President Donald Trump may brag about being really smart and boast about being a “nice” student at the Wharton School of business at the University of Pennsylvania (a claim the school records do not support at all), but as it turns out, he does not know the basic difference between climate and weather — and that’s embarrassing.
The commander-in-chief, who once called climate change a Chinese hoax, recently took to Twitter to comment on the recent stretch of cold in the Midwest and Northeast U.S. with a flat-out ignorant and incorrect tweet.
In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017
To put it simply, Trump just asked how “global warming” could be real when it is so cold outside.
For starters, someone really needs to inform the commander-in-chief, who has made similar arguments in the past, that weather and climate are two different things.
Here is how NASA differentiates between the two:
“The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere 'behaves' over relatively long periods of time.”
When Trump talks about the recent cold spell, he is referring to the weather. Climate, on the other hand, can be defined as a long-term pattern spanned over a period of year, decades and even centuries. Just because it is extremely cold somewhere at this point in time, definitely does not mean the planet is not getting warmer — because it is.
In fact, an analysis by NASA and the Japanese Meteorological Agency claimed 2017 was the second warmest year in 137 years. It is troubling news, but Trump and his administration don’t care about the climate change until it affects them directly, of course.
While the president’s tweet was ridiculous, it did not come as much of a surprise given his outright opposition to the Paris Climate Agreement, from which he withdrew the United States earlier this year. Not to mention, he is climate change-denier who thinks “clean coal” is a real thing, has allowed coal companies to dump their waste into the U.S. waterways and proposed to ax an Obama-era carbon emission regulatory rule from power plants.
The commander-in-chief also proposed steep budget cuts for several federal organizations that monitor or respond to extreme weather events, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Weather Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters, Jonathan Ernst