“It’s pretty rare that you’ll encounter somebody who says the problem you’re trying to solve simply doesn’t exist,” Obama said. “When President Kennedy set us on a course to the moon, there were a number of people who made a serious case that it wouldn’t be worth it. But nobody ignored the science. I don’t remember anybody saying the moon wasn’t there or that it was made of cheese.”

Obama also said efforts to deny the science were cloaks for electoral queasiness: “They say, ‘Hey, look, I’m not a scientist.’ And I’ll translate that for you: what that really means is, ‘I know that manmade 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.’”