During a blast of blistering wintery weather, Donald Trump took to Twitter to cast doubt on global warming, implying that the cold snap undermined warnings that the Earth's climate is changing due to human activity.
The date was Nov. 1, 2011.
For much of the last six years, Trump has been pushing a misleading message that global warming is in doubt because bouts of extreme cold continue to put a chill on the United States. The tweets seemed to have stopped after Trump declared his bid for the presidency in 2015.
But on Thursday, the president picked up the line after dropping it for more than two years.
@realDonaldTrump: In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year's Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!
To be sure, weather and climate are not the same thing. According to NASA, the difference is a "measure of time." Here's how NASA puts it:
Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere 'behaves' over relatively long periods of time ...
An easy way to remember the difference is that climate is what you expect, like a very hot summer, and weather is what you get, like a hot day with pop-up thunderstorms.
So while average global temperatures have been rising, extreme cold will still hit regions over short periods.
But Trump has long muddled weather and climate with his tweets.
Trump posted 115 tweets expressing climate change denial between November 2011 and October 2015, according to a search conducted by Vox in June. In about a third of those tweets — or roughly 40 posts — Trump argued that climate change cannot be real because it was cold outside.
Tweeting that claim became something of an annual tradition to kick off the cold season. Here are his first tweets on the subject from each fall over five years:
@realDonaldTrump: It snowed over 4 inches this past weekend in New York City. It is still October. So much for Global Warming.
@realDonaldTrump: It's extremely cold in NY & NJ—not good for flood victims. Where is global warming?
@realDonaldTrump: Snow and ice, freezing weather, in Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma - what the hell is going on with GLOBAL WARMING?
@realDonaldTrump: The entire country is FREEZING - we desperately need a heavy dose of global warming, and fast! Ice caps size reaches all time high.
@realDonaldTrump: It's really cold outside, they are calling it a major freeze, weeks ahead of normal. Man, we could use a big fat dose of global warming!
After each of those missives, he tweeted on the subject several more times throughout the winter — with the exception of fall 2015, when he was battling for the Republican nomination for president. He was particularly prolific during the 2013-2014 fall and winter season, tweeting the theme more than a dozen times.
But Trump has also preached the message beyond the winter months. He has repeatedly used unseasonably cold spells as an opportunity to revive his claims during the spring and summer.
@realDonaldTrump: Another freezing day in the Spring - what is going on with "global warming"? Good move changing the name to "climate change" - sad!
@realDonaldTrump: Tremendous cold wave hits large part of U.S. Lucky they changed the name from global warming to climate change - G.W. just doesn't work!
A number of climate scientists pushed back on Trump's latest tweet on the climate-weather connection.
The consensus among climate scientists is that global warming is real and is primarily caused by emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from human activity. A report issued by 13 U.S. agencies echoed that conclusion last month.
Despite this, Trump has moved swiftly to deconstruct President Barack Obama's policies aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change; set in motion a U.S. exit from the Paris climate agreement; and pushed policies to boost coal-fired power generation, a primary contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
Some of the other themes Trump has tweeted include that global warming is a "hoax," a "canard" and "bulls--t"; China is using the myth of climate change to gain an economic advantage over the United States; and environmentalists started using the phrase "climate change" because "global warming" didn't stick.