June 14th, 2014
04:13 PM ET
5 months ago

Climate change deniers ‘serious threat’ to future, Obama says

Anaheim, California (CNN) — Describing lawmakers and pundits who deny manmade climate change as a “fairly serious threat to everybody’s future,” President Obama on Saturday called for less debate and more action in combating warming trends.

Delivering the address at University of California Irvine’s commencement, Obama underscored the view of some scientists that the effects of climate change are already being felt nationwide and said he was allocating new funds for communities recovering from natural disasters.

Speaking at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Obama compared the scientific problem of curbing climate change to that of putting a man on the moon. And while skeptics in the 1960s may have made a case against the mission, Obama said he couldn’t remember “saying the moon wasn’t there, or that it was made of cheese.”

“Today’s Congress, though, is full of folks who stubbornly and automatically reject the scientific evidence about climate change,” he said. “They’ll tell you it’s a hoax, or a fad.”

Obama said Republicans had a long history of supporting environmental causes, naming Teddy Roosevelt, Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush as examples of past presidents who did more than current GOP politicians.

“People are thinking about politics instead of thinking about what’s good for the next generation,” he added later.

The White House has taken on climate change as a top issue for Obama’s second term, announcing at the beginning of the month proposed new restrictions on power plants that would reduce emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030.

On Saturday Obama announced a $1 billion fund for towns and cities recovering from disasters. About $130 million is reserved for places affected by 2012’s Superstorm Sandy; the rest will be distributed nationwide.

Opponents of Obama’s actions on climate change— some of whom deny humans are responsible for climate change — say the rules will kill jobs and increase the cost of energy.

On Saturday Obama reserved his harshest criticism for politicians who he said avoid questions about climate by claiming a lack of knowledge — and a press he says ignores the issue.

Climate change deniers, he said, at least “have the brass to say what they actually think.”

Others, he said, duck questions about climate change by saying, “Hey, I’m not a scientist.”

“Let me translate: what that means is, ‘I accept that manmade climate change is real, but if I admit it, I’ll be run out of town by a radical fringe that thinks climate science is a liberal plot,’” he said.

soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. verumestverum

    Funny when folks disagree with Obama and call him a "threat" they are denounced as crazy extremist wackos...I guess we know what Obama is now, don't we.

    June 14, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. HenryMiller

    No, the "threat" is a Leftist President doing his best to scare people into surrendering their freedom and their wealth to a lying, cheating, corrupt, incompetent, government. It's contemptible.

    June 14, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. davis

    Painting everyone who has issues with the claims of climate change supporters (how hot, level of rise, etc..) as "deniers" who shouldn't be listened to is a fundamental disservice to science. You can argue the finer points while still agreeing with the premise

    June 14, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. verumestverum

    Funny when folks disagree with Obama and call him a "threat" they are denounced as extremists. I guess we know what Obama is now, don't we...

    June 14, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Liberal_garbage

    Lol, CNN and Obama pushing more garbage. It's hard for people to take you seriously when there is no credibility left in the democratic party.

    June 14, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. DaveinIL

    Obama: "Let's see, how can I distract the discussion from Iraq, Iran, Ukraine, Syria, Benghazi, IRS, Fast and Furious, Bergdahl, immigrant children, the VA, unemployment, Obamacare, ..............? I know, lI'll push climate change. So what if it destroys our economy, I can always blame it on Bush and the Republicans."

    June 14, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Shedevil

    Last night's low 50, tonight's low 48 ! Go pound SALT Obama

    June 14, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. mike

    Obama calls it like the majority of Americans see it. Deniers of environmental destruction are a threat if they try and hinder saving the planet.

    June 14, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. David

    I am a "climate change denier".......there, I feel better already!

    June 14, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. miguel

    I disagree with Obama therefore I am a threat. This is a dangerous man.

    June 14, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. ruth

    Obama lovers are a threat to our future

    June 14, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  12. Burt Ward

    Global warming is a sure thing. That's because we know we are on the final phase of the current warming cycle of 120,000 years. Prior to this cycle we had three confirmed cycles happen with almost the same results. Earth cycles through cold and warm all the time. Vostok data set shows we are closing in on the latest high levels of C02 and sulfur dioxide. Temperatures are also very close to the melting of the poles, which has happened enough to find samples of leaves and trees at the south pole. So, yes, Barry, global warming is guaranteed according to the Vostok ice core data. It will happen and Earth will survive. As for humans, not so much

    June 14, 2014 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. cneder

    No Mr. POTUS, YOU are the serious threat to our future.

    June 14, 2014 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. Put America First

    The problem is that republicans are thinking about what is better for the next generation when they refuse to comply with knee jerk reactions that the climate change zealots desire.

    June 14, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  15. GODZILLA1

    Remember the global warming deniers are also members of the FLAT EARTH SOCIETY and the MAN WALKED WITH DINOSAURS ORGANIZATION.

    June 14, 2014 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. Spam Eater

    Detract, detract, detract......That's about all this president can do. Don't believe your lying eyes when it comes to Iraq, Ukraine, Illegal aliens, IRS, NSA, Obamacare broken promises, fake unemployment numbers, $17.6 trillion debt, Crony Capitalism, and dozens of other catastrophes/scandals. I have to question the intelligence of anyone who still believes any of this buffoon's teleprompter readings.

    June 14, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. honeyc

    climate change is a hoax, perpetrated by our ability to control the jet stream, flood us, drought us, tornado us, and any number of weather related issues including earthquakes and avalanche. Yes the climate change issue and the chemical spraying must have been funded by the 9/11 false flag operation and the chicago climate exchange that is set up to make billionaires out of the elite. This fraud must be stopped. No mr. so called president you are not a scientist but rather a radical muslim and as far as the moon goes IT IS NOT THERE ANY LONGER, just a fake beaming of a phony moon into space by darpa or nist or nasa or whoever you bunch of freaking weirdos

    June 14, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  18. Sydney

    One day climate change deniers will be on par with Holocast deniers. This will happen and the haters who denounce Obama will feign ignorance. Fools

    June 14, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. rla

    Climate change ( global warming or ice age) amazing how this group has managed to do more damage to our country trying to fix something that may be a myth and any effort is overwhelemed by China and India and the third world... I guess a narcissist who thinks he is a God acts like this not a reasoning person

    June 14, 2014 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. hydrocarbonharry

    Maybe Mao can start by rounding up all opponents, and throw them into jail, and re-education camps. Then he can confiscate all their possessions, and toss the extended family into jail. There's just no stopping THE ONE in his jihad to rid America of any debate, and turn into a nice one party state, just like North Korea

    June 14, 2014 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. edmundburkeson

    Does this mean that Obama will no longer represent Americans who disagree with him on climate change? That's 63% of the American public.

    June 14, 2014 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  22. bob

    really people you think this is a hoax? I feel bad for the children growing up in todays world were going to hand them a dead planet. Wake up and realize the truth we are killing the planet and the Ice caps are melting and the earth is Warming up more and more every decade. What good will all the money be from industry when the world is dead and we cant sustain our crops or our costal citys?

    June 14, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. bob

    There is no topic more important then this for the world not just America the whole world will be dealing with this one way or another.

    June 14, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  24. Larry38363

    It's you people that are the threat! You refuse to educate yourself on the facts and just spout anti-American comments based on nothing but your hatred of Our President!! You really need to get some psychiatric help since your Obama phobia is really making you not only sick, but dangerous.

    June 14, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. srcactus

    The white house wimp really needs to take his rabble rousing back to the streets of Chicago and let a leader take over the tasks of governing.

    June 14, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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