President Donald Trump has had a lot to say about global warming and climate change, almost all of it completely contrary to scientific evidence. But that’s little surprise, coming from a man who thinks something like “clean coal” can exist and that he has the “best words.”
In the latest display of his best words, Trump tweeted Thursday alluding to how the cold wave on the East Coast was proof that global warming was not real.
There’s the old saying about taking horses to the water. So even if Trump were to read something that clarified lucidly all the things he got wrong in that tweet, he would probably still be blind to them. Or maybe he actually knows the difference, but he intentionally mixes up issues in an attempt to discredit science.
For instance, there is his use of the term “global warming.” Earth is becoming warmer overall, but given the complexity involved in climate and weather patterns, that warming doesn’t mean it is getting hotter everywhere all the time. Instead, it is causing severe and rapid climate change, the likes the world has not seen before, except in times of catastrophe, such as asteroid strikes or volcanic eruptions at a global scale.
But Trump has, in the past, made it sound like scientists have tried to paint a dire picture of the state of things by making up terms like global warming and climate change, when what we are apparently looking at is simply weather.
While on the presidential campaign trail, Trump (in)famously called the entire concept of climate change a “hoax” that has been perpetrated by China, so it can overtake the United States at manufacturing, a claim that the Asian powerhouse categorically denied, reminding Trump that it was the Republicans in the 1980s who actually led the negotiations around man-made climate change internationally. Soon after being sworn in, the president also asked the Environmental Protection Agency to remove a section from its website that talked about global warming and climate change. In June 2017, Trump decided to pull the country out from the single-most ambitious global climate accord to date, citing, like he did Thursday, the money being spent by the U.S. on fighting climate change.
As usual, his loyal support base, which sometimes seems to swallow up anything and everything he puts out for them, greeted his latest tweet on the subject with its usual enthusiasm. But there were also those who tried to show Trump the folly of his reasoning.
One of the biggest problems with Trump referring to the weather in one specific place or region at a specific time as his reason for denying climate change is that, that reason is anecdotal and isn’t an actual reflection of larger patterns that require more than just the individual experience of one person to formulate.
There were some others, including Greenpeace USA and British politician Ed Miliband, who were more vocal about their feelings toward Trump’s latest climate tweet.
While not quite a direct response, the United Nations also posted a tweet, calling climate change “undeniable” and “real” just an hour after the president’s tweet.
Just in 2017, there have been devastating wildfires and hurricanes and floods, as well as the hottest months and lowest polar ice covers on record. In the U.S. alone, about $400 billion worth of climate-related damage was caused during the year, and there are still three days to go.