Obama Tells Roker Climate Change Hurting Americans ‘Right Now’

‘This is not some distant problem of the future’

Obama to Al Roker: Climate change is a problem affecting Americans 'right now' (Today)

Hours after the White House released a report on climate change Tuesday, President Obama stressed to TODAY's Al Roker that the issue is one his administration has long deemed important.

"We've been sounding this urgency for the last five years," the president told Roker, when asked why it had taken so long for the White House to stress the need to address climate change. "You've seen some resistance from Congress. Part of the reason for putting forward this assessment — which involved hundreds of people, experts, businesses, not-for-profits and local communities sharing their experience — is we want to emphasize to the public, this is not some distant problem of the future."

"This is a problem that is affecting Americans right now," Obama said. "Whether it means increased flooding, greater vulnerability to drought, more severe wildfires — all these things are having an impact on Americans as we speak."

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