(IRVINE, Calif.) -- During his commencement speech at the University of California-Irvine on Saturday to push for action on climate change.
"When President Kennedy set us on a course for the moon," Obama said, "there were a number of people who made a serious case that it wouldn't be worth it." And yet, Obama pointed out, "but nobody ignored science. I don't remember anyone saying the moon wasn't there, or that it was made of cheese."
Speaking about politicians who avoid the tough questions on the topic of climate change, Obama said their avoidance really means that they accept the reality of man-made climate change, but that politics prevent them from acknowledging it.
Obama announced a $1 billion disaster-recovery fund that communities can compete for. The money is already accounted for by law, but the competition represents a new twist.
The president also called the graduation class, and the current generation of young people "super underrated."
"Progress won't always be flashy," Obama said. "It'll be measured in disasters averted and lives saved and a planet preserved."
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