Quantcast

Bill Nye vs. Sarah Palin on Climate Change: Who Do You Believe?

Climate

Last week provided a beautiful series of examples of the increasingly amusing ways that deniers are being handled.

It all began with a post on DeSmogBlog that featured an exclusive clip of a discussion between beloved educational icon Bill Nye the Science Guy and his polar opposite, misinformation expert Marc Morano. In the clip, Nye offers Morano a pair of $10,000 bets: that 2016 will be among the hottest on record and that this decade will be record hot. Morano, of course, turned down the bets on the basis that it’s “obvious” that scientific data will show warming, implying that the data would be doctored.

In the video (below), which has more than 100,000 views since April 12, Nye takes a calm approach to Morano’s typical rapid-fire spewing of pseudoscience, leaving Morano flustered and dejected. By preventing Morano from dominating the conversation and framing his argument in terms of future generations, Nye showed how to set a professional denier on his heels.

Bill Nye shared the DeSmogBlog post on his Facebook feed, which unsurprisingly triggered a flood of denier responses. In response to various conspiratorial accusations, none other than the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) stepped up to respond, with short but smart rebuttals amusing enough to warrant their own news coverage. Using simple language backed up by credible sources, NASA demonstrated how to deal with trolls—by showing others how plainly wrong they are.

But wait, there’s more! The Nye-Morano meet-up was made a central part of Morano’s attempt to publicize his movie Climate Hustle, which had its U.S. premier on Thursday night. The movie is described by IFLScience as “a propaganda movie for climate deniers.”

A clip of Nye and Morano's conversation was shown as part of a panel event promoting the movie that featured Sarah Palin, who took aim at Nye by claiming that she’s just as much of a scientist as Nye.

As The Guardian's Suzanne Goldenberg noted in her must-read article about it, “that was not even the low point of the event.” Along with ample quoting of Palin’s rambling comments, Goldenberg adds appropriate facts to her reporting to make it clear that “there was a strong whiff of desperation to Palin’s efforts” as, while much of the GOP remains mired in denial, “the world is moving on.”

So while it is unfortunate that this episode has allowed Morano to use Nye to get more media for his movie than it deserves, it at least allowed Nye to teach us how to handle deniers in person, gave NASA a chance to show us how to handle deniers on the internet and Goldenberg to demonstrate how reporters should handle them in the media.

In other words, even nearly 20 years after his show went off the air, Bill Nye is still a great educator and entertainer. Maybe a reboot is in order: Bill Nye, The Climate Science Guy!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Scientists Start to Look at Ground Beneath Their Feet for Solution to Climate Change

3 Most Environmentally Damaging Habits You Might Be Able to Change

7 Reasons to Join Democracy Awakening

Danger, Will Robinson: Oil Industry Knew CO2-Climate Link in ‘68

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An aerial view of a neighborhood destroyed by the Camp Fire on Nov. 15, 2018 in Paradise, Calif. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Respecting scientists has never been a priority for the Trump Administration. Now, a new investigation from The Guardian revealed that Department of the Interior political appointees sought to play up carbon emissions from California's wildfires while hiding emissions from fossil fuels as a way to encourage more logging in the national forests controlled by the Interior department.

Read More
Slowing deforestation, planting more trees, and cutting emissions of non-carbon dioxide greenhouse gases like methane could cut another 0.5 degrees C or more off global warming by 2100. South_agency / E+ / Getty Images

By Dana Nuccitelli

Killer hurricanes, devastating wildfires, melting glaciers, and sunny-day flooding in more and more coastal areas around the world have birthed a fatalistic view cleverly dubbed by Mary Annaïse Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council as "de-nihilism." One manifestation: An increasing number of people appear to have grown doubtful about the possibility of staving-off climate disaster. However, a new interactive tool from a climate think tank and MIT Sloan shows that humanity could still meet the goals of the Paris agreement and limit global warming.

Read More
Sponsored
A baby burrowing owl perched outside its burrow on Marco Island, Florida. LagunaticPhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Burrowing owls, which make their homes in small holes in the ground, are having a rough time in Florida. That's why Marco Island on the Gulf Coast passed a resolution to pay residents $250 to start an owl burrow in their front yard, as the Marco Eagle reported.

Read More
Amazon and other tech employees participate in the Global Climate Strike on Sept. 20, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. Amazon Employees for Climate Justice continue to protest today. Karen Ducey / Getty Images

Hundreds of Amazon workers publicly criticized the company's climate policies Sunday, showing open defiance of the company following its threats earlier this month to fire workers who speak out on climate change.

Read More
Locusts swarm from ground vegetation as people approach at Lerata village, near Archers Post in Samburu county, approximately 186 miles north of Nairobi, Kenya on Jan. 22. "Ravenous swarms" of desert locusts in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia threaten to ravage the entire East Africa subregion, the UN warned on Jan. 20. TONY KARUMBA / AFP / Getty Images

East Africa is facing its worst locust infestation in decades, and the climate crisis is partly to blame.

Read More