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Arnold Schwarzenegger says leaders who deny climate change are “stupid” and “liars”

According to Arnold Schwarzenegger, global leaders who say fighting climate change damages the economy are “stupid” and “liars”.

The Terminator star once said, “I’ll be back” and here he is, putting climate change naysayers in their place. In a 57-minute interview with BBC Radio 4, Arnold Schwarzenegger explained that “going green” doesn’t damage an economy, in fact, it can lead to a stronger financial system overall.

“You can protect the environment and protect the economy at the same time,” Schwarzenegger said. “[Leaders who say it’s not possible] are liars, they are stupid. Or they don’t know how to do it, because we figured [out] how to do it and it’s all about having the balls to do it.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger bike
Photo: Getty/Bauer-Griffin

The ex-governor of California cited his own state as the perfect example of why shifting towards an environmentally friendly model is “the best job creator”.

“We [California] are number one economically in the US, with a GDP of $3.3 trillion, and that at the same time makes us the fifth economy in the world … while we have the strictest environmental laws,” Schwarzenegger said as quoted by Business Insider Australia.

Outside of economics, the star talked about how lifestyle changes can also impact the environment and one’s own health. According to Schwarzenegger, simple changes don’t require anyone to “sacrifice” anything.

“Since eating more vegetables and plant-based foods my heart doctor said my arteries have stopped narrowing,” he said, as quoted by the BBC. “So how have I given up something? I gained my health, it gave me an extra two years.”

Schwarzenegger also touched upon the capabilities of green technology and how individuals can benefit from them:

“I went from a 300-horsepower hummer that was diesel-fueled, and now I go and build an electric engine in there now it’s 480 horsepower, and now it’s electric. What did I give up?”

The action star took time in the interview to explain why he believes environmentalists have never managed to break through to climate change deniers.

Arnold Schwarzenegger governer
Photo: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

“[They] have a problem with communicating,” he said.

“[Similar to the film industry] [f]acts and figures won’t sell the ticket… If you’re going to sell a movie you can’t talk about how you did the financing or what special effects you used, you have to tell the story, you have to make people go and see the move, seduce them in.”

Schwarzenegger is expected to bring his views to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which began yesterday.