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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Act 3: global warming crusader

The Terminator took on global warming as governor of California. Now, Arnold Schwarzenegger has joined a Showtime miniseries to try to educate the everyman about climate change.

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A man flexes his muscles for former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during a book signing event for his book, 'Total Recall,' at a Barnes & Noble store in Los Angeles in October.

Jae C. Hong/AP/File

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If the United Nations, Al Gore, and hurricane Sandy can't convince skeptics of the threats of global warming, then who can? 

Perhaps the Terminator. 

Showtime network has unveiled plans for a six- to eight-part documentary miniseries to air next year, called “Years of Living Dangerously,” brimming with Hollywood's A-list – from producer James Cameron to narrators Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Alec Baldwin.

It's an impressive roster, but there's something missing, some say.

“Imagine what it would be like in terms of substantive impact if the head of Exxon or the corn lobby were involved. Or Rush Limbaugh. Or [Republican] Sens. [Mitch] McConnell and [Lindsey] Graham," says Len Shyles, professor of communication at Villanova University. "Then you'd have something.”

“It would make more sense and have more impact if some luminaries from across the political spectrum were included,” he adds.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the producers of the project, has long tried to bridge that partisan gap. As the former Republican governor of a Democratic state – not to mention an action-movie icon to average Joes – he fills a unique niche.   

Mr. Schwarzenegger's mixed record as governor and the news that he fathered a child with his housekeeper have damaged his credibility recently. But the Showtime project gives him an opportunity to both help rehabilitate his image and gain a larger voice on climate change.

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