Last week I attended Serve to Preserve: A Florida Summit on Global Climate Change, which was a state-wide eco-event held by Florida Governor Charlie Crist in Miami. At the end of the summit, our governor committed to some seriously cool things – hoping to make Florida much like California in terms of the environment.
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I have to tell you that for me to be in the middle of all of this is really wild because 3 1/2 years ago when I ran for governor, I had environmental protesters following me around. Saying, “He’s a Republican! Wait! Stop! Don’t vote for him. He’s going to destroy the environment. He’s driving the Hummers and flying in private planes,” and all this kind of thing. So now it’s wild to be here 3 1/2 years later. We’ve accomplished so much in these last 3 1/2 years. We’ve proven that a Republican can, in fact, protect the environment.
They say that the Republicans aren’t supposed to fight for the environment, they are supposed to protect the economy, they’re supposed to protect businesses and so on. But I think this is all bogus because we won’t have an economy if we destroy our environment.
We can grow the economy and still simultaneously protect the environment. It’s not a choice. It’s not either or. The two go hand in hand. Because let’s face it, there is no Democratic planet earth. There is no Republican planet earth. There is just a planet earth and we all have the responsibility to take care of it.
(In response to this billboard…)
The billboard says “Arnold to Michigan: Drop Dead”, but that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is “Arnold to Michigan: Get Off Your Butt”, that’s what I’m saying.
(He’s mentioned this before…)
Let me tell you, in California we have the perfect example. Now California is not known for the car industry, may I remind you. But here we have a car company, it’s called Tesla Motors. They have the Tesla Roadster that is 100% electric. And it’s a really sexy looking car, may I remind you. It’s a great looking sports car. It goes from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds, it drives 135 miles an hour AND it drives 250 miles before you charge it up. And it costs $100,000, and now because of tremendous demand, the 2nd version will cost $50,000, and after that, the 3rd version: $38,000. So economics tell you where this is headed.
It’s exactly the same as with cell phones. I remember that when I bought 20 years ago a cell phone, well, it was like a cell phone, it was really a radio phone. It was $1,600. The latest cell phone that I bought for my daughter was below $100. So it just shows to you, this is exactly the same thing that will happen with environmental technologies and cars.
Government can give a push by setting the standards. So California is giving the nation and the world a push. And in the process we are growing a whole new economy based on innovation and clean tech that will spark billions and billions of dollars in investment and thousands and thousands of new jobs.