WASHINGTON, June 29 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday America must be "more concerned with the judgment of our children" than with "special interests" on climate change.
In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president repeated much of what he said this week in a major address on climate change -- telling listeners although "we know no single weather event is caused solely by climate change, we also know that in a world that's getting warmer than it used to be, all weather events are affected by it -- more extreme droughts, floods, wildfires and hurricanes."
He rejected climate change denial and said "the question is not whether we need to act. The question is whether we will have the courage to act before it's too late."
"Those who already feel the effects of a changing climate don't have time to deny it -- they're busy dealing with it," Obama said. "The firefighters who brave longer wildfire seasons. The farmers who see crops wilted one year, and washed away the next. Western families worried about water that's drying up."
Citing the cost "in lost lives and livelihoods, lost homes and businesses, and hundreds of billions of dollars in emergency services and disaster relief," the president said Americans "are already paying the price of inaction in higher food costs, insurance premiums, and the tab for rebuilding."
He repeated his call for public support for his national Climate Action Plan to "cut carbon pollution, protect our country from the impacts of climate change, and lead the world in a coordinated assault on a changing climate."
"This is the fight America can and will lead in the 21st century," Obama said. "But it will require all of us, as citizens, to do our part. We'll need scientists to design new fuels, and farmers to grow them. We'll need engineers to devise new technologies, and businesses to make and sell them. We'll need workers to man assembly lines that hum with high-tech, zero-carbon components, and builders to hammer into place the foundations for a new clean energy age. We'll need to give special care to people and communities unsettled by this transition. And those of us in positions of responsibility will need to be less concerned with the judgment of special interests and well-connected donors, and more concerned with the judgment of our children."