WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — A conversation on climate change with a coalition called World War Zero.

It was started by former Secretary of State John Kerry.

On Sunday, he brought former governors John Kasich and Arnold Schwarzenegger to the stage at Otterbein University in Westerville to talk about climate change.

Kerry started the coalition late last year and this was the first of many town halls he plans to have. 

According to the event’s website, World War Zero was announced in December of last year. Kerry, Schwarzenegger, Kasich, and others started the bipartisan initiative to bring together unlikely allies from all walks of life to tackle climate change and pollution the same way the world mobilized to win World War II.

The group wants people to take what they heard during Sunday’s event and talk about it with neighbors and other community members.

For about an hour and a half, the three talked to a full auditorium, starting off by saying the evidence of climate change is clear.

Kasich was called out by an audience member asking a question for his views on fracking. 

Kerry admitted the two have different views on it but said he is glad Kasich is part of this group to get the conversation going. 

Ultimately all three emphasized this is not a political issue and said if anything is going to improve, it can’t be treated as one.

“Franky, what we all oughta do, ok, we can have our allegiances to Republicans or Democrats, but let’s not forget the most important thing is we’re all in the same rowboat and we can’t just be one side rows this way and the other rows the other,” Kasich said. “We don’t go anywhere.”

“It’s not a party issue at all because there is no Democratic air or Republican air, we all breathe the same air,” added Schwarzenegger. “There’s no Democratic water or Republican water. We all drink the same water, so don’t fall for those tricks. It’s not a political issue.” 

The auditorium inside Otterbein’s Cowan Hall was full for World War Zero’s first town hall. In the crowd was Cathy Rau.

“It was great to see diverse leaders come together from different backgrounds,” she said. “I really liked a lot of the things they were presenting and it was very exciting to see them wanting to really take a lead.” 

Fossil fuels, renewable energy, and energy storage were just some of the topics talked about. Schwarzenegger brought up his work in California. He said to get people to act on climate change, the messaging needs to be more clear. 

“We in California have been very successful because our messaging was different rather than just talking about the rising sea levels and all that stuff that most people cannot relate to,” he said. “We have to talk about things that people can relate to” 

There was some advice given on how to start fighting climate change. Some audience members told me they were hoping for more specifics about central Ohio, but overall liked what they heard, and are glad conversations are happening. 

“For me, the environment is the number one issue,” said attendee Marian Jacques. “If we don’t have clean air and clean water, nothing else really matters.”

World War Zero’s goal is to drive ten million climate conversations in 2020, including at town halls like Sunday’s event at Otterbein, the website stated.

The event was sponsored by the Columbus Metropolitan Club and Otterbein University.

For more on World War Zero, click here.

The full discussion is available below.