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. Mark

    Obama you killed our economy, military, and morals

    June 14, 2014 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. Hank

    Worst.President.Ever.

    June 14, 2014 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. nostra

    climate change has been a constant for billions of years.....man has very little to do with any of it.

    June 14, 2014 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Roger

    Better to be a climate-denier than a Christ-denier. Obama sews his seed of fear and corruption, stifles free speech, breeds lies and corruption, wages war against the unborn, etc.... It should be all too clear by his actions that he has no faith in God, hence his lack of hope for tomorrow and obsession with fantasy.

    June 14, 2014 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. hypocrisy

    Those opposing Obama don't deny "climate change". They deny that climate is substantially influenced by man which is exactly what Obama infers to implement his agenda of transferring wealth from poor and middle class to the wealthy who paid for his campaign.

    For millions of years the climate changed all the time with or without people. The geology (science) confirms that black and white. Obama is just a shill for wall street.

    June 14, 2014 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. Sergie Kent

    So he said: “People are thinking about politics instead of thinking about what’s good for the next generation,”
    He would certainly know about that.

    June 14, 2014 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  7. jhag39

    Cue Don Quixote and his idiotic rant about, err.. what was his personal phony scandal this weeK?

    June 14, 2014 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  8. Dr. Strangelove

    Why does that sound so much like famous dictators of the past?

    June 14, 2014 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. BErnard

    obama healthcare was pass without republican vote passing bad laws cost kick out of office like eric cantor . Obama have to be smart not stupid so congress have to pass things american like not liberial hog wash lol

    June 14, 2014 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  10. everettreb

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

    He said man made climate change. I agree that the climate is changing but I don't agree that it is man made.
    It's going to happen no matter what man does.

    June 14, 2014 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Dear president: You say that the debate is over and the time for action is now. What is your suggestion for (1) stopping climate change (2) without throwing the BILLION people in the world, who recently escaped poverty, back into it?

    June 14, 2014 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  12. Mike

    I looked all this stuff up and what I've come to understand is that the data received from the CO2 emissions trapped in the ice were inaccurate. Then geologists began to do deep core studies on rock samples and found out that the sun is directly responsible for global warming... many of the scientists began to say that humans are only 1% responsible for the planet heating up. Yes I agree that it is very possible to pollute a planet past the point of no return. If the US government would pay me a decent living to go out into the woods and plant trees all day long I'd do it.

    June 14, 2014 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  13. Get Out

    The fundamental process of Scientific Theory is the constant scrutiny of evidence. It's important that there are deniers of theories... One time, everyone knew the earth was flat. At one time, everyone knew the earth as round. At one time everyone knew the solar system was the only solar system. At one time everyone knew the galaxy was the only galaxy. At one time, everyone knew that this was the only universe.... Seriously, get off the horse already.

    June 14, 2014 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  14. sifleut

    It's amazing the ignorance in some of these comments. Me me me...

    June 14, 2014 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  15. J. Olver

    The President is right on target in this speech. Pols who deny climate change is happening or that humanity is the major cause for the imbalance are either fools or liars and they are definitely dangerous to the future of the country and the world.

    June 14, 2014 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  16. Ed F.

    He's spot on, the right wing clowns have always been a threat to this country. The anti science oil industry bribed crowd is done.

    June 14, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  17. Thomas

    One must be in denial or ignorant not to believe the planet is in trouble and the cause of that trouble is people .

    Yes , Ignorance is a threat.

    June 14, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  18. Calif US Patriot

    The president is quoting the same '100 scientists', who just a few short years ago said the earth is going into a deep freeze. Keep opening your mouth yomana.....you confirm how ignorant you are.

    June 14, 2014 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  19. Joshua

    If climate change were truly the problem then why doesn't the president issue an executive order demanding that people stop idling in parking lots while waiting for a spot near the door? Why not demand that people turn down their air conditioners or paint their roofs white to reflect light back into the atmosphere so it doesn't turn into extra heat?

    June 14, 2014 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    Unless ALL countries act, nothing we do in the U.S. will make any difference whatsoever. What happens around the world, impacts just the SAME!

    June 14, 2014 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  21. Obama is king

    I guess it's time to round up and incarcerate these climate change deniers. Their killing the planet and need to be dealt with!

    June 14, 2014 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. manhandler1

    I see the intellectual bottom feeders are all here to parade their monumental ignorance of any concept that requires a brain.

    June 14, 2014 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  23. deb0155

    What garbage we have for a President! He is an embarrassment to the country.

    June 14, 2014 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  24. YK

    Just because something is factually true doesn't mean Tea Partiers have to believe it.

    June 14, 2014 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  25. Susan

    Mr Obama, I think you are a pretty serious threat to everybody's future...

    June 14, 2014 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
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