Obama to UC Students: Time to Take on Climate

President announces $1B natural-disaster fund
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2014 4:10 PM CDT
Obama to UC Students: Time to Take on Climate
President Barack Obama waves to graduates before delivering the commencement address for the University of California, Irvine, Saturday, June 14, 2014, in Anaheim, Calif.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(Newser) – Offering a commencement address at UC Irvine today, President Obama sought to energize students for the fight against climate change. "The question is not whether we need to act,” the president said, noting that any debate has been "put to rest." "The question is whether we have the will to act before it’s too late." Obama's goal in the speech, he said, was to "light a fire under" students, Time notes. "As the generation getting shortchanged by … inaction, do not for a second accept that this is the way it has to be."

Those who deny climate change are a "fairly serious threat to everybody’s future," Obama said, per CNN. The president also revealed his own next step on the issue: a $1 billion fund directed toward communities facing natural disasters. Some $130 million of the fund will be specifically aimed at addressing the effects of Hurricane Sandy. "What’s the point of public office if you’re not going to use your power to help solve problems?" Obama asked. (Read more President Obama stories.)

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