President Donald Trump has frequently cast doubt on the seriousness and validity of climate change over the last decade, but most often brings up global warming when it gets cold outside.
As the Midwest is slammed with a record-breaking cold snap, President Trump jokingly pleaded for global warming to “come back fast, we need you!” while warning Midwesterners of the freezing temperatures.
“In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded,” he tweeted late Monday night. “In coming days, expected to get even colder. People can’t last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Warming? Please come back fast, we need you!”
As most people who follow the president on Twitter know, this is hardly the first time the president has mocked global warming when the country is hit with bad blizzards, unnaturally cold weather or bitter cold snaps. He often jumps on Twitter to express how badly we could “use some global warming” when the temperatures drop, despite his posts ironically proving the same science that he mocks to be correct.
The premise that cold weather means global warming doesn’t exist is flawed right from the start, as proven many times over by scientists. Scientists generally prefer the term “climate change” to “global warming” because the effects of humans emitting heat-trapping greenhouse gases are more likely to manifest as extreme weather events rather than temperature increases alone.
Trump’s confusion on the difference between weather and climate is also prevalent through his many tweets over the years. As explained by NASA and the Fourth National Climate Assessment, “The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time,” it says. “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.”
NASA literally has a web page dedicated to making clear the distinction between weather and climate.
Climate change is “extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia,” according to NASA.
“The global climate continues to change rapidly compared to the pace of the natural variations in climate that have occurred throughout Earth’s history,” the Fourth National Climate Assessment explains, which was released after Thanksgiving of 2018.
“Trends in globally averaged temperature, sea level rise, upper-ocean heat content, land-based ice melt, arctic sea ice, depth of seasonal permafrost thaw, and other climate variables provide consistent evidence of a warming planet.”
So, while climate and weather are two different concepts, the changing climate has a significant impact on the weather. According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, climate change is impacting “the frequency, duration, and/or magnitude of extreme weather events,” despite the president’s consistent belief that global warming/climate change means only that the planet is warming, and that subsequent weather patterns should reflect that.
Monday’s tweet was not the first instance where the president mocked global warming. Amid freezing temperatures last year, Trump tweeted: “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?”
He posted a few more similar tweets following his November 21 post above, with similar messages: “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!”
Another tweet, posted shortly before his most recent tweet about the Midwest, reads: “Be careful and try staying in your house. Large parts of the Country are suffering from tremendous amounts of snow and near record setting cold. Amazing how big this system is. Wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!
Many of his tweets date back to years before the president declared his run for the White House. He has often exclaimed that climate change was a hoax created by the Chinese government, although he has also frequently denied that he ever said such a thing. Check out a roundup of some of Trump’s other climate change tweets below, dating mostly between 2011 and 2015:
Mr. Trump followed up the above tweet with several more in spring of 2013, frequently stating the same thing – “It’s freezing and/or snowing in New York – where the hell is global warming?” We chose to skip over those tweets to avoid too much redundancy for readers. He also consistently attacked former President Obama for his climate change speeches that same year, and often reminded his followers that the scientists “changed” the name global warming to climate change because, according to Mr. Trump, the weather was too cold to be considered global warming.
The same applies for the below tweets – we have deliberately weened out the repetitive tweets.
The president has also gone back and forth several times between supporting certain legislation that helps combat climate change, to calling climate change an “expensive Chinese hoax” that doesn’t exist. When he isn’t using cold weather as a reason why he believes global warming doesn’t exist, he also uses natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires to continue his claims.
He occasionally retweets posts about climate change actually existing, but also claims that it is not caused by humans. He also continues to claim that the phrase “global warming” doesn’t work anymore because scientists don’t want to admit that the planet isn’t actually warming, despite reliable organizations such as NASA providing plenty of charts and proof that the globe is, in fact, warming.
You can read a fuller(er) list of his tweets here, thanks to Vox, who also did a roundup of all of the president’s global warming tweets between 2011 and 2015, which consisted of over 115 tweets over the span of four years.