IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Fox host Tucker Carlson's comments on Biden's marriage, explained

Did the Fox News host say what we think he said about Biden's marriage and/or climate change?
Photo illustration of a greeting card with images of President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden kissing and a polar bear on a melting ice cap. Text on the card reads,"Your love is as real as climate change.".
When love is the real deal.Anjali Nair / MSNBC; Getty Images

Fox News host Tucker Carlson is under fire for comments he made Tuesday night regarding the Bidens' marriage. "Their love,” he said, “is as real as climate change.”

"Their love,” he said, “is as real as climate change.”

People on Twitter were mad. Many took it to mean Carlson was questioning the president and first lady's relationship. I can see where they’re coming from — Carlson did, after all, also call their marriage “a slick PR campaign devised by cynical consultants determined to hide the president’s senility by misdirection.”

But I think this might just be a silly misunderstanding. There’s no way Carlson meant to say the Bidens’ romance is a scam. Because that would mean Carlson also meant to say climate change — a well-documented scientific phenomenon and serious threat to human life — is also a scam. And that would mean Carlson was peddling lies equivalent to election denial, coronavirus denial and birtherism to 4.5 million viewers on a national news network.

Surely that would not meet Fox News’s editorial standards. And if it did, surely the many self-proclaimed climate-friendly corporations that give Fox News a lot of money to advertise — like Procter & Gamble, Intuit, Nestle and Subaru — would have something to say about it.

But neither the network nor its climate-friendly advertisers have said anything so far. Which is why it’s clear that when Carlson said the Bidens’ love was “as real as climate change,” he meant that their love is real, extreme, unpredictable, wildly fluctuating between hot and cold, destructive to the point of total devastation, but overall getting hotter and hotter and hotter every year. Right?

This is, after all, what the science tells us about human-caused climate change. It is real. According to NASA, which is so good at science it sends humans to live in space, the current rate of climate change is “extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.”

Not even former President Donald Trump’s administration could get that sentence erased from NASA’s website.

When Carlson said the Bidens’ love was “as real as climate change,” he meant that their love is real, extreme, unpredictable, wildly fluctuating between hot and cold, destructive to the point of total devastation, but overall getting hotter and hotter and hotter every year. Right?

The science also states plainly that climate change is extreme. Over the last two decades, scientists have individually examined more than 300 devastating extreme weather events, from wildfires to floods to droughts to heat waves, and published the results in peer-reviewed journals. They found that more than two-thirds were made markedly more extreme by human-caused climate change. (Only 22 percent showed no discernible human impact or were inconclusive.)

Scientists have also found that climate change is unpredictable. Who would have thought, for example, that it would bring snow tornadoes to Texas? But it did; the jet stream, increasingly weak as the planet warms, brought Arctic air down to the southern tip of the U.S., and the resulting snow combined with unseasonably warm lake temperatures created a "snownado."

Unpredictable stuff like this is happening everywhere. Wildfires in Alaska. Snowstorms in Hawaii. Climate change is hot, cold, wet, dry — everything all at once. And the unpredictable weather is having unpredictable effects. The Arctic is turning brown. Sea turtles aren’t having male babies anymore. That's why climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe prefers the term "global weirding" to "global warming."

Despite all this, though, the science shows one thing is consistent: The planet, overall, is getting hotter and hotter each year. So surely, that's what Tucker Carlson must have meant when he told 4.5 million people on Tuesday that the Bidens’ love is as real as climate change.

It’s not wrong. But it is super creepy.