President Obama scorned doubters of science when he told 8,000 graduates of the University of California-Irvine (UCI) that thinking climate change is not a real and pressing issue is like still believing that the moon is made of cheese. He went on to tell the young men and women that they must be the ones to lead the fight in reversing the trend of global warming and the climate’s growing risk to planet earth.
Obama was the keynote speaker at UCI’s outdoor commencement ceremony held at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. The president went on to say today’s Congress is full of people who obdurately and robotically reject the clear scientific evidence. He then said that some in Congress would tell you climate change is just a fad that will go away soon or it is a hoax by the liberal media.
He portrayed a political system that is obsessed by “small things” but said Americans should be resolute in doing “big things” such as confronting climate change head on, notwithstanding the continued obstruction he faces in the form of a divided Congress. To further highlight his argument, Obama emphasized that a large majority of the public and scientists believe the threat is real.
The White House in May released a report highlighting seasonal allergies, extreme weather and a variety of other effects from increasing global temperatures. This month the Environmental Protection Agency proposed U.S. power plants reduce the emission amounts of carbon-dioxide by 30 percent from 2005 levels by the year of 2030 because it is those very gases that most scientists say contribute to our climate problems.
That announcement by the EPA is the strongest action ever taken by a presidential administration to reduce climate change. Obama already has doubters of his plan to help to alleviate the spread of a changing climate such as John Boehner, House Speaker, who scorned the president’s plan as “nuts” back in June. Obama obviously hopes to make it another important part of his legacy as well as Obamacare and the taking out of thousands of American troops from the Middle East region. If the law endures the lengthy legislative challenges in Congress and legal contesting in the courts, then it might lead to a fundamental change in the way the United States receives its power supply for generations to come.
On Saturday at the commencement speech, the President also announced a new $1 billion initiative made up of grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that would let local communities tap into the fund to pay for flooding, storms and other natural disasters. Obama also asked that the communities develop groundbreaking ways to rebuild and plan infrastructure to better answer the effects of the changing climate.
The President recognized in his speech the challenges of formulating even small incremental changes to policies in Washington, but added that progress on climate change is a worthy goal. Obama then said he was telling the students all of this not to discourage them but to light a fire under them for the sake of motivation. The President likened the challenge to Kennedy’s call to Americans to land a man on the moon in the early 1960s. This kind of ambitious call to action will likely receive scorn from the Obama administration’s doubters, but will also please the public and scientists who believe in the threats that are growing to our earth from climate change.
By B. Taylor Rash