Arnold Schwarzenegger, the longtime movie star who also served two terms as governor of California, has emerged in recent years as an outspoken advocate for the need to address climate change. This position has put Schwarzenegger at odds with his fellow Republican, President Trump.
This week, Schwarzenegger delivered a speech in Katowice, Poland, in which he assailed the president for pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as not taking the issue seriously.
“If we would’ve never started in that direction and used other technology, we’d be much better off,” Schwarzenegger said in the speech, which he delivered at a United Nations climate conference, as reported by ABC News. He also called the president “meshugana” (Yiddish for “crazy”) and pointed out that many U.S. institutions are still following the protocols put forward in the Paris accords, even if the federal government has pulled out of it.
“Our financial institutions are in, our academic institutions are still in, the governors and the mayors are still in,” he said. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Schwarzenegger political speech without a reference to his movie career, as he stated that he wishes he could go back in time like his cyborg character in the Terminator movies in order to reverse the effects of climate change.
President Trump has many times over the years shared his skepticism about whether global warming is real, often pointing out cold New York City days in the winter as evidence that the phenomenon is not actually happening. The Paris Agreement was reached in late 2015 by 196 nations, including the U.S. under President Obama. Trump announced the withdrawal of the U.S. from the agreement in June of 2017.
While Trump and Schwarzenegger are both longtime celebrities who were later elected to political office as Republicans, the two men have often been at odds, even before Arnold took on pollution and climate change as a cause. The actor did not support Trump for president in 2016, saying in an interview, as quoted by Politico, that it was the first time since becoming a U.S. citizen in 1983 that he had not voted for the Republican candidate for president.
Schwarzenegger actually replaced Trump as host of the reality show The Apprentice after Trump entered politics, but the president frequently tweeted about the low ratings achieved by the Arnold-hosted version of the show, which did not return for a second season.
As for the word “meshugana,” Schwarzenegger used and pronounced it correctly, despite his lack of known Jewish ancestry.