Last night, more than 100 million people tuned in to watch Donald Trump debate Hillary Clinton in the first of three presidential verbal tournaments. By debate, of course, we mean that a confused, ill-prepared, xenophobic, wonky-minded lunatic continually interrupted a patient, intellectual, calm, focused woman.
Most commentators across the political spectrum decided that Clinton clearly won the debate. Science and basic logic, however, clearly lost out as The Donald tried to once again erase his own past. At one point, Clinton said that “Donald says climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese.”
“I did not, I do not say that,” he fired back.
Yes, Donald, you did, as this now-infamous tweet reveals.
This is as fantastically daft an idea as letting a badger fly a helicopter. Fortunately, as many people across the Web have already noted, this is far from the first time that this blustering maniac has denied climate change is happening.
It’s safe to say that he’s pretty damn angry with climatologists. Just look at all those capital letters!
Not that this really needs to be spelled out yet again, but climate change is definitely happening, and it’s certainly being driven by human activities. The evidence is clear, the consensus is indisputable, and more responsible lawmakers are beginning to take action against it.
Trump himself secretly knows it’s a real phenomenon. One of his golf courses in Ireland has a wall built around it in order to shield it from sea level rise caused by – you guessed it – climate change.
Nature is actually trying to do its best to compensate for all the carbon dioxide we’re spewing out into the world, with the ocean absorbing almost 90 percent of the extra heat we’ve produced. Without it, the planet would be warming 360 times faster than what would naturally be expected at this point in Earth’s history.
Thankfully, we’re just managing to screw up the climate at a measly 10 times the natural rate. This will only wreck the global economy, kill off agriculture, and start a whole bunch of wars, so no biggie.
Trump can keep on claiming that global warming isn’t a thing for the benefit of his base, but that doesn’t make it a fact. After all, if a deranged troglodyte tells you that, say, energy-saving light bulbs can give you cancer, that doesn’t make it so – it makes it nonsense.
Depressingly, it’s not just climate change the Republican nominee is denying. Trump has an unprecedentedly poor grasp of basic scientific facts and policy, from vaccinations and sleep to energy policies. You can peruse through his embarrassing array of scientific misunderstandings in one of our previous features, or on this detailed Q&A session over at Scientific American.
However, it’s clear he simply doesn’t care. Trump and his supporters are continually conflating “feelings” with facts. As one notable Trump surrogate pointed out, he trusts people’s feelings over data anytime.
This is why pointing out Trump’s blatant lies – in this case, his scientific falsehoods – in this way is so important. The US cannot afford to be led into a post-factual age where objective information becomes irrelevant. The stakes are simply too high this time around.
A more informed electorate is more likely to make a more sensible choice when it comes to the ballot box. Descartes’ famous proposition was “I think, therefore I am” – and critical thinking could stop a terribly dangerous, unscientific man from occupying the Oval Office.
Be careful what you wish for. Vacclav/Shutterstock