In his State of the Union address, President Obama told a joint session of Congress and the American public on Tuesday night that “no challenge — no challenge — poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” He mocked the now-standard “I’m not a scientist” dodge used by climate science deniers. And he touted his record on climate change and clean energy.
Did you know, as Obama said, that “America is number one in wind power”? It’s true — if instead of going by installed capacity you go by “the total amount of electricity, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), that each country produces from wind and delivers to customers each year,” according to statistics from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
The President noted that, “2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record. Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does? — 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.”
With a climate scientist watching in his wife’s box, Obama eviscerated those who ignore the warnings from scientists and the Pentagon. He responded directly to the absurd “I’m not a scientist” dodge used by many conservatives (including Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, who delivered the GOP response):
I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what? — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.