President Obama Speaks About Climate Change At UC-Irvine Graduation


Originally published on Cleantechnica By Nicholas Brown.

President Barack Obama recently attended a commencement ceremony for the University of California, Irvine at the Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California. With the students, he mentioned the cold, hard reality that there are many politicians that deny climate change’s existence altogether. This compromises climate change mitigation efforts (which is most likely their goal).

He mentioned that people didn’t deny the science behind space travel which was used to get to the moon, despite concerns that space travel would be too expensive. Yet today, ignorant politicians deny the vast majority of the scientific community’s conclusion that climate change is real. That marks a new-found lack of respect for science which is reminiscent of flat-Earthers.

As Obama said:

When President Kennedy … set us on a course for the moon, there were a number of people who made a serious case that it wouldn’t be worth it … but nobody ignored the science. I don’t remember anybody saying that 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. They will tell you it is a hoax, or a fad.

Some others avoid the issue by asserting that they’re not scientists, which isn’t very helpful when they could simply listen to the scientists.

I don’t think travelling to the moon entailed a major change in the status quo, however, or threatened any industry’s profits. Do you? The mitigation of climate change of course does.

Several years ago, Republicans said they were skeptical of climate change mitigation efforts because they thought climate change was exaggerated, while others said it was because climate change is not anthropogenic (caused by humans). That didn’t stop many people from cutting back on gasoline and diesel purchases, as people would rather trust scientists than politicians. Therefore, they have started denying climate change altogether, citing varying reasons such as “it’s a hoax’, ‘a scam to make money,” and “another way to gain control of your life.”

Obama added:

I’m not a scientist either, but we’ve got some really good ones at NASA. I do know that the overwhelming majority of scientists who work on climate change, including some who once disputed the data, have put that debate to rest.

Stu Ostro is one senior meteorologist (not a climate scientist) at The Weather Channel who denied climate change and has now changed his mind, and admitted that he was just being stubborn. There are just a few people left who haven’t come around to reality. But some of those people are very rich and powerful.