Though never saying Trump's name, he clearly targeted the American president within the opening moments of his remarks. "Around the world, elements of leadership — including in my own country — to preserve their state and the status quo, deny or denigrate science," Ford said. "They are on the wrong side of history."
There was no immediate reaction overnight from the White House. Trump repeatedly has criticized the idea of climate change, despite it being supported by the vast majority of peer-reviewed studies, science organizations and scientists. Just Monday, Trump tweeted that Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, announced her presidential run "talking proudly of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures."
"Bad timing," the president wrote. Trump often conflates cold spells and other incidents of weather with climate, which is long-term. Ford has long supported conservation efforts. Before coming out on stage, his Emirati hosts played a video of him narrating a piece for Conservation International on the importance of protecting the ocean called "Nature is Speaking."
"One way or another, every living thing here needs me," Ford growls in the video. "I'm the source. I'm what they crawled out of." In his address, Ford called on governments and officials to rely on "sound science" to shape their policy.
"We are faced (with), what I believe, is the greatest moral crisis of our time," Ford said. "That those least responsible for nature's destruction will suffer the greatest consequences." He added: "We need nature now more than ever because nature doesn't need people, people need nature."
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