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. Leeroy

    It is a settle fact now that Obama is a fascist.

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

    Let's see! Obama says it, therefore it must be true! Not.

    THE fast is this: honorable people of science can not agree what else is fact.
    We've got a less than truthful president championing this disputed science.

    He's done soo poorly in other arenas but in this ONE THING he is right!

    The Sahara was once lush. It changed before we were even a twinkle in God's eye.
    Our planet is cooling. Perhaps in our lifetime, perhaps not, I'll not buy Obama's latest "let government fix this" rant!

    June 14, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Harold Richards

    Obama's criminal neglect of our immigration laws is a 'serious threat' to the future!

    June 14, 2014 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. Angus Bill

    “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.

    Let me translate: what that means is, "I accept that manmade climate change is not proven, but actually dis-proven, but if I admit it, I'll be criticized as being a radical conservative". Climate change is largely a communist plot born by a Canadian a couple of decades ago through the United Nations as self admitted for the cause of Wealth Redistribution.

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

    Renewable energy is a worthy goal no matter what the status on climate change is. If the President is actually serious about it though, he would consider beefing up funding for fusion research.

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

    Obama is wrong that all Republicans deny climate change. I work with Fortune 500 companies and every one of my clients has a plan to deal with the effects of climate change. I don't care which politician is for it or against it, the bottom line is that you hire subject matter experts and then you listen to their findings and plan accordingly.

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

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

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

    Apparently climate deniers are threat by terrorists are not.

    June 14, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. michael gilbert

    I NEVER seem to agree with him, but seriously we cant keep polluting and polluting and think nothing will ever come of it. REALLY?? If it effects ones 401K, in a negative way, then just buy Solar stocks or invest in Berkshire Hathaway and leave a stable planet for your grand or great grand children. I wouldn't believe it so much, but we used to play wiffleball games in front of my friends beach house on the beach in the 70s now the water is almost up to the sea wall.

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

    the only threat to our future is the incompetent liar in the white house...

    June 14, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Smitty

    Obumbles is going for back to back BIGGEST LIAR OF THE YEAR awards.

    June 14, 2014 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Yet he could not mention it is flag day. Would of rather heard about the flag at a graduation ceremony

    June 14, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. Water Faery

    Climate change and global warming are as real as the sun. Those who do not accept that tend to be foolish and uneducated people. I am an Oklahoman and we have one of the most ridiculous climate deniers there is . . .Senator Jim Inhofe. The man is frightening in his refusal to see legitimate science . . .and frightening in his acceptance of the positions of lobbyists for Big Oil and Big Coal.

    June 14, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. rude

    It is scary that many would cling to their agenda driven delusions rather than accept reality. Some are afraid to face reality in a mistaken belief that our economy must be sacrificed to save our planet. The Obama speech will only make the haters even more delusional and psychotic. With American ingenuity we can save our planet and grow our economy if we set our mind to it, without some psychos trying to stop us.

    June 14, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. don in albuquerque

    Ya know, if a great voice suddenly boomed out of the heavens and shouted "If drilling for oil continues for another 48 hours the world will be destroyed!!!" ; do ya think we would stop drilling? Nope we'd find a way to bring this sad little planet to a close in 32.

    June 14, 2014 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. bryan

    Obama is a clear and present danger to the nation and most of the world

    June 14, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. Plusonegolfer

    Even if the US had a total consensus on the to react on climate change, which we don't, what about the entire rest of the world that will still do their own thing. It's questionable whether Obama can even lead our country, much less the whole world...

    June 14, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. george t hibbs

    And this guy is our president? Our moon wasn't there or it was made of cheese? What a jerk. Garbage in, garbage out. So in a free speech society . people who disagree on the causes of climate change are now a threat? Does this mean some Obama hacks in black suits will show up at our door and carry us away never to be seen nor heard from again? We are so much smarter than this folks; Obama is the most divisive politician in the history of the US. He, like Hillary Clinton formerly of the State Department, will have no positive legacy when his time is up. I am certain CNN will censor this comment as it goes against th grain of their support for Obama and Hillary.

    June 14, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  19. fumes

    What crap! ZERO warming in 17 years. The models don't work. And climate realists are still called deniers. Too funny.

    June 14, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. CSD

    Yes, yes they are. And just because of climate change, but because it represents a red-neck fealty to ignorance stupidity. These people take pride in stupidity and think the Duck Dynasty culture represents some kind of positive thing, when it's just a bunch of inbreds celebrating the fact they will not be swayed by things like science.

    June 14, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. Dave - Phx

    Morons will always be morons, even if the evidence is right before their face. Religous whackos still believe the world is flat and dinosaurs didnt exist because the world is only 6000 years old.

    June 14, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Dan

    The great Divider in Chief! Never misses an opportunity to take a cheap shot and make everything political

    June 14, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. DH

    And as soon as the next hurricane hits New Orleans or sucks off a piece of Florida or levels another town in the Midwest each one of those red states will have their hand out for the big government agency FEMA!!!!!!! Or when duke industries and the Koch boys poison enough of our water and air what the president and the scientist say may make sense to the right-wing.....those of us with brains are glad the president is not waiting for them to catch up.

    June 14, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. Jim

    worried about the future? How about that debt you're racking up Mr. Obama. YOU don't care about the next generation since you're saddling them with so much debt on reckless spending.

    June 14, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. Oh Brother

    The political action on climate change is all about controlling where we live, what we do, and making money on a carbon tax. These politicians only care about power and don't care about the climate. When I see Obama and Gore walking everywhere they go or telecommuting around the world and living in 800 sq. ft. aparments, then I might listen. Maybe.

    Also to the people praising themselves for driving electric cars..... Your car runs on oil or coal unless you live in the Pacific NW. Then its hydro and that's not "green" either. Green energy accounts for less than 2% of our power and until leaps are made in the technology it will only create a neglible affect on energy production.

    June 14, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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