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Obama: I Will Take Executive Action If Congress Won’t Act On Climate Change

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Vice President Joe Biden applauds as President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 12, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Charles Dharapak-Pool/Getty Images)

Vice President Joe Biden applauds as President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 12, 2013 in Washington, D.C. (credit: Charles Dharapak-Pool/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — President Barack Obama says in his State of the Union address that he will be tackling climate change during his second term.

“We must do more to combat climate change,” Obama said.

Obama told the joint session of Congress that “no single event makes a trend” but heat waves, droughts and floods are now more frequent and intense.

Obama said these types of weather phenomena are not a freak coincidence and that it’s time to act on the overwhelming science that is out there about the dangers of climate change.

“If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will,” Obama said, adding that he will direct his Cabinet to take executive actions to help reduce pollution and deal with climate change.

Obama has been criticized for not tackling the problem head-on during his first term, especially from former Vice President Al Gore.

Gore said last month that Obama needs to move beyond lip service to deal with the problem.

“Our democracy has been hacked,” Gore said. “And when the large part of polluters and their ideological allies tell the members of Congress to jump, they do say, ‘how high?’ And we need leadership in the executive branch as well.”

Gore even slammed Obama in an essay he wrote for Rolling Stone last year about inactions from the White House regarding climate change.

“President Obama has never presented to the American people the magnitude of the climate crisis. He has not defended the science against the ongoing withering and dishonest attacks,” Gore wrote. “Nor has he provided a presidential venue for the scientific community…to bring the reality of the science before the public.”

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