Some of President Donald Trump’s most shameless supporters are standing alongside climate change deniers to claim that because it is currently brutally cold in many parts of the country, that the consensus warnings about the impacts of climate change are invalid.
Prompted by media chatter about “Green New Deal” legislation set to be introduced by Democratic Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Right Wing Watch has observed a general uptick in climate change denial chatter within conservative circles online.
That uptick reared its head in a highly visible way after President Donald Trump cited Winter Storm Jayden, a polar vortex currently bringing extreme cold to large swaths of the country, to mock global concerns about rapid climate change. Trump has previously insisted that climate change is a Chinese hoax. President Trump tweeted on January 28:
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
Soon after, pro-Trump hucksters and well-known climate change deniers took to the web to stand alongside the president, despite the fact that weather and climate are two different things and efforts to equate the two is erroneous. As NOAA wrote in 2015, “Not only are severe snowstorms possible in a warming climate, they may even be more likely.”
Greenpeace USA researcher Connor Gibson told Right Wing Watch via phone that professional climate deniers have seized on individual weather events to promote their anti-science agenda for decades.
“This certainly isn’t the first time this has happened, and it’s not even the first time they’ve done this with a polar vortex. The climate deniers are opportunists,” Gibson said. “They will try to pretend that a single event can topple decades of work by scientists.”
YourVoice America host Bill Mitchell tweeted that “Climate Change has turned into #SnowjobEarth.” He went on to say that the cold snap being experienced in the United States was clear evidence that the Earth’s climate “is determined primarily by solar cycles and sun spots” and that “no one knows what the climate will be other than trends over 1000’s of years.”
Jim Hoft, who owns The Gateway Pundit, asked his followers if they were glad they weren’t heating their homes with solar panels during the cold snap, apparently under the belief that the sun doesn’t work when it is cold out. He was promptly given what the Twitter community dubbs “the ratio.”
Steve Milloy, the co-leader of a group called—wait for it—Burn More Coal and a member of the Trump Environmental Protection Agency transition team, wrote that there “is no climate crisis.”
Tim Huelskamp, president of The Heartland Institute, a leading supporter of climate change denial, wrote that because the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted a winter that would be “warmer-than-normal” but it is currently cold outside, then nobody should trust the agency about climate change.