At the international climate change summit in Glasgow, former President Barack Obama had a message for young people during his speech.
Obama urged them to “vote like your life depends on it, because it does.”
Obama also took time to slam his successor, President Donald Trump.
He accused Trump of ushering in “four years of active hostility” toward climate science in the United States.
He told young people to “stay angry” about climate inaction and to channel that anger toward pressuring lawmakers and governments to enact change.
“We can’t afford anybody on the sidelines,” Obama said.
“I recognize we’re living in a moment. When international cooperation has waned. A moment of greater geopolitical tension and stress.”
“In part because of the pandemic, in part because of the rise of nationalism and tribal impulses around the world. And yes, in part because of a lack of leadership on America’s part for four years on a host of multilateral issues.
“Joe Biden wants to do even more,” he continued.
“He’s constrained by the absence of a robust majority that’s needed to make that happen. Both of us have been constrained in large part by the fact that one of our two major parties has decided not only to sit on the sidelines, but express active hostility toward climate science and make climate change a partisan issue.”
“I welcome any faction within the Republican Party in the United States that takes climate change seriously.”
“To change the minds of those fellow citizens in our respective countries, we have to do a little more listening,” he said.
“We can’t just yell at them or say they’re ignorant. We can’t just tweet at them. It’s not enough to inconvenience them through blocking traffic in a protest. We actually have to listen to their objections and understand the reluctance of some ordinary people.”