June 14th, 2014
04:13 PM ET
7 years 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.

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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. passepartout

    Kudos Mr President. Climate change and human extinction is a real possibility.

    June 14, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Uncle Sam

    Yes because they think differently than us, they are a danger, but al qaeda is on the run.

    June 14, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Steve - Dallas

    I guess the trolls haven't noticed this yet. Come on, Fox climate-change deniers... give us your best shot.

    June 14, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. rpaulwmson

    President Obama – tell it like it is, the US should show leadership by developing renewable clean energy sources;its win win for everybody except the coal miners and the oil drillers -no more imported oil from the midEast (or Russia) and thus terrorism; favorable balance of trade; US jobs; cheaper energy;and reduced CO2 in atmosphere. We can start with rooftop solar arrays; our house is a net producer of energy, SDG&E sends me a check each month, zero emissions. I have a Volt, no gas,solar water heaterm all energy comes from the sun. This is a no brainer

    June 14, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. Your Mom

    Wow , I'm not sure what's going on anymore. I feel dizzy. I'm going to go lay down

    June 14, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. mrl

    Why do politicians have to ruin graduations all the time? I am not there to hear their blathering (either side of the aisle) – I am there to see my kid graduate.

    June 14, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. Tom

    So is the guy that released the head of ISIS and 5 Taliban terrorists.

    June 14, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. mrl

    I would think all those bombs and such the terrorists are using on the civilians in Syria and Iraq spew a lot of carbon in the air mr president... far more than my car.

    June 14, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. Jim

    I'm a chemical engineer. I've seen scientific evidence that says antroprogenic global warming is not occurring, and I'm convinced any fluctuation in temperatures we are seeing is not the result of increases in CO2 levels. Obama has no scientific background to be an expert on climate change. When he discredits all scientists who disagree with man-made global warming, he's engaging in name calling, politics, not scientific debate, and we should recognize this for what it is, typical BS from this administration.

    June 14, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. bill

    Think of the money and co2 we could save if this clown parked airforce1. Oh never mind, he needs it for fund rasing.

    June 14, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. LiberaLIowan

    Climate change deniers are not only a threat, they are a joke. A bad one.

    June 14, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. Aunt Fudd

    No Uncle Sam, not because they thing differently, because they don't think at all.

    June 14, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. mrl

    Mr President – we are not leaders in anything anymore – thanks to you. Please stop ruining our kids graduations with this nonsense. Note to the Board of Regents – STOP turning our kids graduations into political platforms- Invite NO ONE!

    June 14, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Walter Petersen

    Yeah, They are a serious threat to his agenda. Always remember we were heading for an ice age in the 70s, we were warming in the 30s and 40s. Climate change politics are about control.

    June 14, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. pkMyt1

    The conservatives lost the gay marriage battle so they are determined not to loose this one.

    June 14, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. Puddintane

    Because thousands of illegal immigrants who will work for less than minimum wage, are no danger to our future at all. This guy's priorities are completely backwards.

    June 14, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Tony

    Climate change is real...It's just caused primarily by other countries...

    June 14, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. OldAsDirt

    President Obama described "lawmakers and pundits who deny manmade climate change as a “fairly serious threat to everybody’s future.”

    President Obama generally ignores saying the same about the national debt because he's one of its biggest junkies.

    June 14, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. Roberto

    He just wants his green energy stocks to go up more. This idiot president has failed more green energy than anyone at anytime. Wasted billions of dollars so his rich friends could get richer. FOOLS !

    June 14, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. DJC

    Well this one should bring out the denier buffoons in hoards. Can't wait for the comedy.

    June 14, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. FredericFlatfeet

    Yes the climate is changing. It always has even before we were hear and it was way worse than it is now. Yes man has a minimal impact. If you don't think so just check out how much pollution comes from just china. Will we do anything about it ? Not much but later we will all choke to death by our own hands. Poor Mother Earth, if she could she would slap most of us right in the face, point at you and tell you how much she is ashamed of you.

    June 14, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  22. Robert McCabe

    There is not one word here about the thousands of protesters there to greet Obama.Why is that?

    June 14, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. jamison

    "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."
    What a DUMB way to think. Would it be better to temporarily kill jobs or KILL MORE HUMANS because of bad air and water.

    June 14, 2014 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. DC Johnny

    Two massively overlooked – or more accurately, intentionally sidestepped – points on "man-made climate change".

    1) The actual degree to which we affect the climate is questionable, and very possibly negligible. I would agree that we have an impact on temperatures and air quality, but to what degree is certainly debatable.

    2) More importantly, the effect that economy-crippling legislation and regulation will have on the global environment is not debatable. It is absolutely without question infinitesimal.

    In summary, our leftist politicians are trying to cripple our economy and society with solutions that will expectedly accomplish nothing, to solve a problem that really may not be solvable nor a problem in the first place.

    June 14, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. may40

    Every time he has the podium he will use it for propaganda and the left just smiles along. It's a graduation for crying out loud. Sure Mr Pres, teach the kids that if you have a different viewpoint then you're the enemy. Wow!!!! Did it here and in Worcester MA...he's been causing division since he got in office.

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