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OpinionColumnistsMike Vogel

Lying to nation about climate

How do you talk about global warming when it's freezing?

People walk past the "Climate Planet," an exhibition

People walk past the "Climate Planet," an exhibition and film venue, near the plenary halls of the COP 23 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany on Nov. 6, 2017. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Sean Gallup

There are two sides to every story, right? Wrong!

When temperatures plunged into the single digits last week, it gave climate change deniers another chance to bellow that global warming is a hoax.

But when the temperature jumped almost 50 degrees this week? Crickets.

Yes, climate change means more extreme weather, and the overall trend is clearly up — and ominous. Refusing to understand the difference between weather (day to day) and climate (average weather over time), is not only ignorant, but dangerous.

The concept can be confusing, especially to the young and the simple.

How do you talk about global warming when it’s freezing?

Did you ever take your children to the beach, and while they gaze out over the Atlantic, try to explain that the Earth is really round? “But dad, I can see the edge!” they might say. You patiently explain that it might look that way, but space photography has shown otherwise. If they still scream “fake news!” put them up for adoption.

Meanwhile, things get worse, as some do their best to miseducate your kids. The Florida legislature is considering a bill that would allow schools to teach alternative facts to “controversial theories” such as climate change and evolution. You say the Earth is millions of years old? I say people used to ride dinosaurs to work. You have a problem with that?

Such proud idiocy threatens America’s future. “The danger is you’re going to have people who don’t have a fundamental understanding of the way science works,” Ben Kirtman, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Miami, told The Miami Herald.

Who is behind this effort to make America’s children stupid? Just follow the money. While climate scientists are virtually unanimous that human-made greenhouse gases that trap the heat are responsible for global warming, fossil fuel companies have a stake in muddying the issue. In 2017 alone, ExxonMobil spent $1.5 million pushing climate change denial, according to the Daily Beast.

To those making billions of dollars from poisoning the planet, spending millions on misinformation is a drop in the bucket.

So the next time someone tells you that global warming is a Chinese plot, tell them that gravity is fake news. Hey, you’re both entitled to your opinions!

 Follow playwright Mike Vogel at @mikewrite7.

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