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United States Science

Bill Nye Slams Donald Trump, Republicans On Climate Change (cnn.com) 257

An anonymous reader writes: On the eve of Earth Day, environmental activist Bill Nye told CNN that while everybody is more aware of climate change "than ever before," we still have a long way to go (annoying auto-play videos). The science educator and engineer, who became an icon on his 1990s hit show "Bill Nye the Science Guy," criticized the Republican presidential candidates and the fossil fuel industry for not acknowledging the deleterious effects of climate change. "There's still a very strong contingent of people who are in denial about climate change," Nye said. "And if you don't believe me, look at the three people currently running for president of the world's most influential country who are ... climate change deniers," Nye said, referring to the three Republican presidential candidates: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich.
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Bill Nye Slams Donald Trump, Republicans On Climate Change

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  • Does Nye still have *any* cache in the "pop science" universe? Or is he now just one of Al Gore's friends and late night talk show fodder?

    • You know he didn't retire. Nye has showed up on slashy about every other day. He wears a bow-tie, so we have to like him. Federal Law. Enjoy your lager.
      • Yep, we used to have Bill Nye reachable by calling his name on Slashdot. His TV show has aged off the air, but he's still a good commentator on science topics.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mschuyler ( 197441 )

      Bill Nye is as much a climate scientist as Al Gore. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and used to work for Boeing. Yes, he is billed as a "science educator," but he gets his information on "climate change" the same way the rest of us do, from the MSM. Getting your information from Oprah Winfrey or Judge Judy is just as valid.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by xtronics ( 259660 )

        "...billed as a "science educator,"" Lets correct that - a science entertainer.

        Nye's politics trump his science:

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/cl... [wattsupwiththat.com] ... For the record - I don't know how much of the warming trend is due to CO2 vs natural variation - don't think it is knowable at this time. Most people can't stand not knowing and have taken one side or the other...

      • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

        Bill Nye is as much a climate scientist as Al Gore. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and used to work for Boeing. Yes, he is billed as a "science educator," but he gets his information on "climate change" the same way the rest of us do, from the MSM. Getting your information from Oprah Winfrey or Judge Judy is just as valid.

        No, unlike you he does actually research the material. And really, at a basic level the physics, chemistry, math, etc. is simple enough that even a high school AP student could get through it.

        You don't need a Ph.d to understand the basic mechanisms involved.

      • by jma05 ( 897351 )

        This is a simple general rule: When someone merely points to the expert consensus (with respect to any mainstream science), without any innovation, they do not need to be challenged on their personal expertise. People who do refute an expert consensus are those who need to be challenged on their expertise and are asked to submit their evidence to peer review.

        I don't need to be a biologist to say that evolution is real. If I say it isn't, THEN my credentials come into question.

    • He is always doubling down his position

      http://twitchy.com/2016/04/20/... [twitchy.com]

      and I doubt he will answer a real challenge

      https://stevengoddard.wordpres... [wordpress.com]

      He isn't particularly informative but it is fun to watch him squirm.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      He is the CEO of the Planetary Society [planetary.org], a non-profit group that advocates for planetary science. The organization was formed in 1980 by Carl Sagan and others.

      He and the organization actively advocate to Congress, the President, and NASA to help raise funding for science. That gives him a lot of cache in my book.

  • Other than the fact he seems to take himself way too seriously nowadays. I liked him better when he was doing science-y stuff for the Almost Live New Year's episodes (the Amazing Vortex of Science!).

    But, in any case - I have my doubts that either Trump or the Republicans in general have been waiting with bated breath, hoping against hope for Nye's approval. I think The Donald and his mindless throng thrive on rejection from what they perceive as the Establishment.

    • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @05:07PM (#51974393)

      Other than the fact he seems to take himself way too seriously nowadays. I liked him better when he was doing science-y stuff for the Almost Live New Year's episodes (the Amazing Vortex of Science!).

      Here's the way I look at it: Bill Nye has been teaching science for a long time. He sees how people who may become president misrepresent what he loves and has taught. So he speaks out. If you were a PE teacher and some candidate misrepresents the importance of exercise, would you say something? You may not due to your own preference but Bill Nye's preference is to speak.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Climate denialism is a scam and a fraud. Nothing the leading denialists say comes from observations, and nothing they claim is later verified experimentally.

      If anything, this shows that despite his proclamations to the contrary, Donald Trump is just like the others: bought and paid for by the fossil fuel lobby. Either that, or his climate policy is the result of a mouth speaking unattached to a brain and a refusal to listen to the advice of experts in the field.

      Comically bad.

      • Money's not an issue with him. He needs to have credibility as a Republican, and since he doesn't have a record, he has to over-compensate with words. He'll say anything if it makes him look good as a Republican, so that he can get Republican votes. I think if he is nominated, he'll pivot center, and if he makes it to a second term electoral cycle, he'll "transition" on the topic, similar to how Obama did with gay marriage.

        That's just my guess. He's super rich, but he still has to compromise himself to g

  • by Lead Butthead ( 321013 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @04:48PM (#51974291) Journal

    ... and Republican doesn't give a flying fuck. The End.

  • Dealing with climate change is not just a Presidential issue. Even if Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders were elected and they put all their political capital into play just for global warming, the level of change wouldn't be that high with a Republican controlled House and Senate Congressional races matter also. Emily Cain for example is running in one of the most competitive districts in the country against an opponent who is bad not just on global warming but on other environmental issues also. You can g

  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @05:27PM (#51974479)

    Amazing how very shortly after this feed gets put up, the first postings all follow the MO of the petro-chemical industry and the GOP...

    So, let us address a few things here.

    1)
    "Bill Nye isn't a 'Science Guy', he just holds a BS degree!"

    Assuming for a moment that we overlook the obviously implied "appeal to authority" fallacy this involves, he could be a bumbling idiot with cabbage in his beard that talks to empty chairs-- The data he directs people to is correct, and will continue being correct no matter what degrees or qualifications he has. So, discounting this obvious fallacy, there's buried ad-hominem goodness there too. Shooting the messenger like this does not make climate change less real, nor the message inaccurate.

    2)
    "The climate change crazies want to force their religion on us!!"

    Science is not a religion. It is a process, and a damned cuthroat one too. It might surprise you to know that the scientifically literate population have known that CO2 is a greenhouse gas since 1909, and have raised the red flag on industrial release of this gas through fossil fuel combustion since the 20's, predicting mass climate change. Here it is, a century later, and we have bulletproof data showing exactly this. What exactly consistutes religion to you? The belief in something without proof (which is what denialism is, given the massive amounts of experimental and climatological data collected so far showing that fossil fuel use is cumulatively deleterious to the climactic environment) or observing repeatable phenomena, creating testable hypotheses, and then strongly advising the world based on those findings? (science, and in this case-- the message of 99% of the world's climate scientists.)

    3)

    "Release XXX from prison so they can (euphamism for harm) Bill Nye!"

    Seriously? You advocate physical violence and harm to silence a message you find disfavorable? For real? No wonder the world is so fucked up, if you actually think killing the messenger makes the reality of the message go away. That is some premium magical thinking you have going there!

    4)
    "Bill Nye is a known shill/hippocrite! Everything he says is a lie!"

    From whom exactly does he accept money in exchange for his activism (since he is "known" to be a shill, this should be easy.) and in what respects is he a hippocrite? Because he uses electricity? (There are carbon neutral means of generating it, and he has expressed a preferrence for this. How then is his message hippocritical here?) Because he drives a car? (There are some very nice looking electric vehicles these days. I dont know for sure if he drives one, but I would expect that he would prefer to use one over a destructive internal combustion vehicle, given his rhetoric. Unless you have proof he drives a gas guzzler, this isnt hippocricy either.) Seriously, where does this come from? Hopefully it isnt imagination land.

    5)
    "He and Al Gore........"

    Guilt by association and bandwagon fallacies. Try to be intellectually honest here folks.

    I grow tired of hearing all these absurd rationalisms for denying the realities happening all around us, just so we can pretend that everything is OK, when all the data shows it most certainly is not.

    • by harperska ( 1376103 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @08:45PM (#51975557)

      It is funny how laying out a rational argument with valid counterpoints to several talking points is somehow being a "troll". It used to be that the fastest way to get yourself modded troll here was to be pro-Apple, or pro-Microsoft. Now I guess it's being pro-science.

      I wonder why climate change in particular gets people so worked up around here. You don't get insta-modded troll by calling out creationists or anti-vaxxers, and the willful lack of science literacy required to maintain a particular worldview is quite similar among all three.

      Not posting anonymously as I am proud of being pro-science and I have karma to burn if the anti-science brigade is still out there.

    • I'm probably not voting for any Republican candidate in this election, the choices are so horrible (but admittedly, I do usually vote Republican on national tickets). I was a GOP delegate to a state convention as an 18 year old but was so disgusted by the machinations of 'insider' politics I've never been party of the party since.

      I hold no petro stocks that I know of (I have a 401k, so I don't really know all of its holdings).
      I have never been paid anything by any petro, energy, or comparable company.
      (I w

  • Seriously, the Dems are messing up just as badly.
  • by sribe ( 304414 ) on Saturday April 23, 2016 @09:37PM (#51975735)

    Saw an editorial in WaPo today by George Will, about how progressives are so authoritarian because they want climate deniers to shut up. And he quoted an NSF (IIRC) paper about all the uncertainties in the science. A paper from 2001! Sheesh! 15 years ago, I was cautiously skeptical myself, but since then ALL the science keeps coming up the same, no matter how the questions are asked. Skeptics have long since been convinced, only ignorant fools are still arguing--fools like him who have to go back 15 years in order to find any reputable organization questioning it.

  • Actual deniers or supporters, or... the blatantly obvious fact that most of either camp do not know the first thing about what they're denying/supporting?

  • I realize that Donald is the front runner, but switching to Ted only makes things worse.

  • that climate change is pure bunk. And he further claims that everybody who claims otherwise is only do so to make money.

    Climate Change: What Do Scientists Say?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwqIy8Ikv-c

    > Richard Lindzen, the famously discredited global warming skeptic . . .
    > Lindzen received $2,500 a day to consult with coal and oil interests here and abroad in the 1990s, a fact Lindzen does not refute.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laurie-david/richard-lindzen-global-wa_b_19010.html

    Some believe Richard Lindzen to be an industry shill
    > He had been a witness for tobacco companies decades earlier, questioning the reliability of statistical connections between smoking and health problems.
    > When I met him at a later conference, I did ask that question, and was surprised by his response: He began rattling off all the problems with the date relating smoking to helath problems, which was closely analagous to his views of climate data."

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Richard_S._Lindzen

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