President Barack Obama said Americans will be "judged" on what they do to combat the threat of climate change, and urged them not to vote for any politicians who don't vow to protect future generations.
"Decades of carefully reviewed science tells us our planet is changing in ways that will have profound impacts on the world we leave to our children," Obama said in his weekly address. "Already, we know that the 12 warmest years in recorded history have all come in the last 15, and that last year was the warmest in American history."
President Barack Obama wipes perspiration from his face as he speaks about climate change at Georgetown University in Washington, Tuesday, June 25, 2013. (AP)
Obama's address comes in the midst of his new push to combat pollution and prepare for the effects of changing climate, including setting first-ever limits for new and existing power plants on greenhouse gas emissions.
He said those already feeling the effects of climate change "don’t have time to deny it, they’re busy dealing with it," including firefighters with longer wildfire seasons and farmers with wilting and washed out crops.
"If you agree with me, I’ll need you to act," Obama said. "Educate your classmates and colleagues, your family and friends. Speak up in your communities. Remind everyone who represents you, at every level of government, that there is no contradiction between a sound environment and a strong economy – and that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote."
He continued, "We will be judged – as a people, as a society, and as a country – on where we go from here. The plan I have put forward to reduce carbon pollution and protect our country from the effects of climate change is the path we need to take. And if we remember what’s at stake – the world we leave to our children – I’m convinced that this is a challenge that we will meet."