Arnold Schwarzenegger has had many roles in his life — bodybuilder, movie star, Governor of California — but his most recent is climate change activist. And as such, he would really like everyone to stop using the term “climate change” to describe the ongoing destruction of our planet.
“As long as they keep talking about ‘global climate change,’ they are not gonna go anywhere. ‘Cause no one gives a s*** about that,” Schwarzenegger told CBS during a recent interview. “So my thing is, let’s go and rephrase this and communicate differently about it and really tell people we’re talking about pollution. Pollution creates climate change, and pollution kills.”
Ultimately, it is Schwarzenegger’s optimism about the future of our planet that has led him to disagree with the branding around the issue. He believes that the general public can be convinced to care and take action, provided that the issues are communicated effectively.
And the data backs up his point of view. The Cool Down’s own proprietary data stack, GreenScreen, has provided a lot of information on how people engage — or, as Schwarzenegger points out, fail to engage — with environmental news.
One of those findings is that this type of news reaches a six times larger audience when it appeals to people’s self-interest.
While “climate change” might sound to people like a large-scale, intractable political issue that is completely out of their hands, “pollution,” the alternative terminology that Schwarzenegger suggests, is much more tangible — an easily imaginable, visible problem that negatively impacts you wherever you encounter it.
Schwarzenegger doubled down on this sentiment later in the interview, highlighting his own relatable self-interest in describing why he is fighting to save our planet.
“I’m into having a healthy body and a healthy Earth,” he said. “That’s what I’m fighting for. And that’s my crusade.”
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