Bill Nye Drops Climate Change Truth Bombs All Over CNN’s Crossfire Set

Bill Nye

In my opinion, it’s never a good day to be CNN Crossfire co-host and conservative commentator, S.E. Cupp. While she stops short of the unironic anti-feminist parody that is Ann Coulter, she does her own fair share of leveraging perceived sex appeal to promote a dangerous agenda. But in a certain way, Cupp outdoes Coulter in disingenuousness. I’m referring to the moderator’s tendency to offer opinion polls as “evidence” of a liberal guest’s misinformation on a given issue.

This week was a particularly challenging one for the hapless Cupp. And frankly she got what she deserved – from a mild-mannered, brilliant scientist wearing a bow tie. It was sort of majestic, and definitely inspiring.

Cupp was quick and repetitive in demonstrating the annoying trait described above on Tuesday night’s broadcast devoted to the climate change debate. She opened the show by turning to beloved scientist, engineer and TV personality Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”) to ask:

“Even if what Van and the White House are saying [about the National Climate Assessment update] is all true, the scare tactics have not worked.”

And how do we know that the liberal tendency to engage scientific fact in order to promote revisions in environmental policy is a loser? Well, as Cupp said, “Only about 36 percent of Americans think global warming is a serious threat to our way of life.”

That is a neat trick of rhetorical acrobatics that has been appallingly effective for the GOP: promoting voter ignorance as an argument for party stupidity. It disrespects both the public and the political establishment simultaneously, yet the diehards eat it right up. One of the more confounding phenomena of our time.

Sadly, this is nothing new and many of us who enjoy critical thinking and the prospect of planetary continuity have become inured to the constant anxiety, depression and helplessness. We are used to the dread that accompanies awareness. We understand that the human race is careening toward a ditch in a car driven by global Big Business and its government lackeys, but we can’t get half of our fellow citizens to acknowledge we’re even moving. Simple science.

Thankfully Bill Nye is in possession of the type of feistiness that liberals (and yes, I acknowledge grief that environmental common sense has become partisan) are going to need in order to have a prayer of saving humanity. The discursive blows were delivered fast and furious to an outmatched Cupp and her cohort, Nick Loris of the Heritage Foundation (who might as well have stayed home). In only his second full sentence of the broadcast, Nye demolished Cupp’s smug misuse of statistics by asking, “So, how do you want to get public consensus, by saying that it’s not happening, that it’s not serious, that shorelines aren’t flooding?”

This was only the beginning of one of the most entertaining installments of the rebooted opinion show to date. Check out this beautiful exchange roughly halfway through the show:

“Cupp: You can look at entitlement reform, which will bankrupt this country long before climate change destroys us.

Heart disease kills seven million a year worldwide. 870 million suffer from hunger. I want you to look me in the eye and tell me in good conscience that climate change is our most urgent, No. 1 priority right now.

Nye: Climate change is our most urgent No. 1 priority right now.

Cupp: That’s what I thought you would say.”

I was ready to invoke the slaughter rule but Nye wasn’t finished by a long shot. He even gave those of us who fervently seek to address climate change, post-talking stage, a polite but tough slogan: “I think the scientific community has been very patient.”

We can’t afford to play nice anymore. Nothing less than the planet and human existence are at stake. And the more people we have like Bill Nye committed to the cause – armed with facts, backbone and most importantly, ideas – the better our shot at survival.

21 Replies to “Bill Nye Drops Climate Change Truth Bombs All Over CNN’s Crossfire Set”

  1. I don’t believe the anchors gave him much of a chance to explain his position. I understand the tactics used. I believe polls are generally useless because they are reflective of a population deliberately misled by those with an agenda. That agenda is to profit and dress it all up pretty as if this will create jobs for Americans, which is pretty far from the truth. Climate change is real. How do I know? I’ve lived long enough to watch how much different it is than when I was a girl. A mere 57 years ago. We continue to pollute, without regard. Our air, water are treated like we can live without them. Meanwhile the propaganda machine continues to distort and mislead the public.

  2. Christina,

    Correlation does not equal proof. Climate change has been a fact since the Earth was formed. As such, it’s existence or you’re ability to “watch” it does not mean that man made pollution is the cause of it.

    I don’t argue in favor of pollution. I agree that green initiatives are a good thing regardless of how much they actually assist in climate change. But I prefer proof without doubt. Something that can be tested and proved again and again. Unfortunately, a good bit of climate science has failed to provide this. I look forward to its continued progress, but blame is still unjust.

    Also, given the evidence that the Earth will continue to change regardless of man’s actions, I propose that we continue learning how to adapt rather than this thought that we can some how muster enough energy and technology to keep the Earth at a stand still. Space exploration and colonization is a good start. Who knows, we may have to leave Earth one day regardless …

  3. Did Mr Nye mention that his beloved NOAA in 2011 stated that 70% of the US Temp station do not fit their guidlines, and because of this US temps could be off as much as +3.7° F? Or did he mention that Science magazine 10/98 did an article on the missing carbon from west to eastern US with .3 bil cub units fewer carbon on the east coast? Or did Mr Nye mention that leaf stomata CO2 data is more accurate and has seen over 400 parts/mil CO2 twice in the last 3 millenia? Did he mention to SE Cupp the story of Glacier Girl, a plane that went down in greenland in 1942? It was found 270 ft buried in ice. Does that sound like a shrinking glacier? Ask him how many times the Antartic station has had to be raised to avoid being buried in the last decade. Bill Nye is a Barnum provacatuer, but no longer acts in a scientific manner.

  4. Now, Shiva, we both know the source of that info comes from his/her posterior. I use the word posterior to be polite and to respect the blog owners/writers and the regulars at PoliticusUSA, not because the serial repeater without links deserves it. I find it sort of interesting that suddenly we’ve had some new personalities show up here and they’re all spouting RW garbage.

    It’s as if the Hive Collective sent out a command and each of the drones already knew what his/her job was and began to implement the Collective’s climate change directive—this one being to infiltrate liberal-leaning blogs and deny/undermine the scientific validity of climate change.

  5. After 250 scientists TRAINED to provide the facts of global warming are ignored or poo-pooed by the skeptics demanding 100% “proof”, what do you expect?

    The only proof to satisfy the deniers is the “too late” after-the-fact proof. I can only hope that they all live in a sea side city.

    Me? I live in the inland northwest and I guess it will be nice to own some beachfront property…

  6. do I am interested to learn what you academic credientials are so that you can make a statement like that, whats your Phd in?

  7. When 10,853 – that’s 10,853 – out of 10,855 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals agree that humans are the major cause of climate change – then it’s safe to conclude that HUMANS ARE THE MAJOR CAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

    You got something else other than your “opinion” to support otherwise, then please provide it.

  8. That crapola is from science-smearing Denier Anthony Watts.

    AND his crap has been debunked so many times it’s pitiful. But I’m going to give you one that is actually funded by someone I’m sure you love – CHUCKY KOCH.

    The Berkley Earth Surface Temperature Study (BEST) put old Watts’ mendacious claptrap to rest a couple years back. You need to get newer LIES.

  9. Okay Bobby, so what you are claiming along with the other no nothing fact deniers is that dumping tons of pollutants into our atmosphere and oceans for over 100 years is not going to affect our biosphere one iota. I’m 57 and since the 60’s I have noticed a great change in the odor of our air and the change of local rivers,streams and watersheds. Not to mention that in all my years I have never seen as many waterfowl in Ohio as I have seen in the last 10 years. Climb out from the FoxHole and open your eyes.

  10. The model created by climate scientists had already provided more than enough proof, as the predicted results are happening sooner and with greater intensity than originally predicted.

    What you disingenuously imply is that climate change is not happening more rapidly and severely than it has in the past, and will not cause immediate threats to large swaths of the earth’s human population within decades. Your ridiculous solution is to invest money (and it will take LOTS of it) to try to find some planet to which SOME humans can theoretically emigrate and live, IF it exists. It would be much wiser, and help many more people, to spend some money and effort saving what we have right now.

    But then, you appear to be either a dishonest person or a dumbass. Your descendants will curse you.

  11. How many Americans believe that their lifestyles are a threat to the environment?

    Oddly, those are the ones making all the changes, in lifestyle and in pressing for more enlightened policies.

    But those who are part of the problem have selective blindness, for their interests are at stake. Some of them even believe in the End Times, where they actually get corporeal resurrection in heaven.

    At last, they will be finally rid of us–but in order for that to happen first the world must end.

  12. Bob,
    Your comment “But I prefer proof without doubt. Something that can be tested and proved again and again” has already been done. Look at shorelines, Antarctic Glaciers,erratic/devastating climate, all studied and agreed upon by a multitude of highly respected scientists with no political agenda. That is enough for most. Here in Colorado we had the worst fire and worst flooding in history the last 2 years. I will not be around for the worst of it, but my kids and grand-kids will. If you live near a coastline and you are under 30, you will be in deep yogurt. If you live anywhere else in the US you are already feeling the impact. Please do not step in front of a train 100 yards away and believe that it’s going to stop before you’re ground round.

  13. How can anybody argue with the science.
    We paid attention to the next ice age, acid rain, the ozone hole and global warning and thus they are no longer threats. Now if we could just pay attention to climate change I am sure we could attain a steady state in weather.
    Oh yeh, forgot to mention the sky is falling! Was it Henny Penny fixed that one?

  14. It is refreshing to hear comments like Bob’s. I echo the author of this article’s lamentations, only in reverse: that many of us have this ability to think critically and are capable of considering the long-term continuity of humanity, yet are so simple as to believe that drastic mitigation is the number one policy priority for the USA.

    I won’t bother listing all of the other programs that American tax dollars could be invested in, any thinking person can sort them out. Prioritize GHG mitigation? Consider what the benefit of a proposed GHG mitigation campaign is: most would agree it is avoidance of an increase in earth’s mean surface temp by 2-3 Celsius and possible associated reductions in human QOL. Now consider all the unique uncertainties of achieving this benefit via aggressive policy: international cooperation, the actual response of earth system…

    Think more critically about this. As for Bill Nye the science guy – disappointing. This is why we need more social scien…

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