President Barack Obama spoke plainly on the topic of climate change on Monday, urging leaders across the world at the “GLACIER” conference in Alaska to protect the environment now or suffer the long term consequences.
“We are not moving fast enough,” Obama said, clearly frustrated. “None of the nations represented here are moving fast enough.”
According to NBC News, in claiming that humanity is failing to address climate change, Obama also admitted that the United States is guilty of exacerbating the problem of global warming, but said that the nation should embrace the responsibility to solve it.
President Obama also took the time to call out the politicians who have actively denied climate change in the past, claiming they “are on their own shrinking island.”
“We know that human activity is changing the climate. That is beyond dispute. Everything else is politics. The time to heed the critics and the cynics and the deniers is past.”
Obama proceeded to paint a picture of a future planet if issues of climate change are not resolved: “entire nations will find themselves under severe, severe problems: More drought. More floods. Rising sea levels. Greater migration. More refugees. More scarcity. More conflict.”
The American President took the charge a step further, saying that any world leader who doesn’t work to solve these problems is not an adequate candidate for authority.
“Any leader willing to take a gamble on a future like that, any leader who refuses to take this issue seriously or treats it like a joke, is not fit to lead.”
It may be easy to dismiss the problems of climate change in the short term, Obama noted, but the re-precautions of continued denial could result in catastrophe for generations to come. Obama warned those attending the conference to act now or “condemn our children to a world they will no longer have the capacity to repair.”
He also stressed the importance of creating tangible solutions, not simply talking about the problems.
“It’s not enough to just have conferences,” he said. “It’s not enough to just talk the talk. We’ve got to walk the walk.”
According to KTUU, Obama did not specify any measures he intends to take to resolve climate change issues yet, but promised to introduce plans to address global warming within the coming days.
The evidence for climate change is on President Obama’s side, according to the scientific consensus and what most researchers call “overwhelming” data. However, this doesn’t stop many global warming skeptics from adamantly denying climate change, or the degree of human interference. Grist has put together a series of sourced links designed to provide evidence to those denying climate change, whether for political or skeptical reasons.
Do you agree with Barack Obama about climate change? Is humanity moving too slowly?
[Image credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images and NASA]