This Donald Trump tweet from last night is still troubling to think about.
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
It’s not just that Trump doesn’t understand the difference between climate and weather. It’s not that he longs for a hotter planet, despite the existential crisis we already face. It’s not the lie that we were going to be on the hook for “trillions of dollars” in response to climate change.
It’s that arguably the most powerful person on the planet, with access to perhaps every climate expert in the world, who oversees entire agencies dedicated to the environment, still perpetuates the sort of anti-science lies that you’d find on right-wing websites and a Ken Ham “museum.”
Think about how much chutzpah, ignorance, and irresponsibility you’d have to possess to embrace a lie of this magnitude when you have the truth at your fingertips.
The New York Times at least tried to explain what’s going on in a way Trump would understand.
… to use an analogy Mr. Trump might appreciate, weather is how much money you have in your pocket today, whereas climate is your net worth. A billionaire who has forgotten his wallet one day is not poor, anymore than a poor person who lands a windfall of several hundred dollars is suddenly rich. What matters is what happens over the long term.
This isn’t just a Trump problem. The Republican Party has embraced a number of beliefs that contradict all available evidence. Their members reject evolution, deny the efficacy of vaccines, fight against comprehensive sex education, and hesitate to make the switch to clean energy. (A complete list would take far too long to compile.) What’s scary is that a number of those conspiracy theorists sit (or have sat) on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
So while it’s not surprising that Trump, the idiot that he is, promotes climate denial, remember that he’s not alone. He has the complete backing of an anti-science party that has nothing of significance to say against his rejection of reality.