But much like his fictional Terminator persona who promised “I’ll be back,” it seems that Schwarzenegger has no plans of slowing down either. After seven years in Sacramento, the former Mr. Universe has openly acknowledged that he will make rounds on the speech circuit, possibly write an autobiography, and has hinted at continuing his role with environmental and political reform (issues that have had mixed reception during his tenure).
Once criticizing environmentalism for not being “sexy” enough, Schwarzenegger has pushed state and regional governments around the world to tackle the issue of greenhouse gases. This past month California approved the nation’s most extensive program to give major polluters financial incentives to discharge fewer greenhouse gases— meaning you get more money if you pollute less.
“There are a lot of important things that I want to say,” Schwarzenegger recently tweeted. “My struggle for reform will continue, my belief in environmental issues and in protecting the environment will continue.”
Schwarzenegger has made a concerted effort to taper down his former showy lifestyle, as well. Instead of gas guzzling hummers he has opted for cars running on clean fuel, and he’s immersed himself in charitable work alongside his wife, Maria Shriver, including founding a committee to encourage road, bridge and other infrastructure development in New York.
Yet, despite his best efforts at re-booting the way we think about environmental issues, he has come under attack from environmentalist groups.
In an interview with the LA Times, Bill Magacern, the Sierra Club’s California director said, “How green is he? We came to the conclusion that he’s olive-drab.”
Highlighted in the article were some of the ways in which environmentalists felt Schwarzenegger has fallen short, which you can see for yourself here. We can tell you though that they include a loosening of the state’s Green Chemistry regulations, and the fast-tracking of regulations to allow agribusiness to use the pesticide methyl iodide which have negative health impacts on farmers and consumers.
What do you all think of the former strongman’s ties to environmental issues? Is this genuine concern or is he a better actor than Predator led us to believe?