D.C. COUNCIL member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) has apologized for asserting that Jewish financiers were to blame for recent late-winter snow. He said he had no idea his remarks were anti-Semitic. He seemed genuinely mortified, and we take him at his word. But his explanation is nonetheless troubling in that it reveals a level of ignorance — not only about fundamental Jewish history but also the science of climate change — that is embarrassing, particularly for someone who holds public office.

“Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” he said in a video Friday (since deleted) on his Facebook page. “And D.C. keep talking about, ‘We a resilient city.’ And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can for pay to own the cities, man. Be careful.”

Furor about those comments led to the surfacing of similarly nutty remarks he made last month at a meeting of top city officials about purported Rothschild control of the government and economy. “What’s the relationship between the ­Rothschilds and the Rockefellers?”

That Mr. White, by his account, accidentally bought into a standard anti-Semitic trope is concerning. Also unsettling is his willingness to spread paranoid and scientifically clueless notions about the critical issues of climate change. He has not responded to questions about his thoughts about climate change or what formed the basis for his comments; he did not return our phone call. He appears, though, to be parroting right-wing conspiracy theorists who claim international bankers use technology to generate extreme weather for their profit. One of their main targets is the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative, which provides grants to cities around the world, including the District, to address environmental and economic problems.

As part of his rounds of apology, Mr. White has reached out to members of the Jewish community, and he said he plans to hold additional future meetings. “It has been a learning experience for me,” he said.

Good that he is open to that learning; better if he adds another stop. At the Rockefeller Foundation, he could learn about the important work being done to make cities better places to live. Also that weather is not something that can be conjured up on a whim or wish. And that ignorance about the world, particularly by those making public policy, is the real threat to worry about.

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