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Hillary Clinton mustered her best Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.) impression during a grassroots event in Nevada on Wednesday afternoon when she pointed to snowfall in Nevada during the month of January as proof climate change is real.
The Democratic frontrunner mocked her Republican rivals for their reluctance to accept manmade climate change to be an absolute fact. She scoffed that if Republicans insist they are not scientists, maybe they should talk to a few.
With the same breath she suggested consulting scientists, Clinton made a major scientific mistake: She conflated the weather with climate change.
“You can look out the window in Las Vegas and see snow and realize it’s real,” Clinton said.
The statement drew applause from supporters but is sure to make scientists roll their eyes.
Scientists at NASA explained the difference between weather and climate change:
The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time.
Earlier this year, The New Republic lamented conservatives confusing weather with climate change. The media poked fun at Inhofe’s expense when he threw a snowball in the Senate chamber to demonstrate his belief that global warming is a farce. The Washington Post called his antic an “embarrassment to the GOP and the U.S.”
It remains to be seen if Clinton pointing to snowfall in January as proof to her beliefs will receive the same media attention. Making her statement more bizarre is the fact it was not snowing in Las Vegas at the time of Clinton’s rally.
The daytime high temperature in Las Vegas on Wednesday was 55 degrees Fahrenheit with a low of 42, thus making conditions impossible for snow.
Snow, while rare in Las Vegas, is not unheard of in the Valley. The city experienced flurries on Christmas Day, but all the major snow in Nevada this year has fallen in the northern half of the state and mountain ranges.
Las Vegas averages 0.3 inches of snow per year but Nevada as a whole averages four inches during the month of January. Henderson, where Clinton held her rally, gets 1.1 inches every year.