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Obama Thanked Mike Trout, Called For Action On Climate Change In UC Irvine Commencement Speech

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Before a crowd of about 7,000 UC Irvine graduates at Angel Stadium in Anaheim today, President Barack Obama spoke about combating global climate change in his commencement speech.He also threw in a shoutout to Angels star centerfielder Mike Trout, thanking him for letting him use his usual roving grounds to make his speech.

No doubt responding to members of Congress who criticized the cuts he proposed earlier this month to carbon emissions to power plants, the President took aim at people who denied the growing consensus among the scientific community that man-made global climate change was a real phenomena.

"They say when they're asked about climate change, 'Hey, look, I'm not a scientist.' I'll translate that for you. What that really means is: 'I know that man-made climate change really is happening, but if I admit it I'll be run out of town by a radical fringe that thinks climate science is a liberal plot, so I'm not going to admit it," said the President according to the LA Times.

Obama likened skeptics of global climate change to those who objected to JFK's goals during the Space Race, and called on the younger generation to lead the charge. "The question is whether we have the will to act before it’s too late, or we fail to protect the world we leave not just to my children, but to your children," said the President.

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Obama also used the opportunity to announce a proposal to create a $1 billion natural disaster fund for cities and states to compete for grants, according to the New York Times. Obama acknowledged that natural disasters including fires, floods, mudslides, droughts, and tornadoes would only worsen in the coming years with drastic climate change. We'll probably need some of that money when rising sea levels puts all of Venice underwater.

UC Irvine got the Commander in Chief to speak at their commencement after year-long campaign involving postcards and personal videos from the student body paid off to mark the 50th anniversary of the campus. In 1964, then-President Lyndon B. Johnson attended the campus' dedication ceremony.

Prior to departing, the President was led by two students in the school's trademark "zot! zot! zot!" chant.