No I do not, he is relatively uneducated and underquilified as a politician as it is. People look at Arnold Shwarzenegger as an actor first, people around the country and the world generally view his office as a placeholder position while other people do the work behind the scenes.
If the U.S. tried to use him as a global spokesperson for the enviroment, I think he might actually get laughed out of a UN meeting. Shwarzenegger has popularity in California thats why he won the governorship, but he is hardly qualified to represent the U.S. on an issue as vital as the environment.
I disagree with Benz at least in part. All high-profile politicians are controversial to one degree or another, and Schwarzenegger certainly is; his record as California governor has been checkered and his approval ratings are quite low. However, he does have a few bright spots in his environmental record, such as signing into law in 2006 the country’s first caps on greenhouse gas emissions, which, regardless of his other policies, is a step forward in governmental response to climate change. Schwarzenegger has been criticized for other environmental issues, and received a 50 out of 100 rating from the California League of Conservation Voters. However, politically and culturally I don’t think he’d be a bad spokesman for environmental issues, assuming that he was sincere about them (and with respect to climate change he at least appears to be). He’s a Republican, which would soften the political perception of environmental issues being solely “owned” by Democrats and might count to foster some bipartisanship, and he does not consistently back proposals of either the Republican or Democratic parties, sometimes breaking with conservatives and at other times standing with them. His chief attribute would of course be his instant worldwide name and face recognition. The fact that he was an actor and bodybuilder before becoming a politician could work in his favor rather than against him, because he would probably be seen as less political than other environmental figures.
Benz brings up an excellent point regarding Schwarzenegger’s credibility on environmental issues, but, depending on the earnestness (and frankly the source) of whatever environmental policy he was advocating as spokesperson, I don’t think that would necessarily be fatal to his chances. If Schwarzenegger decided tomorrow that climate change was his overarching issue, and took to the stumps and TV screens of the world to urge immediate action to combat it, I think he could do a lot of good despite the political and environmental controversies in his background.
I think he would be a fine representative. Firstly, the environment cant be about political parties–Schwarzenegger is a republican, but a California one. He is fiscally conservative, but not socially. He has done a good deal of promoting climate change and has brought a great deal of green jobs to California. He is the Governor of argubly the most difficult state to govern, and one of the most diverse. He is more a statesman than a politician, as he has brought people together and actually gotten things done. With that, I don’t think he should be a spokesperson, but in fact he is someone who can actually get things done.
He wouldn’t be the worse spokesmen ever. He is still a well world-known international celebrity. It depends on the message I think the more specific the message (such as climate change) and the research he will represent the better received his message will be.
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