One day, sooner than any of us is prepared for, the Earth will become completely uninhabitable and everything on it, including adorable baby kittens, will sink into the sea forever. Climate change is an extinction-level threat that some Democratic politicians are finally treating like an emergency. The imminent danger is so plain to see that even a child can grasp it.
And since Donald Trump refuses to do so, Jimmy Kimmel had some children explain it to him.
One thing that no scientist or Leonardo DiCaprio-type activist has ever said is that “climate change means that cold weather doesn’t exist.” Yet that hasn’t stopped smirking climate change deniers from touting the January polar vortex as some kind of definitive global warming debate checkmate. Amazingly, the president of the United States is among those who regularly mischaracterizes global warming this way. When he did so (for the umpteenth time) in a pair of recent tweets, Jimmy Kimmel sprung into action.
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
The below video, which aired on Kimmel’s Tuesday night episode, features little kids explaining the concept of climate change to him in a way that he couldn’t possibly misinterpret.
Trump has a long history of climate change denialism. He claimed it was a hoax invented by the Chinese in one of the 115 times he tweeted about the issue as of 2017. Most of the tweets are either trolling us about the fact that it is cold during the winter, taking shots at Obama for taking the threat seriously, or suggesting that because the phrase “global warming” gave way to “climate change,” the whole concept is suspect. Below is just a smattering of these tweets.
The entire country is FREEZING – we desperately need a heavy dose of global warming, and fast! Ice caps size reaches all time high.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 17, 2014
NBC News just called it the great freeze – coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2014
We should be focusing on beautiful, clean air & not on wasteful & very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit! China & others are hurting our air
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2013
They only changed the term to CLIMATE CHANGE when the words GLOBAL WARMING didn't work anymore. Come on people, get smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2014
These tweets are from 2013 and 2014, when they were relatively innocuous, because they came from some game-show clown famous for his blood vendetta against the then editor of Vanity Fair. Since Trump became president, he has been able to turn his climate-change denialism into actual policy. He pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord in 2017 and reinforced that decision by being the lone holdout among world leaders at last December’s G20 summit in not signing a statement on climate change. Last fall, he also buried a report from his own government on the devastating effects of climate change, because “I don’t believe it.”
Why doesn’t the president believe in climate change? In 2016, when Bernie Sanders slammed the then candidate on the issue during a Democratic debate, here is what Trump told the folks at Fox & Friends:
Well, I think the climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change. I’d be . . . received environmental awards. And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China. Obviously, I joke. But this is done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change. They burn everything you could burn; they couldn’t care less. They have very . . . you know, their standards are nothing. But they . . . in the meantime, they can undercut us on price. So it’s very hard on our business.
There you have it. If climate change is real, it’s very hard on our business.
Trump only views any issue through the lens of how it affects him personally–and especially the way it affects his net worth. The future of the planet may hang in the balance, but like Rudy Giuliani musing about his own posthumous reputation recently, Trump doesn’t care what happens after he dies, because he’ll be dead. When Trump closes his eyes, the whole world goes away. Essentially, unlike the kids explaining climate change to him on Kimmel, he has a hard time grasping the concept of object permanence–which is truly unfortunate when the object in question is the Earth.