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Pete Buttigieg Has to Keep Explaining to Republicans That Seasons Aren't Climate Change

Pete Buttigieg Has to Keep Explaining to Republicans That Seasons Aren't Climate Change

Pete Buttigieg

The Secretary of Transportation finds himself repeatedly schooling the GOP on the difference between seasons and climate change.


U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has found himself having to explain to Republicans the difference between seasons and the phenomenon of global climate change. The issue came to the forefront during a recent congressional hearing when Buttigieg was asked about the percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Last week, California Rep. Doug LaMalfa responded to Buttigieg’s acknowledgment of climate change by saying, “Yeah. This one’s called autumn,” implying that seasonal changes are synonymous with climate change.

Buttigieg immediately clarified the difference, emphasizing that seasonal changes are not the same as long-term climate shifts.

Buttigieg’s role as a de facto climate educator didn’t stop there. While speaking on the House floor Wednesday, Illinois Rep. Mary Miller, another Republican, made a similar conflation of seasonal weather patterns with climate change.

She claimed, “The farmers in my district recognize climate change as summer, winter, spring, and fall.”

On social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, Buttigieg shared a clip of Miller’s remarks with the caption, “Are we really doing this?” — an expression of his evident disbelief at the misconceptions surrounding a scientifically established issue.

These incidents highlight an ongoing disconnect between scientific consensus on climate change and the understanding — or misunderstanding — of some Republican lawmakers.

Adding to the complexities of these exchanges, LaMalfa, in his interaction with Buttigieg, also shifted the conversation toward the economic implications of combating climate change during the congressional hearing. He warned that spending "trillions and trillions" to mitigate "a tiny percentage of CO2" could have dire economic consequences. This move reflects how some lawmakers use fiscal arguments to challenge or sidestep the prevailing scientific understanding of climate change.

In a fact check of a social media post earlier this year, USA Today, wrote, "Climate change refers to long-term shifts in weather and atmospheric conditions, and a wide array of measurements and observations show a long-term warming trend caused by humans. Seasons are part of a yearly cycle based on the position of the Earth in relation to the sun."

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