Why Arnold Schwarzenegger’s position on climate change is so unique — and why we need more of it
This article aims to show that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2014 article titled “I Don’t Give a **** If We Agree About Climate Change” is even more relevant today. More importantly, this is an excellent approach to selling people on why a carbon neutral society is the only viable option. Schwarzenegger uses his ideas, voice, and diction to make the reader understand what he is speaking about and keep them engaged with his writing. This allows the article to be not only informative, but also enjoyable to read. This work acts as a call to action for people to think about their impact on the world. Schwarzenegger takes a “fatal choice” that may seem far away in scope and makes it personal. His words are well organized and his sentences flow well. He uses his voice to set a dire tone for this work, his diction to create impact, his ideas to dream of a pollution free world, and packages it all up into something that is enjoyable to read. This is an impressive feat in of itself and is strengthened by the fact that his words also carry substance and meaning.
Schwarzenegger has no shortage of vision. He outlines his dream of a “clean energy future” and how it’s achievable. His writing is content-heavy but is not overwhelming. He uses many statistics to bolster his claims and to create credibility for himself. An example of this is when he says “do you believe it is acceptable that 7 million people die every year from pollution? That’s more than murders, suicides, and car accidents — combined. Every day, 19,000 people die from pollution from fossil fuels. Do you accept those deaths?”. Schwarzenegger follows each of his statistics with a question to make them feel more personal. This shows that he has a great understanding of writing using Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.
The tone of the whole article is somber yet hopeful. Schwarzenegger does not act cheerful or happy, but by the end of the post he seems hopeful that people will make the right choice when it comes to their future. He demonstrates this when he says “I don’t give a damn if you believe in climate change. I couldn’t care less if you’re concerned about temperatures rising or melting glaciers. It doesn’t matter to me which of us is right about the science. I just hope that you’ll join me in opening Door Number Two, to a smarter, cleaner, healthier, more profitable energy future.” This shows that Arnold Schwarzenegger understands that the tone of the article matters. If he just delivered his facts and ideas in a dead-pan way, as some scientific journals do, he would just be reciting the same facts as everyone else. In order to convince people of what he believes, he needed to change his strategy.
Finally, Schwarzenegger’s diction is impeccable. His words are curated carefully to persuade the reader to heed his warning. Specifically, Schwarzenegger paints a picture of the choice between fossil fuels and green energy as a monty-hall-esque decision. “There are two doors. Behind Door Number One is a completely sealed room, with a regular, gasoline-fueled car. Behind Door Number Two is an identical, completely sealed room, with an electric car. Both engines are running full blast. I want you to pick a door to open, and enter the room and shut the door behind you. You have to stay in the room you choose for one hour.” This use of diction allows Schwarzenegger to make the reader understand how critical the situation is and how easy it is to make the right choice.
Schwarzenegger has a deep understanding of what it takes to get to a carbon neutral world. This helps him to convey his message effectively and to condense all his information into a simple question. Would you rather spend an hour in a room with a gasoline-fueled car or an electric vehicle?