President Barack Obama said denying climate change is like arguing that the moon is made of cheese, as he issued a call for action on global warming to graduates of the University of California, Irvine.
Obama told the tens of thousands gathered at Angel Stadium that Congress “is full of folks who
stubbornly and automatically reject the scientific evidence” and say climate change is a hoax or fad, while others avoid the question.
“They say, ‘Hey, look, I’m not a scientist,’” Obama said. “I’ll translate that for you: what that really means is, ‘I know that man-made climate change really is happening 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.
Obama’s address to about 8,000 graduates at the Orange County campus comes two weeks after he announced a contentious plan to dramatically cut pollution from power plants. Obama also used the address to announce a $1 billion competitive fund for communities who have experienced natural disasters to rebuild and prepare for the impact of extreme weather.
“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.
He described a political system consumed by “small things” but said Americans should be determined to do “big things” like addressing climate change, despite the type of opposition he faces from Congress.