Bill Nye “The Science Guy” just received a public smack-down from an actual scientist. And it’s unclear if he is even aware of it.
For decades, environmentalists worldwide have held an event that they call “Earth Day,” on which they promote local, national, and international regulation intended to limit various freedoms. This year, anti-Trump scientists and their supporters organized a “March for Science” on Earth Day. The primary organizer of this event, the March for Science National Committee, advocates for “…robustly funded and publicly communicated science…,” and “…evidence-based policies…”
To discuss this event, CNN held a panel discussion. Two of the invitees were William Napper, Professor of Physics at Princeton University, and former director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” a television show host and science advocate.
The discussion started with a question about President Trump. Professor Napper opened by explaining that President Trump was very pro-science. The subject then changed, and a host asked him about his position on environmental alarmism, to which he responded:
There’s this myth that’s developed around carbon dioxide. That it’s a pollutant. But you and I both exhale carbon dioxide with every breath, so each of us emits about two pounds of carbon dioxide a day. So are we polluting the planet? Carbon Dioxide is a perfectly natural gas. It’s just like water vapor. It’s something that plants love. They grow better with more carbon dioxide, and you can see the greening of the earth already from the additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Bill Nye completely ignored Professor Napper’s point, stating:
What he claims to not understand is the rate. It’s the rate speed at which we are adding carbon dioxide. And I will say, much as I love the CNN, you’re doing a disservice by having one climate change skeptic and not ninety-seven or ninety-eight scientists or engineers concerned about climate change.
Nye went on to make statements about the economy, stating that “If you suppress science, if you pretend that climate change isn’t a real problem, you will fall behind other countries that do invest in science, that do invest in basic research.”
The conversation moved off in another direction for a moment but came back to Professor Napper. A host asked him what it was about the research that led him to be skeptical about climate change theories. He responded:
Well, let me point out that science is not like passing a law. You don’t have a vote to see how many are for the law of gravity and how many are against. It’s based on observations. And if you observe what’s happening to, for example, the temperature, the temperature is not rising nearly as fast as the alarmists’ computer models predicted. You know it’s much, much less. Factors of two or three less. So the whole basis for the alarmism is not true. It’s based on flawed computer modeling. And you don’t vote on that.
Nye interrupted, and again refused to address Professor’s Napper’s points:
That’s completely wrong. So enjoy, ya know. Say what you will, but you have it absolutely wrong. So, uh, what happened to that heat. And he’s cherry picking a certain model. The heat ended up in the ocean. This is, this is not controversial in mainstream science, everybody. So really, lets. I encourage everyone to look at the facts. We’ve got an extraordinary situation here in the United States where climate change deniers have managed to introduce the idea some uncertainty, say two percent, plus or minus two percent, about the temperature of the ocean, is somehow equivalent to plus or minus one hundred percent. Now, everybody, science is political. We use politics to decide where to invest our intellect and treasure. But when it comes to climate change, that is not controversial in the climate change community any more than when you make reference to the universal law of gravitation. So sir, with some respect, I encourage you to cut this out so that we can all move forward to make the United States a world leader in technology.
After some additional ranting by Nye, one of the hosts directed another question at Professor Napper, asking how he would advise President Trump to proceed regarding the Paris climate change agreement. He responded, “It should be canceled.” He talked about how sometimes decisions must be made taking alliances into consideration, “…but I think that it doesn’t make any scientific sense. It’s just a silly thing.”
In response, Nye fearmongered. He claimed that pulling out of the agreement could lead to other nations placing tariffs on the United States. The host then challenged Professor Napper to explain his position. He responded:
This treaty also will not do any good. Anyone who looks at the results of doing what the treaty says can see that the effect on the earth’s climate is, even if you take the alarmists’ computer models, trivial. It will not make any difference. And yet it will cause enormous harm to many people.
So, what can we learn from this exchange?
First, that as Mr. Nye has said so eloquently, “Science is political.”
Second, when the March for Science National Committee, advocates for “…robustly funded and publicly communicated science…,” and “…evidence-based policies…,” what that means is “Give us your money, give us media attention, and let us decide the law.” One could fairly postulate the March for Science National Committee is a special interest group advocating for tax money, attention and power for professional scientists.
Third, climate change proponents aren’t interested in the scientific method. They have decided. They ignore valid points and respond to them with bluster and threats. They appeal to authority rather than answer questions. They attack the character of anyone who disagrees with them. Just like any other leftist. Their scientific degrees, which one would assume would make them dispassionate observers of evidence, have failed to create scientists. These people are a special interest group, not very different from any other government employee union.
Lastly, I conclude that Bill Nye not very persuasive. Perhaps the exceptional situation that Mr. Nye refers to in his rant is that American citizens are exceptional at recognizing BS when they see it.
Take a look at the exchange yourself, and feel free to share your thoughts in our comments section below.
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