combat greenhouse gas emissions from all sources in the Golden State. Now, nearly two decades later, the Green Governor is once again raising his voice to benefit the state he calls home. While he is no longer governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger is doing everything in his power. 

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Written by:

Sagnik Bagchi

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Sagnik Bagchi is a senior bodybuilding writer at EssentiallySports. A passionate fitness enthusiast himself, Sagnik uses his knowledge of bodybuilding to focus on the coverage of major events like the Mr. Olympia and Arnold Classic.
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Edited by:

Snigdhaa Jaiswal