Trump’s silence on Tuesday’s heat wave speaks volumes about how he views the climate

He’s tweeted over 30 times that cold temperatures in the winter disprove global warming.

NOAA’s High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model for Tuesday, February 7 at 3 pm EST. Via Washington Post.
NOAA’s High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model for Tuesday, February 7 at 3 pm EST. Via Washington Post.

Tuesday saw blowout temperature records from Jacksonville, Florida to Washington, D.C. to Houston, Texas. The 73°F in D.C. demolished the previous record of 64° (set in 2008) by 9°F.

It hit 73°F again at noon Wednesday, busting the previous record (set in 1900, tied in 2015) by 5°.

Tweeter-in-chief Donald Trump was strangely silent about the burst of spring amid this winter of discontent. I say “strangely” because over the last five years, Trump has used cold weather to dispute global warming over 30 times.

Of course, cold U.S. temperatures in the winter are no evidence against global climate change, as we’ve reported repeatedly — just as one isolated record heat wave doesn’t provide significant evidence for climate change.

But that’s the point. The scientific evidence for long-term human-caused global warming is overwhelming and unimpeachable.


“Based on well-established evidence, about 97 percent of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening,” the world’s largest general scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, reported in 2014.

And just as “physicians, cardiovascular scientists, public health experts, and others all agree smoking causes cancer,” the AAAS pointed out that “a similar consensus now exists among climate scientists, a consensus that maintains climate change is happening, and human activity is the cause.”

That’s why every major government in the world not only agrees with this overwhelming scientific understanding — they unanimously agreed in December 2015 to not burn most of the world’s fossil fuels and instead keep ratcheting down carbon pollution to avoid multiple catastrophic impacts.

Our new president, however, who prefers finger-in-the-wind tweets to rock-solid science, has vowed to kill the Paris climate deal and reverse U.S. climate action. And he has surrounded himself with climate science deniers. The media is paralyzed.

But imagine if Trump had pledged to block U.S. and global efforts to reduce smoking, surrounded himself with people who denied the risks of smoking, and kept tweeting about the people who smoked and didn’t get cancer.

The fact is cigarettes harm people. So does carbon pollution. To assert otherwise is to champion disease and disaster.

This post has been updated with Wednesday’s record-breaking temps.