(CNSNews.com) – In a speech in Anchorage, Alaska, on Monday President Barack Obama warned that if nations do not act to stop climate change "we will condemn our children to a planet beyond their capacity to repair."
"Climate change is no longer some far-off problem," Obama said." It is happening here. It is happening now. Climate change is already disrupting our agriculture and ecosystems, our water and food supplies, our energy, our infrastructure, human health, human safety--now. Today."
“If we were to abandon our course of action, if we stop trying to build a clean-energy economy and reduce carbon pollution, if we do nothing to keep the glaciers from melting faster, and oceans from rising faster, and forests from burning faster, and storms from growing stronger, we will condemn our children to a planet beyond their capacity to repair,” he said.
“Submerged countries. Abandoned cities. Fields no longer growing. Indigenous peoples who can’t carry out traditions that stretch back millennia," he said. "Entire industries of people who can’t practice their livelihoods. Desperate refugees seeking the sanctuary of nations not their own. Political disruptions that could trigger multiple conflicts around the globe."
The president also predicted that temperatures in Alaska would rise six to 12 degrees by the end of the century.
“So if we do nothing, temperatures in Alaska are projected to rise between six 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.
The issue of whether human activity is changing the climate is settled, the president said.
“So let me sum up. We know that human activity is changing the climate. That is beyond dispute. Everything else is politics if people are denying the facts of climate change. We can have a legitimate debate about how we are going to address this problem; we cannot deny the science,” he said.
“We also know the devastating consequences if the current trend lines continue. That is not deniable, and we are going to have to do some adaptation, and we are going to have to help communities be resilient. Because of these trend lines, we are not going to be able to stop on a dime. We’re not going to be able to stop tomorrow,” Obama added.