President Obama made an explicit link between extreme weather and climate change during his speech Tuesday night, the way he did in his second inaugural address and during his victory acceptance speech. Obama intends to use the bully pulpit to emphasize the threat global warming poses, aides and supporters say, in order to build public support for future efforts to cut greenhouse gases.

“We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence,” he said. “Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.”