The story of the federal government’s relationship with science brings to mind the fiery opening scene of Apocalypse Now, complete with the ominous soundtrack.
When Christmas turned up, much to everyone’s palpable relief, everyone assumed the Alternative Fact-touting President of the United States would give everyone a break and leave science alone for a while.
Not so: on December 29, during a particularly chilly day in parts of the Land of the Free, Trump let loose on Twitter.
Across the world, scientists facepalmed themselves so hard they almost gave themselves concussions.
It’s difficult to know where to focus with this final flurry of weapons-grade nonsense, so for now, we’ll leave out the fallacious reference to the “cost” of the Paris agreement and we’ll focus this time on the science alone.
Yes, it’s pretty cold in America right now. This is not unusual, because of something called winter that turns up around this time of year and makes things noticeably and predictably chilly. Fair enough, though, the mercury has plunged in parts to ludicrous lows – and, as reported by one outlet, a pet dog in Ohio was found frozen solid.
A piece over at Mashable eloquently explains that the jet stream across the Arctic has changed shape in recent days. This is causing extremely cold air to make its way across much of Canada and the US, which explains why parts of both are experiencing record-breaking chills right now.
This new configuration of the jet stream is likely to last for several more days, which means that below-freezing temperatures are to be expected through into the New Year.
Here’s the thing, though: this is a weather phenomenon. It isn’t representative of the climate.