“The Congresswoman AOC does not know the difference between weather and climate.”
A research meteorologist pushed back Thursday against several climate science-related claims made by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., accusing the freshman congresswoman of not knowing “the difference between weather and climate.”
Earlier in the day, a tornado warning in Washington, D.C. prompted Ocasio-Cortez to declare that the “climate crisis” is real, a sentiment she shared with her millions of followers on Instagram.
“Well, that was something,” she wrote. “Alarms went off in the building advising people to seek shelter.”
“Apparently the tornado moved/missed the city so quickly that they ended the warning shortly after,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding that “apparently this is a thing that happens in the summer here? With increasing intensity?”
According to the fierce advocate of the Green New Deal, the evidence pointed one way: “the climate crisis is real, y’all – guess we’re at casual tornadoes in growing regions of the country?”
Ryan Maute, a research meteorologist who formerly served as an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, cleared up some of the cloudiness in Ocasio-Cortez’s take.
He stormed in with a dig at the progressive lawmaker, tweeting that he thought the story was “fake” but learned that it was something she’d actually posted to Instagram.
“No idea what she means with ‘casual tornadoes’ and how this line of severe thunderstorms is proof of any ‘climate crisis,'” Maute added. “It’s just the weather in D.C.”
And in a thunderous kicker, the climate science expert dropped a lightning bolt straight through Ocasio-Cortez’s argument.
“The Congresswoman AOC does not know the difference between weather and climate,” Maute said in a followup tweet. “Let’s try an easy analogy: Weather is what outfit you wear heading out the door. Climate is your closet wardrobe.”
The Congresswoman @AOC does not know the difference between weather and climate.
Let's try an easy analogy:
Weather is what outfit you wear heading out the door.
Climate is your closet wardrobe. pic.twitter.com/mmdLr6F2mD
— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) May 24, 2019
Major media outlets have made much of President Donald Trump’s propensity for using specific instances of weather phenomena as evidence against climate change. Maute’s takedown of Ocasio-Cortez shows that the faulty logic breaks in the opposite direction as well.
CNN has not-so-subtly highlighted how the Green New Deal architect’s imprecision on climate science parallels that of the president. In January, the outlet fact-checked a dubious Ocasio-Cortez claim about climate change right alongside his. The authors, Weekly Standard fact-checker Holmes Lybrand and CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller, presented the two leaders as opposing extremes in the debate over the earth’s rising temperature.