Obama: Climate change could lead to rise in extremism

President Obama on Friday defended his view that climate change could lead to a rise in violent extremism around the world. 

In an interview with CBS This Morning, Obama said that as global warming kicks in and leads to severe flooding or other “major shifts in weather patterns,” people in vulnerable parts of the world could begin growing desperate and turn to "dangerous" ideologies. 

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“As human beings are placed under strain, then bad things happen,” he said. “And, you know, if you look at world history, whenever people are desperate, when people start lacking food, when people are not able to make a living or take care of their families, that's when ideologies arise that are dangerous.”

Republicans have criticized some Democrats for suggesting climate change can contribute to terrorism, though it’s a position that the Obama administration has long held. 

During his State of the Union address this year, Obama said that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” And Secretary of State John Kerry echoed Obama’s CBS interview when he told an audience last month that climate change could lead to growing extremism around the world. 

This week, while visiting the climate conference in Paris, Obama said fights against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror group and climate change are similar in that they’ll require a lengthy effort by the U.S. to address them.

Republicans largely disagree. GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump said this week that Obama’s climate change warnings are “one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard in politics.”

But Obama hit back at Trump on CBS on Friday. 

“The only people who are still disputing [climate change] are either some Republicans in Congress or folks on the campaign trail,” he said. 

“You can't build a border wall when it comes to carbon emissions or global temperatures or the oceans,” he added