Former President Obama has largely stayed away from the political stage in 2017. But on Tuesday, Obama broke his silence on an important global issue: climate change.
Speaking to a room full of mayors at a climate summit in Chicago, Obama warned the climate is "changing faster than our efforts to address it." He referenced recent flooding in coastal cities, longer and harsher wildfire seasons and a "conveyor belt" of some of the strongest hurricanes on record.
And all of this, he says, is happening while global carbon emissions and temperatures are on the rise.
"Sheltering future generations from the ravages of climate change should be something of an obsession for us," he said.
"And Americans should make it a prerequisite for the vote of anybody in elected office that they are paying attention to it."
But thanks to the splintering of our media, he says, it is possible to only occupy a world in which the facts that come in conform to your pre-existing conceptions.
"There are certain facts that are not subject to opinion or debate," he argued.
The reality of climate change is one of those indisputable facts. Which is exactly why the Obama administration made the decision to sign the Paris climate agreement in the first place.
"Now, obviously we are in an unusual time where the U.S. is now the only nation on Earth that does not belong to the Paris agreement, and that's a difficult position to defend," he said.
"And that's why America's pledge on climate is so important. It's about more than living up to our responsibilities on the world stage, it's about keeping our word on a world stage. Cities, states, businesses, universities and non profits have emerged as the new face of American leadership on climate change."
Watch the full speech below: