Our 10 favorite climate quotes by President Barack Obama in 2014

January 20, 2015

As President Barack Obama prepares to give his State of the Union address tonight, we took a moment to reflect back on his speeches and statements made in the past year, and found our 10 favorite climate quotes that motivate, challenge, and inspire. Here they are listed in chronological order. Feel free to share your favorite climate quotes in the comments below!

“The shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way.  But the debate is settled.  Climate change is a fact.  And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did.”
— U.S. President Barack Obama, State of the Union, January 28, 2014
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/28/president-barack-obamas-state-union-address


(Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

“This is not some distant problem of the future. This is a problem that is affecting Americans right now. Whether it means increased flooding, greater vulnerability to drought, more severe wildfires — all these things are having an impact on Americans as we speak.”
— U.S. President Barack Obama, interview with Al Roker, May 6, 2014
http://www.today.com/news/obama-al-roker-climate-change-2D79627268


(Today)

“When Americans are called on to innovate, that’s what we do — whether it’s making more fuel-efficient cars or more fuel-efficient appliances, or making sure that we are putting in place the kinds of equipment that prevents harm to the ozone layer and eliminates acid rain.  At every one of these steps, there have been folks who have said it can’t be done.  There have been naysayers who said this is going to destroy jobs and destroy industry. And it doesn’t happen because once we have a clear target to meet, we typically meet it. And we find the best ways to do it.”
— U.S. President Barack Obama, conference call with public health groups, June 2, 2014
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/02/remarks-president-conference-call-hosted-public-health-groups

“If there’s one thing I would like to see, it’d be for us to be able to price the cost of carbon emissions.”
— U.S. President Barack Obama, interview with Thomas Friedman, June 7, 2014
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/08/opinion/sunday/friedman-obama-on-obama-on-climate.html


(Showtime)

“Part of what’s unique about climate change, though, is the nature of some of the opposition to action.  It’s pretty rare that you’ll encounter somebody who says the problem you’re trying to solve simply doesn’t exist.  When President Kennedy set us on a course for the moon, there were a number of people who made a serious case that it wouldn’t be worth it; it was going to be too expensive, it was going to be too hard, it would take too long.  But nobody ignored the science.  I don’t remember anybody saying that the moon wasn’t there or that it was made of cheese.”
— U.S. President Barack Obama, UC Irvine Commencement Address, June 14, 2014
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/13/remarks-president-university-california-irvine-commencement-ceremony


(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“We need scientists to design new fuels. We need farmers to help grow them. We need engineers to invent new technologies. We need entrepreneurs to sell those technologies. We need workers to operate assembly lines that hum with high-tech, zero-carbon components. We need builders to hammer into place the foundations for a clean energy age. We need diplomats and businessmen and women, and Peace Corps volunteers to help developing nations skip past the dirty phase of development and transition to sustainable sources of energy. In other words, we need you.”
— U.S. President Barack Obama, UC Irvine Commencement Address, June 14, 2014
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/13/remarks-president-university-california-irvine-commencement-ceremony

“Today, about 40 percent of America’s carbon pollution comes from our power plants. There are no federal limits to the amount those plants can pump into the air. None. We limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury, and sulfur, and arsenic in our air and water, but power plants can dump as much carbon pollution into our atmosphere as they want. It’s not smart, it’s not right, it’s not safe, and I determined it needs to stop.”
— U.S. President Barack Obama, League of Conservation Voters Capital Dinner, June 25, 2014
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/06/25/remarks-president-league-conservation-voters-capital-dinner

“There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.”
— U.S. President Barack Obama, UN Climate Change Summit, September 23, 2014
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/23/remarks-president-un-climate-change-summit

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the United Nations General Assembly Climate Summit 2014 (2)
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“Yes, this is hard.  But there should be no question that the United States of America is stepping up to the plate.  We recognize our role in creating this problem; we embrace our responsibility to combat it.  We will do our part, and we will help developing nations do theirs.  But we can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every nation –- developed and developing alike.  Nobody gets a pass.”
— U.S. President Barack Obama, UN Climate Change Summit, September 23, 2014
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/23/remarks-president-un-climate-change-summit

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the United Nations General Assembly Climate Summit 2014
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“We’re showing that there’s no excuse for other nations to come together, both developed and developing, to achieve a strong global climate agreement next year.”
— U.S. President Barack Obama, G-20 press conference, November 16, 2014
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/16/remarks-president-obama-g20-press-conference-november-16-2014

U.S. President Barak Obama gestures as he answers a question from the media during a press conference at the conclusion of the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
(AP photo/Rob Griffith)

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