Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Watch Obama Address Climate Change and Mock Deniers in University of California Irvine Commencement Speech

Climate

President Barack Obama's commencement address for the University of California, Irvine Saturday included a little of everything regarding climate change. He announced a $1 billion competitive rebuilding fund for communities hit by extreme weather, while challenging graduates to do their part in addressing what could be the largest issue of their lives.

The president also added in some sarcasm—lots and lots of sarcasm. For one, he compared climate deniers to people who told President John F. Kennedy that moon exploration was a waste of time. Today's crop of climate deniers are akin to people who would have told Kennedy in the ‘60s that the "moon wasn’t there or that it was made of cheese,” Obama said.

Obama begins speaking about climate change after the 7-minute mark of his 30-minute speech, uploaded in its entirety by The UpTake.

“The question is not whether we need to act,” the president told the crowd of 8,000 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. “The overwhelming judgement of science, accumulated and reviewed over decades, has put the that to rest. The question is whether we have the will to act before it's too late.”

Obama also cleared up the confusion for those who wonder why some politicians hide behind the claim that they are not scientists.

"There are some who duck the question by saying, ‘Hey, I'm not a scientist,'" Obama said. "Let me translate that for you: 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 change is a liberal plot."

He can identify with them on not being a scientist, but Obama, instead, trusts the work of scientists, 97 percent of whom agree that climate change is real.

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

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Lit candles, flowers and signs are seen in front of the U.S. embassy in Warsaw, Poland on May 31, 2020. Aleksander Kalka / NurPhoto / Getty Images

As protests are taking place across our nation in response to the killing of George Floyd, we want to acknowledge the importance of this protest and the Black Lives Matter movement. Over the years, we've aimed to be sensitive and prioritize stories that highlight the intersection between racial and environmental injustice. From our years of covering the environment, we know that too often marginalized communities around the world are disproportionately affected by environmental crises.

Read More Show Less
Sockeye salmon are seen swimming at a fish farm. Natalie Fobes / Getty Images

By Peter Beech

Using waste food to farm insects as fish food and high-tech real-time water quality monitoring: innovations that could help change global aquaculture, were showcased at the World Economic Forum's Virtual Ocean Dialogues 2020.

Read More Show Less
Shanika Reaux walks through the devastated Lower Ninth Ward on May 10, 2006 in New Orleans, Louisiana, after her home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Mario Tama / Getty Images

The big three broadcast channels failed to cover the disproportionate impacts of extreme weather on low-income communities or communities of color during their primetime coverage of seven hurricanes and one tropical storm over three years, a Media Matters for America analysis revealed.

Read More Show Less
Several drugmakers and research institutions are working on vaccines, antivirals and other treatments to help people infected with COVID-19. krisanapong detraphiphat / Moment / Getty Images

Researchers at the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly announced yesterday that it will start a trial on a new drug designed specifically for COVID-19, a milestone in the race to stop the infectious disease, according to STAT News.

Read More Show Less
The Sumatran rhino is one of 515 endangered species of land animals on the brink of extinction. Mark Carwardine / Photolibrary / Getty Images

The sixth mass extinction is here, and it's speeding up.

Read More Show Less
People are having a hard time trying to understand what information is reliable and what information they can trust. Aekkarak Thongjiew / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Cathy Cassata

With more than 1.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and more than 100,000 deaths from the virus, physicians face unprecedented challenges in their efforts to keep Americans safe.

They also encounter what some call an "infodemic," an outbreak of misinformation that's making it more difficult to treat patients.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Workers clean up a crude oil leak from a pipeline in Minnesota in 2002. JOEY MCLEISTER / Star Tribune via Getty Images

The Trump administration has finalized a rule making it harder for states and tribal communities to block pipelines and other infrastructure projects that threaten waterways.

Read More Show Less