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Schwarzenegger was on hand to promote his underwater production Wonders of the Sea 3D, screening in the official section.
“I think that we have in California proven that you can protect the environment and lower the greenhouse gases and go more in the green direction in terms of cars and industries and all that. We’ve passed the toughest laws in the United States. Everyone told us it was going to be suicidal, that our economy was going to crash and it was the worst thing for jobs,” Schwarzenegger said. “We’re now 10 years later and the national GDP growth is about two-and-a-quarter. The California GDP growth is at 5 percent so we are now outgrowing the rest of the U.S. and outperforming any state in the United States. We’re No. 1. So I think the federal government, Republicans and Democrats and Donald Trump and his whole White House if they will be smart, then they will just copy exactly what we’re doing in California.”
The Terminator star stuck to the script, staying focused on the environment and shying away from questions about the German election results or other political issues. But he did say that it was politics that made him decide to take a stance on fossil fuels.
“I grew up in Austria, and it’s one of those countries that protects its environment. But when I became governor of the state of California, I started to learn more about the dangers if we don’t protect the environment, the dangers of staying with fossil fuels, I became much more passionate about the subject and realized I am in a position to really help people save lives.”
Schwarzenegger said he was on a “crusade” to protect the environment, which he said is not a partisan issue.
“A lot of people talk about climate change, but I’m talking about pollution kills 7 million people a year. When you are talking about global warming, that’s something that will happen in the future. It’s very interesting and a very serious problem. But there’s still people that debate whether global warming is human caused. My point is that pollution kills 7 million people a year. This is much more than from wars. Much more than people dying from traffic accidents or from suicide. All of them together doesn’t come close to the 7 million people.”
Flanked by Wonders directors Jean-Michel Cousteau and Jean Jacques Manello, perhaps the sharpest jab Schwarzenegger took at Trump came in the form of praise for the role of the press.
“A lot of people dump on the press. I’d like to thank the press,” Schwarzenegger said, tracing how the press always helped him in his career from body builder to movie actor to governor, even when it wasn’t always flattering or kind to him. “I wouldn’t be seated here if it weren’t for the press.”
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