Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, seen in this NWN video
signing California’s landmark climate change legislation last fall
in San Francisco, addresses a special session of the UN today in New York.
** MARIA SHRIVER: COAST TO COAST. This morning, as you see from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speech to the UN on climate change, First Lady Maria Shriver was in New York. Now she is on the other side of the country, in San Francisco, about to arrive at a school in the hard-scrabble Tenderloin District. Just a mile or two from the super-glitzy Union Square shopping and celebration district is the Tenderloin, land of drug addicts, street hookers of multiple genders, hardcore homeless and things that most tourists don’t want to see. There are also families there. Here’s what John F. Kennedy’s niece is doing there, in the words of her staff (which are worked over by the first lady herself):
As Honorary Chair of California’s Family Day, First Lady Maria Shriver will join students and their families at Tenderloin Community School and participate in activities that encourage families to spend time together – from eating healthy meals, to participating in fun physical activities, volunteering as a family and creating family disaster plans, these activities encourage families to Eat, Play, Serve and Prepare together.
The event will celebrate Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children, a national movement that reminds parents about the importance of parental engagement in their children’s lives and encourages parents to have frequent family dinners with their kids as an effective way to prevent substance abuse.
** HOW THE CLINTONS KILLED A NEGATIVE STORY. The Politico chronicles how the Clintons used access to their ultimate celebrity — President Bill — to kill a negative story on Senator Hillary and infighting in her presidential campaign.
I’m sure that readers have gathered I admire the Clintons, with whom I’ve been distantly acquainted, and think they are highly professional, not to mention intriguing characters. Without being terribly motivated to drive more than the distance to the grocery store to see the current candidate herself, though I may well vote for her.
She says a few things that are simply, and shockingly, wrong — can anyone say “nuclear deterrence?” — and gets away with it because the press is increasingly intellectually depleted and/or reflexively for her. But that’s the way it goes.
The truth is that none of these candidates are exactly paragons. There are one or two who might be. And about them, we will see. Because, as the saying goes, the night is young.
** HILLARY ON BEING A HYPERPARTISAN. Appearing yesterday on Fox New Sunday with Chris Wallace: Clinton, appearing on “FOX News Sunday,” the same show where exactly one year earlier her husband accused host Chris Wallace of a “conservative hit job” on him, an amused Clinton elicited a hearty laugh when asked to respond to charges that she is “hyper-partisan.”
“Well, Chris, if you had walked even a day in our shoes over the last 15 years, I’m sure you’d understand. But you know, the real goal for our country right now is to get beyond partisanship, and I’m sure trying to do my part, because we’ve got a lot of serious problems that we’re trying to deal with.”
** ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER’S UNITED NATIONS ADDRESS ON CLIMATE CHANGE.
Mr. Secretary, Mr. President, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, I’ve come to feel great affection for the peoples of the world, because they’ve always been so welcoming to me, if it is as the bodybuilding champion, or as a movie star, private citizen, or as the governor of the great State of California. And you, their delegates, have also made me feel very welcome here this morning. So I want to thank you for this great honor, for having me here. I also want to thank my wife and my partner, the First Lady of California, Maria Shriver, who is here today with me. Give her a big hand, right over there she is.
I have been asked to talk to you today about what is happening in California, what are we doing about climate change. Ladies and gentlemen, something remarkable is beginning to stir, something revolutionary, something historic and transformative. Let me give you some background. California already leads the nation in information technology. We lead the nation in nanotechnology, biotechnology, and in medical technology. We generate one of every four US patents and attract almost half of all US venture capital. According to The Economist magazine, California is also home to three of the top six universities in the world, and in addition to all of this, California is the seventh largest economy in the world. Now I don’t mention these things simply to boast or brag. I mention it because California is a very powerful state, and very powerful place, and when we do something it has consequences. And here is what we’re doing.
California is mobilizing technologically, financially and politically to fight global warming change. And we’re not doing this alone. While California is leading in the US we are building on the work of the European countries who have led the way up until now and have done extraordinary work. England has already met its Kyoto goals. Germany has pioneered solar. The EU has led with its trading systems, and the list goes on and on.
But California, because of its unique position, is on the cutting edge of what is to come. And what is coming will benefit the countries and peoples represented in this chamber. Last year in California we enacted Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards that are beyond anyone else’s dreams. We enacted the world’s first Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
But do I believe that the California standards will solve global warming? Of course not. What we are doing is changing the dynamic, preparing the way, and encouraging the future. The aerospace industry built the modern economy of Southern California. The computer industry and the internet built the economy of the Silicon Valley, and now clean, green technology, along with biotech, will take California to the next level. Right now in California the brightest scientists from around the world, and the smartest venture capitalists are racing to find new energy technologies and the solution to global warming. It is a race that is fueled by billions and billions of dollars. Last year alone California received more than 1.1 billion dollars in clean tech investment, and this amount is expected to grow by 20 to 30 percent annually for the next 10 years. More venture capital is being invested in clean tech than in telecommunications. Now, I have been to those labs and research parks, I have talked to the scientists and to the venture capitalists, I have seen their ambition. And let me tell you, I would not bet against it.
So what does all of this mean for the nations in this chamber? Well, the cell phone, which started as a tool for the rich, is now widespread in the developing world. The price has dropped dramatically, and therefore it can be afforded by almost everyone. And the same thing will happen with the environmental technologies. And it is the developed world’s best interest to help the poor nations finance these advancements. When it comes to the environment, the technologies are changing, the economics are changing, and the urgency is changing.
So the question today is this: Are the nations of the world ready to change? I believe that California will do great things, amazing things, but we need the world to do great things too. The time has come to stop looking back at the Kyoto Protocol. The time has come to stop looking back in blame or suspicion. The consequences of global climate change are so pressing that it doesn’t matter who was responsible of the past. What matters is who is answerable for the future, and that means all of us.
The rich nations and the poor nations have different responsibilities. But one responsibility we all have, and that is action — action, action, action. The current stalemate between the developed and the developing worlds must be broken. It is time to come together in a new international agreement that can be embraced by rich and poor nations alike. California is moving the United States beyond debate and doubt to action. So I urge this body to push its members to action also.
Ladies and gentlemen, in closing let me just say this. Do not lose hope. I do not believe that doom and gloom and disaster are the only outcomes. Humanity is smart, and nature is amazingly regenerative. I believe that we can renew the climate of this planet. I believe this 100 percent. So I pledge to you, the members of the United Nations, that we in California will work with all our heart to this end for which we all long.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
** HILLARY’S OAKLAND BLOCK PARTY IS NEXT SUNDAY. incidentally, I was confused when I reported that Hillary Clinton’s big public event in Oakland would be yesterday. It’s actually next Sunday. I get a blizzard of stuff crossing my screens from around the world. For some reason, the Clinton campaign and its allies sent multiple announcements of this event, even though it was the following weekend. I honed in on “Sunday” absent-mindedly not noting that it’s actually the following Sunday.
** SCHWARZENEGGER SAYS HE WILL SIGN IRAN DIVESTMENT LEGISLATION. Says Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: “California has a long history of leadership and doing what’s right with our investment portfolio. Last year, I was proud to sign legislation to divest from the Sudan to take a powerful stand against genocide. I look forward to signing legislation to divest from Iran to take an equally powerful stand against terrorism.”
AB 221 by Assemblymember Joel Anderson (R- La Mesa) creates the California Public Divestment from Iran Act. This will prevent the state’s two massive public employee retirement funds from investing in a company with business operations in Iran. CalPERS, the state’s employee retirement fund, is the largest pension fund in the nation and CalSTRS, the state’s public education retirement fund, is the second largest pension fund in the nation.
** SCHWARZENEGGER ADDRESSES UNITED NATIONS ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN LIVE WEBCAST FROM NEW YORK. As first reported on NWN early this summer, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addresses a special meeting of the United Nations this morning in New York. The topic? Climate change, of course. The address comes in the vicinity of 6 AM, although I’m told it might be closer to 6:30 AM, in a live webcast.
“The time has come to stop looking back at the Kyoto Protocol,” Schwarzenegger will say. “The consequences of global climate change are so pressing it doesn’t matter who was responsible for the past. What matters is who is answerable for the future. And that means all of us. … California is moving the United States beyond debate and doubt to action.”
This kicks off a big week for the issue, with the UN meeting early in the week, to help set the table for a global summit later this year in Bali. And a meeting hosted later in the week by President George W. Bush, of selected emitters of greenhouse gases.
Also on tap is the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, hosted in New York by the former president, coinciding with the UN General Assembly. Climate change will figure prominently there, as well.
Pressured by a host of factors, including Schwarzenegger, Bush’s administration at last acknowledges that the greenhouse effect is real and that it is causing climate change. They just want to take a voluntary approach toward dealing with it. Don’t expect that to stand up too well this week.
** MASSIVE IRAQ REFUGEE CRISIS. With serious fighting still ongoing in much of Iraq, the country has a very serious and quite under-reported refugee crisis.
According to Amnesty International, there are approximately 4.2 million displaced Iraqis, 2.2 million of whom are within Iraq. The vast majority of the rest are in Syria and Jordan. This is reported to be the biggest population movement in the Middle East since 1948, when the creation of Israel led to the displacement of Palestinians.
** AL QAEDA’S AMERICAN PRISONERS STILL NOT LOCATED. American troops are now in the midst of a 131st day of searching for the remaining two US soldiers captured by Al Qaeda in an ambush south of Baghdad. They have had no luck so far. A video put out by Al Qaeda forces in Iraq claims that all three men were executed after being captured. But, with the exception of the Californian found floating in the Euphrates River, that claim can’t be confirmed. The US high command in Baghdad has revealed that ID cards for the other two American prisoners were found in an Al Qaeda safehouse on June 9th.
** Track global and national energy prices in near real time via Bloomberg. Most crude oil prices are in the $81 to $83 per barrel range, with US oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico returning to action.
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