President Obama continues to make it clear that he's reached the end of his patience with Republicans in Congress who continue to ignore the scientific consensus on climate change.
Appearing before a like-minded crowd at the League of Conservation Voters’ annual Capital Dinner Wednesday night, the president ripped into those who pretend to reject science in order to appease “a bunch of fringe elements."
“People generally "don’t just say, ‘No, I don’t believe anything scientists say,'" Obama pointed out -- unless they're in Congress, where "folks will tell you climate change is a hoax, a fad or a plot – it's a liberal plot."
They're not as ignorant as they profess, Obama suggested: “They ducked the question and said, 'Hey I'm not a scientist,' which really translates into 'I accept that man-made climate change is real but if I say so I will be run out of town by a bunch of fringe elements.'"
“So I am just going to pretend like – I don't know – I can't read.”
"I'm not a doctor either, but if a bunch of doctors tell me that tobacco can cause lung cancer, then I'll say, OK," he continued. "Right? I mean, it's not that hard."
Jokes aside, Obama acknowledged that it can be easy to get discouraged with the slow pace of combating climate change: "I know" that we're not moving quickly enough, he said -- "I read the science. I'm not a scientist, but I read it." But what should make us hopeful and optimistic, he ventured, is that the younger generation seems to get it -- even if their leaders don't.
"The question is not whether we need to act," he told the crowd. "The question is whether we have the will to act before it's too late. Because if we fail to protect the world we leave our children, then we fail in the most fundamental purpose of us being here in the first place."
Watch a clip below, and the full speech here.