Weather, as described by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, is the “day-to-day state of the atmosphere, and its short-term variation in minutes to weeks.” Climate is the “weather of a place averaged over a period of time,” often over “years, decades, and centuries.”
When it comes to evidence of climate change and the associated upsurge in anomalously hot days versus cold days, then, we’re really spoilt for choice.
Lest we forget, the Trump administration was forced to release a comprehensive federal report a few months back that not only concluded that the world was warming dangerously, but that humanity is responsible for almost all observed global warming. Winters in the US, by the way, are unequivocally warming over time.
If you still think that this Christmas chill is evidence that climate change is bunk, well we have some news for you: several studies suggest that our actions are altering the shape of the polar jet stream, inadvertently giving the UK and the US freakishly cold winters.
In summary, then, one major cold snap for a week or so does not mean that climate change is a myth akin to a unicorn. Climate change is really focused on the overall trend, and the rate of change, over time – not single events.
If your house is on fire, but you happen to be in a small room upstairs that has a bit of a cold draft coming in and has yet to be consumed by the flames, you cannot say that there is no evidence that the house is on fire.
Incidentally, as pointed out by Axios, this is one of the very few comments Trump has made while in office directly mocking the science of climate change. Normally, he leaves that to his acolytes in the federal government.
Is he now taking on the role of science denier-in-chief with aplomb? We hope not. We're so, so very tired.