Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg during a commencement speech at Rice University this weekend took a thinly-veiled swipe at “deceitful politicians” in Washington — and leaving little to the imagination about exactly who he was referring to.
In the wide-ranging speech on Saturday, the billionaire businessman lamented that “dishonesty in politics” is at unseen levels in American history. Bloomberg also touched on topics such as gun control and the economy.
But his harshest words were reserved for climate change deniers. Citing the almost unanimous consensus among scientists that human activity is contributing to Earth’s warming, Bloomberg says that citizens shouldn’t settle for politicians who reject science.
Global warming, he said “is not a Chinese hoax. It’s called science — and we should demand that politicians have the honesty to respect it.”
While scientists are in agreement the impact humans have had on climate change, many politicians stubbornly refuse to accept their findings. Bloomberg did not name any specific politician, but it was more than obvious to whom he was referring.
President Trump’s denial of human-caused warming is well known, and his actions as president have only cemented his position as denier-in-chief. From pulling the U.S. from the historic Paris climate deal to ripping up environmental regulations, U.S. policy on global warming has broken with scientific consensus.
As politicians have continued attempts to cast public doubt on climate science, the evidence that Earth is warming has continued to mount. The planet continues to break heat records, with the five hottest years all occurring since 2010. And scientists have warned that without steps to reduce carbon pollution from humans, this warming will continue.
The side-effects of this warming are already affecting many Americans. As global warming contributes to the melting of polar ice caps, the subsequent sea level rise threatens to pop the trillion dollar coastal property bubble in Miami, FL. And increasing dust storms in the U.S. Southwest have led to devastating health effects on residents.
Bloomberg warned the audience that the greatest threat to the U.S. is “our own willingness to tolerate dishonesty.” In the case of climate change, he couldn’t have chosen a better subject to illustrate just how real that threat is.