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In Tuesday’s state of the union address, President Obama made his strongest case yet for immediate and bipartisan action on climate change.

Obama confronted Congressional climate deniers with a series of facts and logic bombs intended to explode the prevailing Republican opinion that climate change and global warming are hoaxes.

“No challenge — no challenge — poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” said the President. “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.”

“No challenge — no challenge — poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” said the President. “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.”

Obama also threw a wrench into the oft-used Republican dodge when asked whether they believe in climate change: the “I’m not a scientist” defense.

Republican energy lobbyist Michael McKenna has gone on record as saying the line has “got to be the dumbest answer I’ve ever heard.” The defense falls apart, McKenna said, because “[u]sing that logic would disqualify politicians from voting on anything. Most politicians aren’t scientists, but they vote on science policy. They have opinions on Ebola, but they’re not epidemiologists. They shape highway and infrastructure laws, but they’re not engineers.”

In last night’s speech, Obama’s sixth state of the union since taking office, he not only emphasized how ludicrous the dodge was but also that he (and the Congress itself) was in a position to consult the leading scientists of the day.

“I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists,” said Obama, “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.”

Obama pointed to the recent deal he worked out with Chinese President Xi Jinping as a major step in taking international climate action ahead of the Paris Climate Summit in December. Together, the U.S. and China emit 45 percent of the planet’s total greenhouse gases, and under their joint pledge they will strive to limit and reduce their emissions.

“Because the world’s two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we’ve got,” said Obama.

He also offered a thinly veiled warning to Congress regarding both the environment and healthcare: “I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts.”

Several Republicans offered their televised responses to the President’s address. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) ignored any mention of climate change, but she did trot out the already-dispelled myth that approving the Keystone XL would create thousands of jobs for the U.S.

“President Obama has been delaying this bipartisan infrastructure project for years,” said Sen. Ernst, “even though many members of his party, unions, and a strong majority of Americans support it. The President’s own State Department has said Keystone’s construction could support thousands of jobs and pump billions into our economy, and do it with minimal environmental impact. […] President Obama will soon have a decision to make: will he sign the bill, or block good American jobs?”

As Planet Experts has pointed out before, the “thousands of jobs” figure has been thoroughly disproven. Following the creation of about 3,900 construction jobs that would last about a year, the KXL would only create about 50 lasting positions.

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One Response

  1. TJ says:

    Yeah Ernst. He’s going to block ‘good American jobs.” All 35 of them that will be permanent.

    Want your minds blown? You know that line you mentioned about the President’s “I’m not a scientist” comment?

    Check out the clip posted on Boehner’s You Tube page. It includes cute little boxes intended to tell their followers what the President is REALLY saying.

    It should start up on the spot where the GOP EDITS OUT THAT LINE. But if not, go to 43;25.

    Un-Freaking-Believable!

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