While in office, President Donald Trump has loved to claim that he’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to the United States — and that’s not an exaggeration, it’s what he’s said. Recently, he even proudly touted poll numbers showing that a majority of Republicans had proudly fallen in line like some kind of cult and thought he’s a better president than Abraham Lincoln, who — just to be clear — freed the slaves. This weekend on Meet the Press, actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered a reality check for Trump, who’s even claimed that the environment’s hardly ever been doing better than under his leadership.
In reality, data has chronicled an increase in greenhouse gas emissions under the Trump administration. In 2018, the emissions rate spiked by 3.8 percent over the previous year, which functions like a chilling threat to what’s at stake. Although Schwarzenegger has repeatedly taken on Trump directly, this weekend, he spoke in his capacity as a member of the newly announced “World War Zero” climate change coalition led by former Secretary of State John Kerry.
Trump has repeatedly criticized California for supposedly being overly forward with their environmental policies — a major point of contention, for example, has been their regulations against car emissions — and this weekend, Schwarzenegger batted down that argument.
He told host Chuck Todd that:
‘California is perfect proof that you can protect the environment and also protect the economy at the same time. We have the strictest environment laws… and are also number 1 economically, way ahead of the United States average.’
That’s not the kind of thing that Trump seems keen on admitting anytime soon.
He’s still firmly rooted in that political egotism, which takes priority for him even over the science that his own administration produces outlining the looming dangerous possibilities from climate change. In late 2018, he dismissed one such administration climate change report by insisting simply:
‘I don’t believe it.’
Host Chuck Todd asked Schwarzenegger if he’d take a meeting with Trump to push the issue of climate change, but he deflected, offering another affront to the president’s ego in the process.
He told Todd:
‘It’s not just one person. We have to convince the whole world.’
In connection to his role with World War Zero, he’s already spoken out against Trump’s insistence that other countries pick up the main burden of curtailing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change.
He said that the insistence was “bogus,” adding:
‘America never ever in its history has said, ‘Let some other country do something first.’ We should lead.’
Mr. Schwarzenegger called the Trump argument that China must do more to curb emissions before the United States acts “bogus.” He said, “America never ever in its history has said, ‘Let some other country do something first.’ We should lead,” he said.https://t.co/dBe0wAp08H
— John Schwartz (@jswatz) November 30, 2019
Trump does not seem overly interested in that opportunity for leadership. Instead, he prefers sticking to his petty political squabbles and enacting moves like the abrupt withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, which just about every other country on earth was and is a party to. Although Trump is refusing to lead, others are stepping in. Recently, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) revealed that she’d be leading a delegation to the upcoming United Nations summit on climate change.