On the July 16 edition of "The Early Show" host Harry Smith actually puffed two Republican governors, because they are taking strong liberal positions. Smith interviewed California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Florida Governor Charlie Crist who are "teaming up to cut greenhouse gases."
"The Early Show" anchor seemed bewildered that "some people still don’t believe we have a problem." Harry Smith cited the left wing Union of Concerned Scientists and stated that "it really is a matter of decades before you may be losing coastline."
Smith then editorialized, "what is it you guys get that Washington doesn’t get?" And wanted to know if they can "wait for the White House to figure this out."
The entire transcript is below.
HARRY SMITH: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is now teaming up with Florida Governor Charlie Crist to cut greenhouse gases. On Friday I had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with the two leading Republicans and talk about global warming. And I asked why some people still don't believe we have a problem.
GOVERNOR ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R-CA): Well, I think that there is still a lot of people that still think that the world is flat. But the bottom line is, we know thousands and thousands of scientists have come out and said, this is real. It's created demand, we are creating this mess and the last few hundred years, and especially the last hundred years we've created this mess. And now we have the chance, if we act quickly, to really stop the global warming. And that's what we want to do, is we want to jump into action. Whenever you see a problem, don't think and debate forever. Let the debates go to a certain point you have to act and that's what California did.
SMITH: Why is this so important for Florida?
GOVERNOR CHARLIE CRIST (R-FL): It's incredibly important for Florida. Because, look, we're a peninsula, we're out in the ocean. Leaders in the southeast have really not latched onto this. We feel a responsibility and a duty to do so. We want to reduce the carbon emissions. We want to reduce the greenhouse gases. Florida is a beautiful state like California. We want to protect her. We want to do what's right, so future generations of Floridians can enjoy what we're enjoying today.
SMITH: You've seen these most recent warnings though from the Union of Concerned Scientists. I mean, it really is a matter of decades that you may be losing coastline. That places that are beautiful beaches will be under water. Do you believe that to be true?
CRIST: Well, that's exactly the point. You know, whether you do or not, the things we're taking action on now can only help our environment anyway. So why wouldn't you do it? It makes sense. It is common sense and it's the right thing to do. It protects Florida and it protects our planet.
SCHWARZENEGGER: I think that what we have to make very sure of is that we don't wait for this too long because, as I said, it's a vulnerable coastline. If we have global warming, as I said in my speech, that it is now, we see the signs now, not 10 to 20 years from now, we see it now in California already with the fires. We usually have the fires starting the end of summer, beginning of the fall. We now have year-round fire season. We've had so many fires already this spring, so we see global warming, we see with the melting of the snow packs, reducing the floods in the winter, less drinking water in the summer, so we have to act now.
SMITH: Is this a Republican issue? Is it a Democratic issue?
CRIST: It's a people issue. It's an issue that's both Republican, Democratic and independent. It really shouldn't matter what your party is.
SCHWARZENEGGER: The only thing I have to add is, and you have to admit that when you're Republican, you get more attention if you do something of an environmental issue because people say, the way a minute, they're Republicans, what's going on here? So it creates more news.
SMITH: There are so many people, especially Republicans and conservatives say, this is so bad for business. What's your answer to that?
CRIST: I don't think it's bad for business at all. Pardon me. I think there is gold and green, as we have heard. There are so many innovative new entrepreneurial opportunities that will stem from this. It's amazing. And new innovations will sprout from this and create new opportunities for more people, different ways to develop cars, different ways to utilize appliances, solar technology that we can learn from and benefit from economically.
SCHWARZENEGGER: We're changing from the industrial revolution to the green clean revolution. The technology, green clean technology, is the new revolution. The "Wall Street Journal" just called California the new gold rush because of the new technologies that we're developing, because of the standards that we are setting, because of the cap in trades that we're setting in all of those kind of things.
SMITH: What is it that you guys get that Washington doesn't get?
CRIST: Well, I think we understand how important this is to the people that we serve. You know, as I travel around Florida, and I'm sure as the governor travels around California, the response is overwhelming. People want this. And they want us to respond and lead in the best way we know how. That's exactly what we're trying to do here. All I can do is speak for Florida. And, and, you know, if Washington comes along, that's great. But in the meantime, we have a duty as governors of large states to do what we can.
SCHWARZENEGGER: The United States, when you look at the map, it's the cities, it's the counties, it's the states. Not just Washington. Washington is one city. So what we want to do is, since Washington is not responding, we're going to go and form partnerships with the cities, with the counties and the states, we come together and we're going to go and send that signal to the rest of the world that we are getting our act together.
SMITH: For two years California has been battling the Environmental Protection Agency to either force the federal government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or be allowed to do it themselves. A Supreme Court ruling in April rebuked the Bush administration for not doing more. Can you wait for the Environmental Protection Agency? Can you wait for the White House to figure this out?
SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, as we have told them this spring that our clock is ticking, and so come this fall, October, we're going to sue. There's no two ways about that because we're not going to wait.
SMITH: And you promise you're ready to go to court this fall if you don't get the federal government's cooperation?
SMITH: My preference is, if the federal government comes in, it is our partner, always with everything. We never want to fight the federal government. We always want to be partners with the federal government. And on many issues the federal government has been a great partner for us if it's health care and other issues. But in this particular case we're going to fight the federal government because we have no choice.
CRIST: I just spoke with one of our U.S. Senators yesterday, Senator Bill Nelson, who's working with Senators Boxer and Senator Feinstein to have an amendment to the appropriations bill for the EPA that would say within 30 days they need to respond to California, within 30 days from now they need to respond to Florida. Hopefully they can get that amendment passed. But if they don't we will partner with our friends from California and make sure we get this action done.
SMITH: That's pretty audacious.
CRIST: We have a duty.
CRIST: That's right.
SCHWARZENEGGER: Governor Schwarzenegger and Crist are not alone. Nearly 30 states have committed to standardizing the way greenhouse emissions are reported.