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Truthdiggers of the Week: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Richard Branson

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Posted on Sep 29, 2006
Arnold and Richard

Truthdig salutes the California governor and the Virgin empire founder for their leadership in the fight against global warming.

On Wednesday (Sept. 27), Schwarzenegger signed a bill that made California the first state in the country to impose a mandatory cap on greenhouse gases. The new law commits the state to a 25% reduction by 2020.

  • Read about it here.
  • Last week, Sir Richard Branson pledged that all the profits of his airlines and train company (a projected $3 billion over the next 10 years) would be invested in clean-energy enterprises.


  • Read about it here.
  • We’re particularly thrilled by these two initiatives not only because they will help heal the Earth, but because their scope and the personalities behind them ensure that others will follow their lead: Where California goes, New York and others often follow; and where Branson goes, Trump can’t be far behind.


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    By Adam Dulaski, October 17, 2006 at 7:05 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Don’t glorify Branson and Schwarzenegger as truthdiggers of the week.  They don’t deserve it.  When they give up their mansions, suv’s and frequent flier miles, when they start setting examples of how not to consume too much-then they’ll be deserving.  Until then, they’ll just be two more hypocritical baby boomers pretending to be responsible environmentalists while they contribute far more CO2 to the atmosphere than even your average american-which, needless to say, is far too much.

    The same goes for people like Al Gore, and even Tom Friedman-people who claim they understand that overdependence on fossil fuels and global warming are real problems, but do little to curtail their own consumption.  Simply put, you can’t fly all over the world and consider yourself a responsible environmentalist.  As far as I know, they haven’t invented the hybrid plane yet.

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    By Greenjeans, October 4, 2006 at 8:33 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Your praise of Schwarzenegger is far too lavish, if not entirely misplaced. Schwarzenegger inexplicably vetoed AB1012 by Assemblyman Joe Nation, D-San Rafael, which would have required half of all cars sold in 2020 to be powered by alternative fuels—a perfect complement to this state’s new commitment to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

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    By Uncle Ernie, October 3, 2006 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    So the Gropenfuhrer signed a bill whoopie. I guess that clears him of sedition, eh?

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    By Richard Blackmoor, October 2, 2006 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    If Arnie cared for the enviroment and America he would sign the industrial Hemp bill.
      Hemp is the only way we could grow enough cellulose for ethanol.
      We could be burning clean ,renewable and American grown hemp based etanol NOW if the Republicans and Dems were not taking money from big oil.
      Fords original engine ran on Hemp derived ethanol; so the technology has been around.
      Arnie is not enviromental unless he signs this bill which was bipartisanally passed in California.

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    By Aaitje, October 1, 2006 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    As a Californian, I would commend Schwarzenegger’s commitment to the environment were it not for my abhorring him for vetoing SB 840, the California universal healthcare proposal that both the Ca. Legislature, as well as the CA Assembly passed and sent to Schwarzenegger’s desk for signing.

    Without even ONCE meeting with State Sen. Sheila Keuhl, and clearly NOT having read the bill, Schwarzenegger VETOED our chance for comprehensive health care insurance late on the night of 9/22/06.

    Watching my premiums rise at the rate of over $100 dollars every year, and watching our PPO gyp our doctor, and specialists to fatten their already fattened bottom line while reading that Schwarzenegger’s collected over $100 million in the past two years from HMO’s and Big Pharma, I am FURIOUS, and his half-assed attempt to look moderate just to get reelected ain’t foolin’ me.

    Give him all the “Truthdigger” prizes you want, but to me, Schwarzenegger’s failure to help Californians finally get comprehensive, quality health care, and out from under the crushing fists of for-profit corporations posing as health care insurance, and drug companies only solidifies his FAILURE to “clean special interests out of Sacramento”, and that he LIED.

    As much as I care for our environment, I care more for my children’s physical well-being, dental health, and our tax-dollars that are continuing to help pay for the undocumented that get care in accordance with a loophole in the law.

    I don’t blame the poor undocumented for this. I blame Schwarzenegger, because his vetoing of SB 840 ensures they never have to pay, while we Americans not only have to help pay for them, but continue to pay higher, and higher premiums for substandard health care.

    I pray that we will vote that Nazi-friendly, Bush-republican, corporate-lackey out of Sacramento come November 7th…

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    By Duane Campbell, October 1, 2006 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Yes, Arnold signed the bill. However, a Democratic majority in the Assembly and the Senate passed the bill.
    Why give the credit to Arnold?

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    By Woody, October 1, 2006 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Can one square Branson’s altruism with this? Or are we soon to face galactic as well as global warming? 

    “And then there’s the Virgin spaceport. That’s the future. The state [New Mexico] seems highly predisposed to attracting aviation.”

    The spaceport is the big project. British adventurer Richard Branson has outlined plans to spend $225 million on a complex that will be the world headquarters and launchpad for a space tourism company, Virgin Galactic.

    State lawmakers conditionally approved $100 million in funding over the next three years for design and construction of the facility, dubbed Spaceport America, in the desert northeast of Las Cruces. It’s scheduled for completion in 2010.”—“New Mexico sees its future in space-tech firms”,
    Tim Korte, The Associated Press September 3, 2006.”


    “Will Whitehorn, president of Virgin Galactic, told the Wall Street Journal that the project is much more than a high-priced thrill ride: “It’s very easy to see it as a toy or a plaything. It’s an investment in itself.” Virgin Galactic already has collected more than $10 million in deposits from wannabe-astronauts, each of whom plans to ... invest about $200,000 for four or five minutes’ of weightlessness. Each flight will last a total of two-and-a-half hours, and passengers will be tethered to their seats.”—January 04, 2006, “New Mexico: Spacecraft Landings and Liftoffs” by David L. Butcher, Industrial Market Trends

        It’s hoped that Branson’s spaceport will also attract spectators in the tie-in new sport of racing private rockets high overhead in New Mexico’s at present justly famous skies.  This is already being excitedly referred to as “NASCAR in Space”.  Sound to you like this is good for the global environment?

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    By ETSpoon, October 1, 2006 at 7:11 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Awwww, ain’t this sweet. Two guys with personal fortunes greater than the GDP of many Third world nations are going green.

    It’s about twenty years too late, folks. If the California legislature had gotten Aww’no’d's predecessor Ronald Rreagan to sign a greenhouse gas cap bill into law, we just might have a handle on the problem by now.

    As for Branson, well, if going green saves some pounds on the bottomline then he, like many other corporationists, is all for it. If it doesn’t improve profitability for the Branson’s empire, watch him quietly jettison the concept and go back to the dirty old ways.

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    By Frankster, September 30, 2006 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Fadel, Arnold is everything that is right about America. He was an immigrant from a humble background that came here and started his own fitness company and became a millionaire before he ever made his first movie. That same immigrant later became Governor of California.  That is a true American success story.

    It is a shame you can’t see past your petty partison bias to see how successful he has been as a leader in California.

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    By dawhistler, September 30, 2006 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Hopefully Mr. Bransons money goes into overunity devices, Vacuume Energy and Zero Point Energy work.
    This initiative that the Governor has promised would be the best way to bring it to the publics eye.
    Google ZPE, overunity devices, vacuume energy, Tom Bearden.

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    By Jon B, September 30, 2006 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Almost all of the world’s top scientists came to the conclusion that the global warming is real except this administration and its oily buddies.

    Insofar Arnies is concerned, his endorsement is perhaps attributable to his wife’s opinion or steroids begins to strengthen tiny part of his brain muscle.

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    By Fadel Abdallah, September 30, 2006 at 9:47 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Don’t believe any word coming from the mouth of this low-thinking actor-turning governor in a laughable irony of American history.

    Californians must be stupid superficial thinkers to produce two shallow-thinking actors- governors in its modern history: Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Ronald Regan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Bush are classical examples of what is wrong and what continues to become worse with America!

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    By alex, September 29, 2006 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Arnold? Truthdigger?
    Surely you don’t mean the same Arnold that just told Californians that he plans to veto state senator Sheila Kuehl’s single-payer health care bill because it would be too expensive.

    Please, telling Californians you’ll stop global warming is like shooting fish in a barrel.

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