Going directly after Republican climate skeptics, President Obama said Monday that failing to fight climate change would be "shameful," while warning the American public not to believe criticism from "special interests and their allies in Congress" who oppose his environmental agenda.
"It's easy to be cynical and say that climate change is the kind of challenge that's just too big for humanity to solve. I am absolutely convinced that's wrong," Obama said during a speech delivered from the White House, as he heralded his administration's efforts to regulate pollution from power plants.
The speech is one of Obama's most forceful attempts yet to convince the American public that action to combat the Earth's rising temperature is badly needed now.
And he struck back against skepticism from Republican presidential contenders over the threat of global warming, and against criticism of the White House regulatory regime.
"There will be critics of what we are trying to do," Obama said. "Long before the details of this Clean Power Plan were even decided, the special interests and their allies in Congress were already mobilizing to oppose it with everything they've got."
He added: "We only get one home. We only get one planet. There's no Plan B. I don't want my grandkids not to be able to swim in Hawaii, or not to be able to climb a mountain and see a glacier because we didn't do something about it."