"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 Warming? Please come back fast, we need you!"
This was the Tweet that the "President" sent out to greet the Polar Vortex, a weather system cold enough that no mail will be delivered in parts of seven states as a result. Neither rain nor sleet nor vicious dogs, but this one will keep mail carriers indoors until the big freeze passes. Meteorologists are referring to this as a "deadly cold front" because of the extreme temperatures associated with it. The "President" is correct in his assertion that temperatures will be low. This past week Chicago was colder than parts of Antarctica.
Rather than the glib sniff at the "hoax" of global warming, it might have been nice for the "President" to acknowledge the dangers associated with such weather. Frostbite, ice and snow, and dangers to those who find themselves outside during this winter storm. People die as a result of weather like this. Not billionaires living in government housing, with access to golf resorts in Florida, but poor and homeless folks who don't have access to heat. For days at a time.
What the current resident of the White House has ignored is the difference between "warming" and "climate change." The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tweeted this: "Winter storms don't prove that global warming isn't happening." The problem is a simple one to explain: The difference between weather and climate. A week of frigid temperatures in the Midwest will not keep the ice shelves from disappearing. Weather is an event. Climate is a condition. Extreme weather events over the past decades have been linked to climate change.
But that's science, and that implies facts, and that's not where the "President" is currently holing up. He won't be experiencing below zero temperatures. He won't be exposed to those conditions. He will be someplace warm, and devoid of facts.