Global environmental challenges
Schwarzenegger household green plan: short showers, hydrogen Hummers
Here’s some advice for Californians who think Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s climate change policy goes too far: just be happy you’re not his kid.
Before he became a body builder, before he was the Terminator, and before he turned into the Governator, it turns out that Arnold was the youngest in a family that had no running water and relied on an outhouse. That’s what he told fourth graders who innocently asked about how he spoke to his kids.
“I have major fights with my kids,” he responded, quickly segueing into the difference between post-World War European poverty and the Golden State.
“We had kind of a system where we carried the water from 200 yards away from the well, to our house upstairs to the second floor where we lived, and then my father would wash himself first, and then my mother would wash herself, and then my brother would wash himself in the same water, and then I would wash myself, and it was all dirty, because I was the youngest. So that’s how I grew up because conservation was big in Europe. Especially since I grew up after the Second World War. There was no food, there was little electricity, there were blackouts left and right, there was nothing. After the war was worse than during the war. So we had absolutely nothing,” he said.
And while the Governor now has solar panels to heat the water in his pool and jacuzzi, a hydrogen-powered Hummer, and he recycles, it seems conservation is still BIG — and mandatory — in the Terminator household.
He recalled watching his kids take a stool into the shower to sit and enjoy the hot water — for a long time.
“I’m sitting outside timing it now, and it’s 15 minutes, and still they are in the shower. So I open the shower door and turn off the hot water and then all of a sudden they start screaming, because it is cold,” he said, adding that he had created rules: no shower longer than 5 minutes — or else.
Here’s the three-minute history of Arnold’s conservation conversion, at a Commonwealth Club event in San Francisco:
(Photo by Reuters/MAX WHITTAKER)