Thursday, 20 February 2014

“Science Guy” Bill Nye Mixes Up North/South Poles in Climate Debate

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Bill Nye, the actor/comedian/educator who gained fame in the 1990s for his Bill Nye the Science Guy program on PBS, apparently doesn’t know the difference between the Arctic and Antarctic regions of the globe. At least that’s the way it looks from his recent “debate” appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, where he urgently lectured Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and viewers on the supposed need to “do everything” and do it now to stop catastrophic climate change. At the 8:26 minute mark in the program, Nye rhetorically asked Blackburn if they could at least agree on the “facts.” He then held up a graphic purporting to be a satellite image of Antarctica and asked: “Would you say the Antarctic has less ice than it used to?”

This was a big flub for Nye on several counts. First of all, the image he held up was of the Arctic, not Antarctica. Not exactly an inconsequential detail, especially for an alleged “expert.” But maybe he simply grabbed the wrong graphic in the heat of argument and didn’t notice, so maybe we shouldn’t make too much of that, right? OK, let’s magnanimously grant that point and let the mistake slide, though it is difficult to imagine that if the tables were turned and a climate skeptic had made such an embarrassing faux pas on national television that it wouldn’t have been turned into a definitive “gotcha” moment to forever disqualify him or her as a credible witness on climate issues. However, the only media mention that we are aware of concerning Nye’s misstep came on the NoTrickZone website of the ever-perceptive Pierre Gosselin, an American engineer and climate blogger who lives in Europe.

More importantly, Nye apparently is unaware of (or chooses to ignore) the fact that the “disappearing ice” scare is yet another of the spectacular false crises that is being acknowledged as such even by many of the alarmists who used to cite it as evidence to bolster their case. However, die-hard alarmists continue to flog that horse. For years, Al Gore repeatedly, hysterically predicted that the Arctic would be ice-free by 2013. Other notable warmists echoed his apocalyptic monitories, and the MSM fright-mongers multiplied the exaggerated fears. Al Gore and company will not relent on the issue, but scientific reports on the current status of global ice cover, as well as the historic frigid temperatures throughout much of the world this winter, have demonstrated once again how ridiculous these fears have been. As Alex Newman reported in The New American this past December 18: 

Well, 2013 is almost over, and contrary to the alarmist “predictions” by Gore and what critics refer to as his “doomsday cult,” the latest satellite data show that Arctic ice cover has actually expanded 50 percent over 2012 levels. In fact, during October, sea-ice levels grew at the fastest pace since records began in 1979. Experts predict the expansion to continue in the years to come, leaving global-warming alarmists scrambling fiendishly for explanations to save face — and to revive the rapidly melting climate hysteria.

In September, meanwhile, data also showed that sea ice levels in Antarctica had expanded to record levels for the second year in a row. Of course, by now, virtually everyone who has been following news about “global warming” — now more often referred to as “climate change” owing to public-relations concerns — also knows that global temperatures have not risen for some 17 years. The spectacular lack of warming demolished all 73 of the “climate models” used by the United Nations to push its controversial theories. 

Yes, as we have reported here many times, the United Kingdom’s National Weather Service, known as the Met Office, conceded in 2012 that real measurements showed there had been no global warming for 15 years, that is, since 1997. It has now been 17 years with no measurable global warming, but Bill Nye still says he is “frantic” with concern over the dangers of global warming/climate change. And he wants us to share his frantic fanaticism. 

Immediately following his Antarctic ice argument, Nye attacked Rep. Blackburn with the CO2 bogeyman, noting that the rise from 320 to 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a very big, planet-threatening deal. Blackburn did not get a chance to respond to that claim, but Marc Morano of Climate Depot did so in an earlier debate with Nye.

Morano pointed out that CO2 levels have fluctuated wildly over the centuries and the millennia, that our planet has experienced much higher atmospheric CO2 levels. “We’ve had ice ages at between 2,000 and 8,000 parts per million in the geological history of the Earth,” Morano noted. “We’ve had similar temperatures with 20 times the CO2 levels.”

Moreover, Morano and many others have emphasized the scientific fact that CO2 increases have followed temperature increases. And since the cause does not follow the effect, it is absurd for the alarmists to claim the mantle of science while clinging to this demonstrably false argument.

“The head of UN IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, just came out last year or the year before and said their mission is to make the case that CO2 is driving global warming,” Morano said in his debate with Nye. “They put the cart before the horse…. CO2 is not the tail that wagged the dog.”

David Gregory, the NBC host, of course, did not correct Nye’s Arctic/Antarctic graphic mix-up (perhaps he didn’t notice, or didn’t know the difference himself), his misstatements of fact concerning CO2, or any of his other false claims. In fact, Gregory was very clearly participating as an active climate alarmist in the “debate,” rather than as the moderator. In addition to making it a 2-to-1 Nye/Gregory tag team event against Rep. Blackburn, NBC stacked the deck even further by loading up with news video footage of “extreme weather” and headlines from biased MSM sources to tilt the program entirely in favor of the alarmist position.

Replaying the Consensus Con Game

NBC's Gregory was especially in Nye’s corner in repeatedly claiming “scientific consensus” as the final argument in favor of the radical Big Government global policies to deal with the alleged crisis. Ah yes, the “consensus” thing; it keeps coming up over and over again as the supposed trump card, no matter how many times it is shown that: a) there is no such thing scientific consensus on anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming (AGW) and; b) science is not determined by consensus, but by reproducible experiment, measurement, and evidence. The Washington Post resorted to the consensus weapon in its report on the Nye/Blackburn “debate,” citing the discredited John Cook study to falsely claim that 97 percent of scientists who have expressed an opinion endorse the AGW position. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are but two of many high-profile politicians to recently cite the 97-percent claim.

However, as we reported last May, (Global Warming “Consensus”: Cooking the Books) the Cook study is one of the biggest shams in academic/scientific history. While purporting to be a survey of “over 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science papers,” Cook engaged in some dodgy cooking of the stats. The truth is, a closer look at Cook’s own data shows that only 65 papers out of the more than 12,000 endorsed AGW! Yes, only .5 percent ( that’s one-half of a percent!), not 97 percent, of the papers endorsed AGW. We reported: 

Blogger Brandon Shollenberger appears to have been the first to have uncovered the Big Secret of the Cook charade: When stripped down to the bare truth, the actual number of studies in the Cook sampling that can be said to endorse the position that human activity is responsible for most of the experienced global warming is — get ready for this (drum roll …) — sixty-five. Yes, 65, or around half a percent, not 97 percent! And this minuscule number of strong endorsers is actually less than the number of skeptical scientific papers included in the Cook study. 

Marc Morano’s debate (mentioned above) with Bill Nye on John Stossel’s Chill Out! program on Fox TV can be seen here.

Amazingly, in the Morano debate, Nye uses the thoroughly discredited Michael Mann “hockey stick” graph (made famous by Al Gore), which denies the Medieval Warm Period, or MWP. But there is, and has been for a long time, a genuine scientific consensus that the Medieval Warm Period did indeed occur. In denying the MWP, it is Nye who is the “denier,” but Nye regularly uses that term to disparage his opponents, apparently hoping to taint them subliminally in the minds of his audience with the Holocaust denial contamination.

The Morano/Nye debate is well worth watching. Additionally, meteorologist/climate researcher Anthony Watts has posted a number of noteworthy stories dissecting various Bill Nye climate claims on his acclaimed WattsUpWithThat website. (See hereherehere, and here)

Nye has been particularly active of late, recently appearing on Bill Maher’s HBO raunchfest and Piers Morgan’s CNN nightly shoutfest, among others. President Obama, the Big Green enviro lobby, and the AGW alarmist media choir are doing everything possible to resurrect “climate change” (formerly known as global warming) as one of the big battlefronts of 2014. Bill Nye “the Science Fiction Guy” clearly is the MSM darling of the moment on this topic, regardless of the fact that he has no scientific credentials and his climate change presentations are rife with error, hyperbole, goofs, and gaffes. 

Photo: Screengrab of Bill Nye during his  appearance on NBC's Meet the Press

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