I grew up in Los Angeles, so the notion of living in or around snow was romantic -- the thing of movies. Living in Washington, D.C. for the past several winters has proven to be an entirely different experience.
Don't get me wrong, the calm quiet brought to my neighborhood by several feet of fresh powder blanketing the streets and sidewalks can make for some amazing photos or an impromptu snowball fight or two. But Republicans and conservatives have spoiled the Rockwellian images that I'd always associated with snow in my youth.
Like clockwork, every time even a few inches of snow fall, out come the conservative anti-science crazies. To them, cold weather proves what they already believe: that there is no global climate change.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
There is a very real difference between weather (what we experience outside over a short period of time) and climate (the study of weather over a relatively long period of time). Got that? When right-wingers tell you that a winter cold front or blizzard (short period of time) disproves global climate change (long period of time) they are either lying or shockingly misinformed.
Leading the anti-science idiocy is a host of Republican leaders and media conservatives, all with a history of denying the climate change reality.
Perhaps no one is in deeper denial than Senator Jim "in the recorded history of our family, we've never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship" Inhofe.
The Oklahoma Republican attacked former Vice President Al Gore, climate scientists and climate science this spring on the Senate floor saying, "We've heard a lot about [Gore]. He was the one who was actually assembling a lot of the science or so-called science, or creating the science, I should say, to support the position of those who believe that anthropogenic [gases] cause global warming." Inhofe is not one to let the truth get in the way of a good smear. According to a 2008 report from MetOffice -- the UK's national weather service -- "the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 1997."
Even Senate Republicans who have acknowledged the existence of climate change can't be trusted to help address the problem. Sure, Arizona's John McCain and South Carolina's Lindsey Graham have talked the talk in years past, but they have been AWOL on the issue ever since Obama entered the oval office and the ability to actually address the subject sans-Bush became a reality.
These politicians aren't alone; Right-wing media outlets like Fox News have their backs.
Fox's Sean Hannity adds to his extensive history of science denial each holiday season. Last winter the conservative found it absolutely hilarious that Commerce Secretary Gary Locke had "tunneled his way through two feet of snow in D.C." to announce the proposed creation of a new Climate Service office within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The very next day, Hannity was back at it, saying, "Global warming, where are you? We want you back" while discussing snowy weather.
Over on the network's morning show, Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson maintains her long-held passion for dismissing climate science. And co-host Steve Doocy is always there to add to the nonsense, making such idiotic statements as, "the weather is so rotten right now, and people are going, 'How can there be global warming if it's snowing and it's fairly cold?'"
Then there's the reigning king of right-wing radio, Rush Limbaugh, who never misses an opportunity to use cold weather to dismiss climate science, often attacking former Vice President Al Gore in the process.
When I hear news reports that forecast snowfall, I grimace. Not because I don't love making a good old-fashioned snowman as much as the next guy. It's the absurdity from conservatives that follows, which makes me cringe.
Global climate change is real, but with the GOP flat-earthers in charge of one chamber of Congress and right-wing media backing them up, don't expect anything to be done about this threat any time soon.
Consider it this year's lump of coal in your Christmas stocking.
Karl Frisch is a syndicated columnist and progressive political communications consultant. He can be reached at KarlFrisch.com. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube or sign-up to receive his columns by email.
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