Obama rips climate change deniers in graduation speech

ANAHEIM, Calif., June 14 Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:50pm EDT

ANAHEIM, Calif., June 14 (Reuters) - With a feisty tone and a touch of aggravation, President Barack Obama on Saturday laid into Republicans who question the science of climate change and urged graduating college students to take on global warming as a cause.

A few weeks after unveiling rules to limit carbon emissions from power plants, Obama used a commencement address for the University of California, Irvine, to rally support from young people and slam opponents for denying that climate change is real.

"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," he said.

"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."

Obama said some climate questioners ducked the issue by asserting they were not scientists themselves.

"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."

Most scientists say the earth is warming and human beings are contributing to it, but the issue is politically controversial. Many Republicans and some Democrats oppose Obama's plans to limit emissions from power plants because of the potential economic consequences.

Obama's record on climate change is also under fire from some environmentalists, who are pressing his administration to deny approval for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Young people make up a critical part of the Democratic Party's political base, and Obama urged the graduates to be motivated to fight global warming as they left the world of academia.

Climate change is becoming a major legacy issue for Obama and a hot topic in this year's congressional elections. Before the commencement ceremony, the president attended a Democratic fundraiser at the home of environmental activist Anne Earhart.

About 25 supporters attended, contributing up to $32,400 each, according to the Democratic National Committee.

In his speech, Obama announced a competition for communities hit by extreme weather to compete for $1 billion in funds to rebuild from and inoculate themselves against natural disasters. (Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Comments (1)
Miner49er wrote:
1. Only 3.4% of all carbon dioxide arise from human activities;
2. Carbon dioxide, while subject to (temperature-driven?) cycles, is in equilibrium and in balance;
3. The residence time of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 5 years, more or less;
4. Limestone (CaCO3) and other carbonate rock is the ultimate sink for all carbon dioxide, where it remains for tens of millions of years;
5. Oceans quickly absorb ambient atmospheric carbon dioxide;
6. Conversion of all dissolved carbon dioxide to carbonate rock in seawater occurs quickly, not on a 100-1000 year time frame;
7. Oceans are highly alkaline, and strongly buffered, and cannot become acidic–only more or less alkaline;
8. Carbon dioxide of human origin behaves no differently than carbon dioxide of natural origin;
9. Human carbon dioxide emissions have no measurable affect on climate;
10.Global warming may be occurring, but as far as I can tell, it is caused by factors other than carbon dioxide.

Any capable scientist or engineer or high-school sophomore can draw these same conclusions from publicly available information. Don’t take my word for it. Do the computations for yourselves, and see for yourself who is telling you the truth and who isn’t.

Jun 14, 2014 8:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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