Republican Former Representative Still Thinks Cold Weather Disproves Climate Change

Steve King, ousted from Congress after openly defending white supremacy, is still tweeting right-wing talking points. Now, as the nation is hit with a blast of wintry weather, he’s back on an old one: the notion that cold weather — in fact, unseasonably cold weather, in states that aren’t used to it — somehow disproves climate change.

[Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images]

Of course, former Representative Steve King (R-IA) doesn’t say ‘climate change,’ which would perhaps sound very fitting to folks who are definitely seeing the effects of it. He calls it ‘global warming’ and suggests it’s another name for Spring, or for normal weather and temperature fluctuations.

The implication, of course, is that climate change — which, like ‘global warming’ is really used as a shorthand term for, specifically, the significant change over time in the Earth’s temperature in weather patterns — isn’t a serious concern, caused by human activity, that could have serious implications for the survival of humans and other species on the planet.

He further mocks this by making a reference to ‘ice age deniers,’ although he’s not really clear on exactly what he thinks that means.

As for the idea that cold weather disproves climate change, this particular falsehood has been spread for decades. Scientific American explains here why it’s a misunderstanding — essentially, the climate is warming overall, but this doesn’t mean there won’t be cold weather, and in fact, the change in climate results in more extreme weather events overall — including the ones associated with wintry weather.

“The NOAA defines climate as the average of weather over at least a 30-year period. So periodic aberrations—like the harsh winter storms ravaging the Southeast and other parts of the country this winter—do not call the science of human-induced global warming into question.”

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