President Barack Obama slammed pundits and members of Congress who refuse to confront climate change in drought-stricken California on Saturday, calling them a “fairly serious threat to everybody’s future."
Speaking to University of California, Irvine graduates in Anaheim, Obama said lawmakers were failing to uphold the responsibilities of their office by not taking bold action to curb the harmful effects of carbon emissions.
“Today’s Congress, though, is full of folks who stubbornly and automatically reject the scientific evidence about climate change,” he said. “They’ll tell you it’s a hoax, or a fad.”
He criticized those who ducked the issue by claiming they weren't qualified enough to speak on the matter, like House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R).
“Let me translate," he said. "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 science is a liberal plot.'"
"I'm not a scientist either, but we've got some good ones at NASA," he added.
The president also took the media to task for not providing sufficient coverage of climate change, such as the impact of a new EPA proposal that would cut carbon power plant emissions 30 percent by 2030. The media should spend less time speculating about how it would affect November's midterm election, and more time on the potential impact to the environment, he said.
Obama on Saturday also announced a new $1 billion fund for towns and cities recovering from disasters like Superstorm Sandy.