On Sunday, a senator stood in heavy snowfall to formally announce her bid for the presidency. Shortly thereafter, President Donald Trump mocked Amy Klobuchar's 2020 announcement for mentioning climate change, falsely suggesting that the cold weather did her point a disservice.
"Well, it happened again," Trump wrote. "Amy Klobuchar announced that she is running for President, talking proudly of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Bad timing. By the end of her speech she looked like a Snowman(woman)!"
The president has made several references recently to cold weather, positioning the low temperatures as arguments against whether or not climate change is actually happening. The scientific community overwhelmingly says that it is.
Speaking at a rally on Sunday, Klobuchar said that she intended to support policies aimed at combating climate change, if she were elected to the White House. She said that she believes most voters would support such an agenda, and also nodded to how it would impact her foreign policy.
"The people are on our side when it comes to climate change. Why? Because like you and I, they believe in science," Klobuchar said, according to Axios. "That's why in the first 100 days of my administration, I will reinstate the Clean Power rules and gas mileage standards and put forth sweeping legislation to invest in green jobs and infrastructure. And on day one, we will rejoin the international climate agreement."
Klobuchar quickly responded to Trump's tweet. In her rebuke, she reiterated the points made in her speech and alluded to potential presidential debates.
"Science is on my side, @realDonaldTrump," Klobuchar wrote. "Looking forward to debating you about climate change (and many other issues). And I wonder how your hair would fare in a blizzard?"
But Trump has publicly questioned climate change science in public before, and as recently as the end of January. Then, he pointed to the "Polar Vortex," suggesting that it was too cold for the world to be heating up at an unsustainable rate.
"In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded," Trump wrote. "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? [sic] Please come back fast, we need you!"
A common hangup among those who question climate science is the fact that it is still very cold in some parts of the world, and especially during winter. But there is a distinct difference between climate and weather, and just because it is snowing in parts of the Midwest does not mean that the globe isn't heating up, as NASA and other scientific groups repeatedly reported.
For reference, just last week, NASA shared that 2018 was the Earth's fourth-warmest year, ever. “We’re no longer talking about a situation where global warming is something in the future,” Gavin Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told The New York Times in regard to that report “It’s here. It’s now.”
Climate change has received increased attention in recent years as scientific studies have indicated that the situation is much more dire than previously believed. And if Trump's response to Klobuchar is an indicator, it will likely be an issue on the campaign trail, as well.