CNN’s Jake Tapper fact-checks the hell out of Trump’s error-filled climate comments

CNN’s Jake Tapper fact-checks the hell out of Trump’s error-filled climate comments

Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

From the January 29 edition of CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper:

Loading the player reg...

JAKE TAPPER (HOST): We're back with our Earth Matters lead. Can the Earth be both cooling and heating? President Trump seems to think so. And he told Piers Morgan that in a new interview. He also happened to mention that the polar ice caps are not melting either.

Here’s a fact check.

[BEGIN VIDEO]

PIERS MORGAN (HOST OF GOOD MORNING BRITAIN): Do you believe in climate change?

TAPPER: That question is one the overwhelming majority of scientists worldwide have answered with a confident, “Yes, climate change is real.” But when Piers Morgan asked this of the president of the United States?

DONALD TRUMP: There is a cooling and there is a heating and it--. Look, it used to not be climate change. It used to be global warming.

MORGAN: Right.

TRUMP: Right? That wasn't working too well. Because it was getting too cold all over the place. The ice caps were going to melt. They were going to be gone by now. But now they're setting records, OK. They're at a record level.

TAPPER: This is Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel, a senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists. She’s studied the environment for more than 25 years. Does she believe in climate change?

DR. BRENDA EKWURZEL: That's like asking if you believe in gravity. I know from the facts as a senior climate scientist that climate change is real, and it’s affecting us now.

TAPPER: Now back to President Trump. Let’s start with this part of his response.

TRUMP: There is a cooling and there is a heating and it--. Look, it used to not be climate change. It used to be global warming. Right?

TAPPER: Actually, it's always been climate change and global warming.

EKWURZEL: As a scientist, we tend to use the term "climate change" because there’s all sorts of changes that are happening on the planet, including global average temperatures rising over the long term. And that latter part is called global warming.

TAPPER: The president has a theory as to why “global warming” isn't used as much in his view.

TRUMP: That wasn't working too well. Because it was getting too cold all over the place.

EKWURZEL: It is not getting too cold. Global average temperature for the Earth is warming. And that's a fact.

TAPPER: Take a look at this heat map from NASA showing rising temperatures from 1884 to 2016. According to researchers, 16 of the 17 warmest years on record have occurred within the last 20 years. And lastly, how about those changing ice caps?

TRUMP: The ice caps were going to melt. They were going to be gone by now. But now they're setting records.

TAPPER: According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, last year saw the second smallest annual sea ice area on record. And these images from NASA show how quickly the ice is, in fact, disappearing.

EKWURZEL: We’re losing vast tracts of Arctic sea ice in the summer. And just because it’s winter time doesn’t mean that you can point to sea ice in the winter and say, “Climate change is not happening.” That’s just … gobbledygook.

TAPPER: Gobbledygook versus science. You be the judge.

[END VIDEO]

TAPPER: CNN reached out to NASA to see if any of NASA's climate change researchers or experts would be able to state the facts about climate change for that segment. NASA said no. Keep in mind NASA gets its funding from the federal government, which is led by President Trump. Perhaps every scientist from that government agency was busy today. Or perhaps telling Americans the truth about climate change might put you at risk with the administration in terms of your job. 

Posted In
Environment & Science, Climate Change
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Jake Tapper, Donald Trump, Piers Morgan
Show/Publication
The Lead with Jake Tapper
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.