Surprise, surprise, former California Governor and action star Arnold Schwarzenegger is so far the most dynamic speaker here at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit.
Introduced by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, he couldn’t have been more outspoken in his support of clean energy R&D as the key to the nation’s prosperity. “Green jobs,” he said, “are the largest growth sector in California.”
Comparing the current debate on whether or not humans are causing global climate change to the old debate about the merits of bodybuilding, he said, “People literally believed that bodybuilding would make you musclebound, stupid, narcissistic, and gay.”
Let’s forget that debate, he said. The skeptics won’t be convinced unless the Arctic ice cap breaks off and slams into Long Island. Instead, let’s build consensus on fostering clean renewable sources of energy based on what we can all agree on. For one, thing, that the U.S. economy is far too much at the mercy of the wild swings of global oil prices. From his talk:
“People may not agree on global climate change, but they agree that our national defense should not be compromised by oil. Our homeland security should not be compromised by foreign oil. in recent weeks we’ve see a spiking in oil prices. I mean, it’s crazy. There’s a riot in the middle ease and all of a sudden the oil price goes up. And then we hear that Gadhafi is dead, and the oil price drops. Then we find out a few hours later that Gadhafi isn’t dead, and the oil price goes up again. I mean, why should a dried up little country like Libya with a crazy dictator play havoc with America’s economic security?”
Arnold’s speech brought a standing ovation from the audience. You can listen to the whole thing by clicking on my handwritten notes above. Click the play button, then wait for the audio to complete downloading. Then, click an interesting note to jump to that part of the speech.