Bill Nye on CNN: Climate Change is Our Most Urgent Priority

CNN calls into question the "seriousness" of climate change; accuses scientists of using "scare tactics".

WRITTEN BY: Martin Hempfling
Image Source: Ed Schipul via Flickr
Bill Nye with his signature bow tie. According to Nye,

CNN dazzles us once again with responsible, honest reporting by presenting cherry-picked data intended to shed doubt upon the seriousness of climate change. Nicolas Loris was the featured economist who was pitted against none other than Bill Nye “the science guy” on CNN's “Crossfire”.

Loris did not deny the reality of climate change. He even felt the need to mention, “I'm not a denier, I'm not a skeptic” right around the 2:54 mark when discussing the frequency of hurricanes as reported by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). However, Loris rejected a proposition that would keep C02 emissions below 450 parts per million (50 ppm above the critical threshold) at a cost of 0.06% global economic growth. To him, having a stable, livable environment for future generations isn't worth going from 2.5% growth to 2.44% growth.

The main theme of his argument was essentially, “Yes, climate change is real but it's not as serious as all the big scary scientists say it is, therefore I don't see good enough reason to spend any money on trying to stop it.”

S. E. Cupp had her fare share of spin to add to the story as well. She accused scientists of utilizing “scare tactics” that “have not worked,” in trying to persuade politicians and/or public opinion. What Cupp calls “scare tactics” are actually experts in the field who are trying to convey the reality of the situation to people in Washington, many of whom are tied up in special interests with money to lose who are “scared” of losses. 

Contrary to what Cupp believes, you do not need “public consensus to move the needle on this”. The U. S. government quite often does whatever it wants—evidenced, largely, by congress' approval rating and tendency to pass legislation against public interest. Just imagine if Grover Norquist had every republican sign a pledge saying “we will not raise carbon emissions”. The public consensus would be eclipsed by the wave of clean air that washed out our filthy lungs.

At 7:51 Cupp says to Nye, "I want you to look me in the eye and tell me climate change is our most urgent, number one priority right now," to which Nye stares back and replies, "Climate change is our most urgent, number one priority."

The level of denial among politicians, newspeople, talking heads, and the general public is truly staggering. Bill Nye got it right when he said “we don't agree on the facts”. But the overwhelming majority of the scientific community, from those who specialize in meteorology and climatology, to those specialists in chemistry, biology, cosmology, etc., agree that climate change is occurring at an unsustainable rate. Too often are the fringe, outlier dissenters touted as the “true” climate experts; the bonafide geniuses who have been ostracized by their peers, akin to the likes of Alfred Wegener or Gregor Mendel.

The reality is that climate change is a very real threat to people everywhere on this planet and can be considered an imminent threat to coastal cities. Time is past due to let the scientists influence the policy making on this matter.

Video here: