SAN FRANCISCO -- Hours after Gov. Jerry Brown issued a spirited attack on politicians who doubt the significance of climate change, Brown's predecessor -- former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- praised Brown but urged a spirit of inclusiveness.
"To me, it made no difference if a Democrat had a great idea or a Republican had a great idea, or if someone from the outside had a great idea, or if someone from within the office had a great idea," Schwarzenegger said this afternoon at Brown's conference on climate change at the California Academy of Science in San Francisco.
"The more inclusive you are about this, and the less you villainize anybody, the better you're off," he added.
Earlier today, Brown said, "The main thing we have to deal with in climate change is the skepticism, the denial and the cult-like behavior of the political lemmings that would take us over the cliff."
Schwarzenegger, a Republican, said the campaign to combat climate change could be won by talking about health benefits and the jobs that the green energy sector could create, not ice caps and rising sea levels.
"The ordinary person that lives in the middle of the country somewhere doesn't relate to rising sea levels, they don't relate to melting ice caps," Schwarzenegger said. "They want to have a job."
Brown, a Democrat, was a pioneer for environmental causes when he was governor before from 1975 to 1983, and Schwarzenegger's environmental advocacy often frustrated members of his own party.
Schwarzenegger said he was "proud" of Brown, and Brown's press secretary, Gil Duran, said on Twitter while Schwarzenegger was speaking, "If every Republican was as smart as @Schwarzenegger on the subject of climate change, the world would be a much better place."
Schwarzenegger's appearance came while the actor was on a break from filming a movie.
"It's great to be here, and it's also weird, in a way," Schwarzenegger said.
Less than 24 hours before, he said, he was "slamming a guy's head against the rail of a bridge."