Has the environmental movement been fueled by guilt as suggested by Schwarzenegger?

According to California governor Schwarzenegger, "California as you know is big, California is powerful and what we do in California has an unbelievable impact, We are sending the world a message, what we are saying is we're going to change the dynamic on greenhouse gases and carbon emissions." This and the following quotes were taken from a speech the governor gave at Georgetown University during a global warming conference. He went on, "For too long the environmental movement has been powered by guilt. You know the kind of guilt I'm talking about: Smokestacks belching pollution and powering our Jacuzzis and our big-screen TVs and, in my case, powering my private airplanes. It's too bad for us that we can't live the lives of Buddhist monks in Tibet, but you know something, it doesn't happen. I don't think any movement has ever made much progress based on guilt. Guilt is passive, guilt is inhibiting and guilt is defensive. ... Successful movements are built on passion, they're not built on guilt. They are built on passion, they are built on confidence and they are built on critical mass."

What was the point of the speech? Americans companies are not going to stop building SUVs, pickup trucks or sports cars; neither will American consumers stop buying them; nor will they part with their collectible musclecars and older vehicles built before emissions standards were in place. So, we need to adapt to them and focus on retrofitting older cars with new technology, like what Schwarzenegger helped promote on the MTV show "Pimp My Ride". Hummers can be converted to run on biodiesel or ethanol, and new sports cars can be built with high performance electric motors and batteries. Do you agree with the "Governator"? Should Americans and the rest of the world be guilted into being green, or should they be led to greener pastures by those passionate about the future and the environment?

I wouldn't argue with somebody who feels guilty about their past "emish-sins" (ha!), but I don't think I'd try to guilt someone into being greener either. What I would do, and what we are collectively trying to do at AutoglogGreen, is show them how they can have just as much fun with new alternatives. So, I would say that I do agree with Schwarzenegger here. But not so much about the body-building; it's just not my cup of tea. Now a nice week long hike...

[Source: San Francisco Chronicle via Jalopnik]

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