Schwarzenegger: Simple Austrian upbringing made me green

VIENNA Fri Feb 1, 2013 9:23pm IST

Former Californian Governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers a speech during the opening session of the R20 - Regions of Climate Action conference in Vienna January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

Former Californian Governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers a speech during the opening session of the R20 - Regions of Climate Action conference in Vienna January 31, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

VIENNA (Reuters) - Arnold Schwarzenegger credited his simple upbringing amid the lakes and hills of Austria for a recent conversion to fully fledged green activism, the latest stage in his varied career.

The former body-builder, star of the "Terminator" action films and governor of California grew up in Thal, a small village in the Austrian province of Styria, and emigrated to the United States at the age of 21.

"Growing up in my house, we knew about sustainability before it was hip. We called it 'necessity'," Schwarzenegger told an environmental conference he hosted in Vienna this week.

"We didn't have video games, televisions or iPhones. We had the rolling hills, the castles, the ruins, and the beautiful lakes," he said. "Even after I made it big and became governor of California, I held on to this love of nature."

The "governator" - who left office and split with his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver in 2011, has recently returned to making action movies - expressed surprise at the turn his life had taken, after he had thought all his ambitions fulfilled.

"When I was a little boy in Austria, all I could think about was moving to America, to become the greatest bodybuilder champion in the world and make millions of dollars and be an action hero," said Schwarzenegger.

"My dream became reality. Who knew my greatest achievement would be in the real world fighting for a green energy future? Green energy wasn't even in my vocabulary."

(Reporting by Derek Brooks; Writing by Georgina Prodhan, editing by Paul Casciato)

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Exit Polls

Exit Polls

BJP unlikely to form Jammu & Kashmir govt - polls.  Full Article 

Forceful Conversions

Forceful Conversions

BJP distances itself from religious conversions.  Full Article 

Photo

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Economic Pulse

Economic Pulse

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan  Full Article 

Down Under

Down Under

Magic Johnson inspires Australia to second test win.  Full Article 

Going International

Going International

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV.  Full Article 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage