Obama in Alaska: Climate-change deniers ‘are on their own shrinking island’ – Los Angeles Times

President Obama started out persuasive Monday, patiently ticking off evidence of climate change during the first major speech of his three-day Alaska tour, but he ended up blunt, calling out “deniers” who would stand in the way of desperately needed change.

“The time to heed the critics and the cynics and the deniers is past,” he told delegates to an international conference on climate change in the Arctic. “The time to plead ignorance is surely past. Those who want to ignore the science, they are increasingly alone, they are on their own shrinking island.”

He used the backdrop of America’s only Arctic state to emphasize the need for this country and others to move, and move fast, to reduce carbon emissions, to pursue cleaner energy sources and to stop relying on “unstable parts of the world” for oil.

“If we do nothing, temperatures in Alaska are projected to rise between 6 and 12 degrees by the end of the century, triggering more melting, more fires, more thawing of the permafrost. A negative feedback loop, a cycle – warming leading to more warming – that we do not want to be a part of,” he said during the final session of the State Department-sponsored event.

Obama hopes to make climate change the cornerstone of his final year and a half in office. His Alaska excursion is the kickoff to a major push to change the way the United States and other nations operate, to convince doubters that the phenomenon is real and that it can be addressed without deep economic disruption.


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