Obama Explains Climate Change Science and Extreme Weather (Video)


(Climate) Change we can believe in. Photo via Foreign Policy

Okay, so if his goal was to rebut the rampant allegations from conservative politicians that the mere presence of snow disproves climate change, Obama was a little late. Nonetheless, it is (still) heartening to see that the president has a firm grasp of climate science, and how climate change can influence weather events like precipitation--and that he's willing to take the time to publicly explain it. This video, taken during the president's speech at a town hall event in Nevada, is proof.

Here's the transcript of the pertinent part, via Media Matters:

First of all, we just got five feet of snow in Washington and so everybody's like-a lot of the people who are opponents of climate change, they say "see, look at that. There's all this snow on the ground, you know, this doesn't mean anything." I want to just be clear that the science of climate change doesn't mean that every place is getting warmer. It means the the planet as a whole is getting warmer. But what it may mean is, for example, Vancouver which is supposed to be getting snow during the Olympics, suddenly is at 55 degrees and Dallas suddenly is getting seven inches of snow.

The idea is that the planet as a whole get warmer, you start seeing changing weather patterns and that creates more violent storm systems, more unpredictable weather, so any single place might end up being warmer. Another place might end up being a little bit cooler. There might end up being more precipitation in the air. More monsoons, more hurricanes, more tornadoes, more drought in some places, floods in other places.

I certainly wish Obama would do this more often, more vocally, and more emphatically--we're in the midst of a time when the public really needs to hear about the specifics of climate science, not just sound bites.

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