Schwarzenegger: The Fake Environmental Hero

California's governor, who was oiling his quads for the camera when Lois Gibbs was fighting a chemical catastrophe at Love Canal, is suddenly being hailed as an environmental hero.

He's the GOP's Al Gore. He's simultaneously on the covers of special green issues of Newsweek and Outside, with fawning articles and Q&As recounting how he gets policy tips from his cousin-in-law Bobby Kennedy Jr. and has one Hummer that runs on hydrogen, another on biodiesel.

He's a jet-setting green diplomat, signing global warming pacts with Canada and Britain. He's the keynote speaker at prestigious international climate change conferences.

Fine. To a point.

Arnold Schwarzenegger does seem to understand that the planet is in trouble. As a green Republican, he is a welcome contrast to the know-nothing, do-less attitude of President Bush. His movie star persona is perfect for delivering lines like "Arnold to Detroit: Get off your butt."

But when he says the problem with environmentalism is that it's not hip or sexy -- that the movement has been a failure because it's based on guilt and sacrifice, not optimism and fun -- I must respond with one of the more eloquent lines from his signature role as an android assassin:

Wrong

Here's what the governor said last week at Georgetown University:

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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