Politics

Schwarzenegger Confirms Link Between Global Warming And Wildfires, Hits Bush For Not Believing The Science

On Friday, the Bush administration “rejected its own experts’ conclusion that global warming poses a threat to the public welfare, launching a comment period that will delay action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least until the next president takes office.” As the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson notes, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson “attack[ed] the clear and present threat of global warming” and dismissed it as a “‘complex’ issue that hinges on ‘interpretation of statutory terms.'”

The decision was quickly denounced by environmental experts, EPA staffers, and even a member of President Bush’s own party — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. In an interview this morning with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Schwarzenegger laments that the Bush administration “did not believe in global warming.” He adds that even if officials had done something on Friday, he would have thought it “bogus anyway…because you don’t change global warming and you don’t really have an effect by doing something six months before you leave office“:

[I]t just really means basically this administration did not believe in global warming, or they did not believe that they should do anything about it since China is not doing anything about it and since India is not willing to do the same thing, so why should we do the same thing.

But that’s not how we put a man on the moon. We did not say let everyone else do the same thing, then we will do it. We said we want to be the pioneers, we want to be out there in front. … I think we have a good opportunity to do the same thing, also, with fighting global warming.

As the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson has explained, Schwarzenegger also confirmed that he believes the strong wildfires in California are partially a result of global warming. Watch it:

Schwarzenegger has repeatedly tried to call the Bush administration on its abysmal global warming record, exposing weak measures officials try to tout as groundbreaking. In April, Bush called for a “national goal” to halt the growth of U.S. carbon emissions by 2025. But as Schwarzenegger told PBS, “For him to say we should start really reducing greenhouse gases by the year 2025, by that time we’ll have no more glacier left.”

Transcript:

STEPHANOPOULOS: How much of that is due, do you think, to global warming, to climate change?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, it’s very hard to say. I mean, one thing we know for sure, and that is we have had a drought for two years in a row now. We have a lack of water here in California, which is very important, why we need to redo our infrastructure and rebuild our water system again in California.

And I think that we just have to be aware of those changes. I’m sure, partially, that it has something to do with global warming, also, because we have just now broken a record.

I think that in modern history in California, we have never had this kind of size of fire and up and down, 725,000 acres of land has burned so far. This is the most ever.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And yet we read front page of the Washington Post this morning, President Bush’s EPA is going to take no more actions this year during his presidency to stop global warming emissions.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, to be honest with you, if they would have done something this year, I would have thought it was bogus anyway.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, because you don’t change global warming and you don’t really have an effect by doing something six months before you leave office. I mean, that is…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Doesn’t every bit help?

SCHWARZENEGGER: No, it doesn’t sound to me believable at all. The sincerity is not there.

I think that the way they have done it is much better, because it just really means basically this administration did not believe in global warming, or they did not believe that they should do anything about it since China is not doing anything about it and since India is not willing to do the same thing, so why should we do the same thing.

But that’s not how we put a man on the moon. We did not say let everyone else do the same thing, then we will do it. We said we want to be the pioneers, we want to be out there in front.

And we are out there in front when it comes to stem cell research. We’re out there in front when it comes to high technology and biotechnology, with our university systems.

I think we have a good opportunity to do the same thing, also, with fighting global warming.