Donald Trump Made a Chart, and It’s Totally Wrong

Well, sort of a chart, anyway.

The world is getting really hot. The first six months of 2016 was the warmest January-to-June on record, according to NASA. Last year was the hottest year on record. This year will almost certainly be hotter. Eighteen of the 20 warmest years on record have occurred in the past two decades. “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia,” writes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—a UN-affiliated body that includes the world’s leading climate scientists. These scientists are 95 percent certain that humans are the “dominant” cause of the warming.

Here’s a NASA chart showing what all of this looks like:

But Donald Trump has a chart of his own (sort of). The real estate mogul was in South Florida last week, and a Miami Herald reporter asked him about one of the greatest threats facing the region: sea level rise. “I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change,” Trump responded. “There could be some impact, but I don’t believe it’s devastating impact.”

The world’s temperature, Trump insisted, isn’t doing anything unusual. “No, I would say that it goes up, it goes down,” he said, moving his hand up and down like a wave. “I think it’s very much like this over the years.”

It’s worth taking a moment to watch him do this in the video above. Think of Trump’s hand-waving as an attempt to chart historical temperature data. Now compare that to NASA’s chart, which shows what the climate is actually doing.

Trump, of course, is fully aware of the scientific consensus on global warming. He just thinks it’s all part of a grand conspiracy of lying scientists:

Trump returned to his completely wrong argument moments later. “You’ve had a change in weather patterns, and you’ve had it for many years,” he said. “You know, many years ago—I believe it was in the 1920s—they talked about the phenomenon of global cooling. They thought the planet was getting cooler. Now they think the planet is getting warmer.”

“I have a feeling, it’s sort of this,” added Trump, making the wave motion with his hand once more. “But nobody knows for sure.”

You can watch the full Miami Herald interview with Trump below:

More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate