Donald Trump says US needs 'good old global warming' to cope with snow burying east coast

President has long cast doubt on climate change

Jeremy B. White
San Francisco
Friday 29 December 2017 01:04
Comments
Severe weather swamps Pennsylvania city of Erie in 165cms of snow

Donald Trump said America would benefit from “a little bit of that good old global warming” as much of the US has been inundated with snow and subjected to frigid weather.

“In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record,” the President said in a tweet.

“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.”

Mr Trump has long evinced a deep scepticism of the near-universal consensus that human activity is altering the climate, saying at one point that the notion was a “hoax” invented by China.

Experts generally prefer the term “climate change” to “global warming” because the effects of humans emitting heat-trapping greenhouse gases are more likely to manifest as extreme weather events rather than temperature increases alone. Mr Trump has rejected that distinction as a distraction by the “dollar sucking wiseguys”.

Trump praises withdrawl from 'expensive and unfair' Paris climate agreement

Scientists who study the effects of climate change warn against conflating weather and climate. The former refers to short-term atmospheric conditions and discrete events like rain and blizzards, while climate refers to long-term weather patterns in a given area.

Data show global average temperatures steadily rising since the end of the 19th century. In California, scientists say climbing average temperatures and drier weather are likely exacerbating wildfires of the type that have scorched hundreds of thousands of acres across the state in recent months.

While scientists typically avoid attributing individual weather events to climate change, some have noted that warmer water and rising sea levels augment the likelihood of powerful hurricanes after a series of formidable storms — Harvey, Irma and Maria — battered Puerto Rico and the mainland US this year.

On the same day Mr Trump advocated more “global warming”, the National Weather Service's Los Angeles branch noted two localities exceeding previous record temperatures for this part of the year. Southern California in general has been experiencing “dry, unseasonably warm weather”, the service noted.

In the latter part of his statement, Mr Trump seemed to be alluding to the Paris climate accord, a pact that he pulled the US from in a move the President said would prioritise American economic interests.

A study commissioned by the US Chamber of Commerce and the pro-business American Council on Policy Formation estimated that moving the American economy away from carbon usage, should America have complied with the Paris pact, could could cost the US economy about 6 per cent of its GDP and some $3 trillion (£2.23 trillion) annually in future decades.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in