As Michigan braces for a blast of bitter cold arctic air to hit the Midwest this week, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to make a joke of the dangerous weather event and also take the opportunity to push one of his favorite conspiracy theories — that global warming is a hoax.
“In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded," Trump tweeted. "In coming days, expected to get even colder. People can’t last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Waming (sic)? Please come back fast, we need you!”
In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded. In coming days, expected to get even colder. People can’t last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Waming? Please come back fast, we need you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2019
To be clear, the forecast between now and Thursday is expected to be some of the worst winter weather we've had in years. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued a state of emergency, warning of projected wind chills of as low as 50 degrees below zero. It is no stretch to say that many people in the Midwest are in great danger.
It's dumb that we're in a position where the leader of the free world doesn't appear to know the different between weather, which fluctuates, and climate, which is a broader trend over time, but here we are. Indeed, some scientists believe global warming could be responsible for unusual weather patterns like this week's chill. The American Meteorological Society recently published a paper suggesting that climate change can cause the polar vortex of air above the Arctic Circle to splinter off and reach lower latitudes, as we saw happen here in 2014, and some warn that the phenomenon could become more frequent.
According to NASA, global temperatures have risen 1.8 degrees since 1880. Last year was the fourth-hottest year on record.
In 2017, Trump moved to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate treaty, an agreement among United Nations members to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that humans only have about 12 years to stop a climate change catastrophe.
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