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Arnold Schwarzenegger addresses the Summit of Conscience for Climate

July 21, 2015:



Read the Guardian article on Schwarzenegger: "Climate Change is Not Science Fiction"

Photos of the Summit of Conscience.



Arnold Schwarzenegger's address to the Summit of Conscience for the Climate, giving his own very personal answer to #WhyDoICare.


Hello everybody, and I want to say thank you to President Hollande for having the wisdom and vision to host a Summit of Conscience and call all of these amazing minds together, the march is on towards a sustainable energy future.

www.whydoIcare.org
Now I'm sorry that I couldn't be with you today but I am on a promotional tour right now, that's why I couldn't make it. But when I saw the list of all of these leaders, of all of the different religions, who are here day, I have to admit that I was a little star struck.

Because I've spoken to a lot of people, I've spoken to scholars and academics about the science of climate change, I've spoken to bankers and investors about economic impact, I've spoken to political leaders and other leaders about the policy, and I've spoken to military leaders and diplomats about national security. But this gathering is very special, it is unique. This summit appeals to the people's morality and it speaks directly to their hearts.

Ladies and gentlemen, I don't have to tell you how important your mission is to our environmental movement, it is a great and powerful goal to win over the people's minds and their hearts.

Now, as you know, I've starred in a lot of science fiction movies and, let me tell you something, climate change is not science fiction, this is a battle in the real world, it is impacting us right now. This year alone, for instance, we will dump 40 billion tonnes of carbon emissions into our atmosphere. The world health organization says that air pollution causes over 7 million premature deaths every year and all over the world we can see flooding, monster storms, droughts and wild-fires that are completely out of control.

And today we have an epic mission of our own. Our mission doesn't call for building a ship but our mission calls for building a bridge. We must build a bridge to the people to invite them to join our movement for health and for a sustainable energy future.
This is bigger than any movie, this is the challenge of our time. And it is our responsibility to leave this world a better place than we found it, but right now we are failing future generations.

A lot of it has to do a with our failure to communicate, I have to be honest with you, communicating with the mass, with the people, and we have told them over and over again about our climate change and about global warming. Maybe we should be concerned with rising temperatures and we should be concerned with the rising sea levels and the melting ice caps and all of those things but those are the things will happen down the line and most people are concerned with what is happening right now.

People worry about their jobs and health care and national security, they worry about putting food on the table for their families, they worry about their survival. And you know something, they should be concerned with their survival, because as I said earlier, 7 million people die every year because of our pollution, so they should be concerned with their survival.

We know that a green economy will be much better. A green economy is a growing and sustainable economy, it creates jobs, it provides health care and financial security, and it cleans our air and it saves lives. So the bottom line is, we can do better and we must do better. So I challenge you to go home after this conference is over, go home to your congregations, to your churches, to your mosques, to your temples and your followers and inspire them to fight for a clean energy future, that is why this Summit of Conscience is so important.

That is why I am glad that Pope Francis is also having an event today. When I read the Pope's encyclical, I was struck by the story of Saint Francis of Assisi who called the smallest creatures, brothers and sisters, and prayed with the flowers. He celebrated all that our planet had to offer and preached for its protection. Now just imagine if we inspired the world to embrace just a fraction of Saint Francis's love for the environment. And we can, and you can, lead the way.

Now remember, the greatest movements in human history, from the civil rights movement, to the anti-apartheid movement, to the Indian Independence Movement, did not start in the halls of power, they did not start in the capitals. No, they, started in the grassroots with ordinary people and the same will be true with our movement if we speak to the people's hearts and their souls.

Now we have 130 days until the leaders of the world gather here for the 2015 Climate Change conference and one thing we know is that they have a tremendous weight that they must lift. And we also know that they can't lift it by themselves, we must help them, because together we can lift it. We must do everything that we can to communicate better and to preach and inspire people to join our crusade.

Now, when I was a young boy in Austria, I have to admit that I wasn't always on my best behaviour when my parents brought me to church - I hope that you can forgive me for that - but any time the priest talked about Noah's Ark, I hung onto every word, I loved the story of Noah building a ship large enough to save every species on Earth. That epic mission captured every fibre of my imagination.

And today we have an epic mission of our own. Our mission doesn't call for building a ship but our mission calls for building a bridge. We must build a bridge to the people to invite them to join our movement for health and for a sustainable energy future. We must speak to their minds and capture their hearts. We must inspire the world to console its conscience and to demand a better way.

So once again, I want to say thank you very much, President Hollande, for your great environmental work and thank you, foreign minister Fabius, and thank you, Nicolas Hulot, for your great leadership, you are a climate champion and the President is lucky to have you on his side.

WhyDoICare.org

See our event page here.

Photos of the Summit of Conscience.

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