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. Gunderson

    How many ways can you say Chicken Little? It must be hot in Dallas. If there is Climate Change, it is so slow that when it comes we will most likely all be dead, or overwhelmed with illegals. Once the Anointed One is leading from behind, way behind.

    June 14, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Its already to late. Move where the food and water are.

    June 14, 2014 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. scott

    This man is a serious threat to all our futures.

    June 14, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Bristoll

    "Nothing this president says will ever hold water again. He's lied so many times that even his staunchest unpaid supporters are conceding that he's unfit for office."

    June 14, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Al

    if this isn't an indication that Obama is a dictator, then I don't know what is.

    June 14, 2014 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  6. DelMarTerp

    I can't even begin to get though to people out there because everyone is so willing to accept and parrot their party line. It's a shame when people can be so swayed by nonsense supported by supposed independent research groups hired and controlled by industries that want to be free from any control. Take for instance the tobacco industry that spent gazillions to try and convince the public that cigarette smoke was harmless while their own research proved just the opposite.

    June 14, 2014 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Richard Right

    And why should we take his word considering his failure to be honest about: Syria, Benghazi, IRS, IRAQ, VA, Gitmo terrorist exchange, Illegal aliens, NSA, Keystone pipeline, loans to political supporters...

    June 14, 2014 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. newshound

    "Global warming" became "climate change" after we experienced record cold winters.

    June 14, 2014 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. bribarian

    lol does anyone take this clown seriously any more?

    June 14, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. tallulah131

    I'm glad our legally elected President is actually trying to do something about climate change. I'm glad he listens to scientists rather than political pundits when he wants information about things that are scientific. Too bad so many Americans are too lazy and too selfish to actually care about the planet they live upon. They'd rather lose the future than make any sacrifice today.

    June 14, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  11. Joe

    Republicans have been a threat to our nation and our nation's children for at least a generation now.

    June 14, 2014 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. sifto

    Who invited him to warp kids minds?

    June 14, 2014 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. Chris-E...al

    Just more money out of our pockets when its already tuff 2 make ends meet . 0ur goods and services r going up every day and dems just keep on keeping on with the beheading of the middle rich and the poor with N0 end in sight . They are out of touch with america and the ppL.

    June 14, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Maybe we should stop pumping millions of cubic tonns of aluminum and barium into the atmosphere. I hear that exasterbates the climate change.

    June 14, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. sandra

    An important issue but there are so many other things going on in this country and around the world that this president seems to look the other way at...........very discouraging.

    June 14, 2014 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. Luckjoe

    Regretfully. Our president does not realize that he represents all American citizens not just the ones who agree with him.

    June 14, 2014 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. Plano Mom

    Thank you, Mr. President, for shaming the politicians who are willfully and deliberately obtuse on the matter of climate change. There is no more time to debate with the 'knuckle draggers'. Manmade climate change is happening and I want us to do all we can to make sure our kids and grandkids have a livable planet. We can do this, people!

    June 14, 2014 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  18. HeyHey

    Threat to their socialist little world.

    June 14, 2014 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. Wes

    obama is a disaster.

    June 14, 2014 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  20. Mike Dishnow

    The science of climate change, and the effects therein of human activities, is accepted by 97 % of the world's legitimate scientists. It is, indeed, sad and a threat to our well being when so many Americans place greed, the profit motive, and politics ahead of their planet and our offspring' s health and well-being.

    June 14, 2014 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. Leslie

    I'm content to disagree. New grads should remember the old slogan "Question Authority", especially on this topic,

    June 14, 2014 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. sick of it

    The real threat to America is Obama's giant control freak inept government.

    June 14, 2014 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  23. Rick

    A poster on this website referred to "thousands of protesters" in Irvine.

    This taken from a news article in the LA Times describing the protesters:
    Outside Angel Stadium, a few dozen protesters lined the streets ...

    Not sure why I felt compelled to respond since many of the Obama haters are simply trolls. Usually I just ignore them. This lie was too blatant to simply ignore.

    I notice many people have stopped arguing with climate change deniers. I have. It's a useless exercise to argue something that is scientific proof.

    June 14, 2014 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  24. Steve

    A free Harvard education just isn't worth what it used to be.

    June 14, 2014 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. rl

    Kind of sounds like the republicon/TBers (aka the THREAT) realize the truth really hurts. But you know this will break Coulters heart. He/she said the earth was ours to rape and pillage.

    June 14, 2014 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
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