President Obama Takes On the Anti-Science Crowd

Stephen Smith | June 27, 2014 | Climate Change, Elections, Energy Policy
Our table at the Annual Capital Dinner

I had the great pleasure of joining our Board President, John Noel, and his wife, Melinda Welton, at his table at the League of Conservation Voters’ Annual Capitol Dinner on Wednesday, June 25th in Washington, D.C.  The keynote speaker was President Obama, appropriate since this was the one-year anniversary of his major climate speech at Georgetown University in which he announced his Climate Action Plan.

The President has devoted several recent speeches to calling for action on climate change and calling out climate deniers who are anti-science, a point he emphasized Wednesday night with a solid dose of humor that earned him the moniker “Mocker-in-Chief.”  His comments were both dead-on and very funny.  I’ve edited a small clip out of his speech here:


It’s been very refreshing to see President Obama using the bully pulpit to elevate the issue of climate change following EPA’s release of the Clean Power Plan. It’s high time someone took on the lame “I’m not a scientist” talking point currently being parroted by Republicans, most recently by Florida Governor Rick Scott.

SACE and our partners in the What’s Your Plan, Gov? campaign have been documenting in a series of videos Governor Scott’s continued climate denial in one of the most imperiled states in the country.  As the President humorously pointed out, saying you’re not a scientist is just admitting you don’t read!

SACE is working hard across the region, particularly in Florida, to elevate the need to aggressively address climate change there and in all our Southeastern states.  It was gratifying to see the most powerful political figure in our country really speaking directly to this issue. You can see his full speech here.

Another notable part of the dinner was when Rep. Henry Waxman of California received an extremely well-deserved lifetime achievement award for his many decades of service in the U.S. Congress working on a phenomenal list of legislative actions to protect human health and the environment.  In addition, former Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia spoke of the significant coastal vulnerabilities of the Virginia coast to sea level rise, a major issue in each of our Southeastern states, and further reinforced the need for action.

My wife Libby and I were pleased to be a part of this great event along with John Noel and hundreds of other environmental leaders across the country.  Clearly this is a critical year for climate issues with the recently released Clean Power Plan and the upcoming midterm elections on the national stage.  LCV has always been at the forefront of many electoral battles to keep and elect strong environmental and public health champions to office. This event was a clear reminder that elections do matter – please remember this in the months ahead!

See President’s full video here:


Stephen Smith
Dr. Stephen A. Smith has over 35 years of experience affecting positive change for the environment. Since 1993, Dr. Smith has led the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) as…
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