Obama: Global Warming Creating ‘More Toxic’ Politics, ‘Scale of Tragedy We’ll See’ Is Unprecedented in History
Former President Barack Obama mocked Republicans who question the global warming theory during an appearance Tuesday in Calgary, Canada.
The changing climate, Obama told a large crowd at the Saddledome, is creating a “more toxic politics.”
“Within your children’s lifetime we can have a really chaotic situation that is hard to reverse,” Obama said, "Imagine when you have not a few hundred thousand migrants who are escaping poverty or violence or disease, but you now have millions. Imagine if you start seeing monsoon patterns in the Indian subcontinent changing so that half a billion people can't grow food and are displaced."
Obama also warned that global warming will create a “scale of tragedy” unknown in the history of mankind.
"At the current pace that we are on, the scale of tragedy that will consume humanity is something we have not seen in perhaps recorded history if we don't do something about it."
Acknowledging that many in the Alberta crowd are affiliated with the oil and gas industries, Obama said they would need to “make some choices” before it’s “too late.”
“If you are a practical person and you let’s say work in the oil and gas in history right now and it provides a great living and you feel like you’re providing a great service and this is critical to a global economy and you take great pride in your work you should, but understand that we’re going to have to make some choices one way or the other, and either we’re going to do it intentionally and thoughtfully, and — and and seriously or it will happen to us,” he said. “And by the time it happens to us it may be too late.”
Speaking of Republicans, the former president said he gets frustrated at their skepticism of manmade climate change.
“What I do get frustrated with is, and this is more extreme for the United States where I’ve got a you know a U.S. senator who is actually the chairman of the Energy Committee, holding up a snowball in Washington on the floor of the Senate and saying, ‘Look there’s no global warming because it’s cold outside,’” Obama said, eliciting laughs from the crowd.”
"You laugh. This happened," he said. "That's not a good way of approaching problems."
Obama said combating climate change will mean making personal sacrifices.
"All of us are going to have to recognize that there are trade-offs involved with how we live, how our economy is structured and the world that we're going to be passing on to our kids and grandkids," he said. "Nobody is exempt from that conversation."