Bill Nye debates climate change with GOP congresswoman

Bill Nye debates climate change with GOP congresswoman February 15, 2014

Bill Nye “the Science Guy” will debate climate change with Tennessee Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, a “proud climate change denier,” and Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The debate is scheduled to happen this Sunday on the NBC news program “Meet the Press.” Earlier this month, Nye successfully debated Ken “Answers in Genesis” Ham on the merits of evolution and creationism.

GOP congresswoman Blackburn staunchly denies climate change, calling it an “unsettled science.” While Nye claims: “Climate change is happening, humans are causing it, and I think this is perhaps the most serious environmental issue facing us.”

Like the recent evolution vs. creationism debate, some object to Nye’s participation in a debate on climate change. Those that object to Nye participating in a debate on climate change seem to offer two reasons:

  1. Nye is not a climate scientist, but rather a science educator/entertainer; thus, if a debate is to take place a climate scientist should argue the case for climate change.
  2. Like creationists, climate change deniers do not represent a legitimate scientific position; thus, they should not be given the platform and credibility a debate offers.

As for the first objection, the fact that Nye is a science educator/entertainer should actually work to his advantage in explaining often complex and counter-intuitive scientific concepts to a general audience.

However, the second objection seems to offer more weight, and in fact at one point Nye seemed to agree:

“I appreciate that we want to show two sides of the stories — there’s a tradition in journalism that goes back quite a ways, I guess — but the two sides aren’t equal here. You have tens of thousands of scientists who are very concerned and you have a few people who are in business of equating or drawing attention to the idea that uncertainty is the same as doubt. When you have a plus or minus percentage, that’s not the same thing as not believing the whole thing at all.”

Yet all things considered, it is a positive thing for Nye to confront and correct the climate change deniers. The anti-intellectual forces in this country that reject science in favor of  religious superstition and denial are strong, and they are not going away. We need people like Bill Nye to stand up and speak out on behalf of reason and science. Afterall, the future of the planet hangs in the balance.

Pass the popcorn, it should be fun.

Bill Nye and Marsha Blackburn get ready to debate climate change.
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  • David Marshall

    Well this is going to be entertaining. An educated human who works with facts, reality, commonsense and reason vs a GOP member who knows nothing but what the bible and her pastor has taught her and what her male masters tell her. I mean c’mon the GOP hate woman so she can’t think for herself.

  • WOG with Attitude

    It’s sad that we even have to have these conversations in this day and age. I’m glad that the foolishness like the insanity of creationism and climate change disbelief are coming to light. Let the games begin and the person with truth and reality and evidence on his side, WIN. Sadly so many people are being hypnotized by the religious reich (sic). Sometimes I feel like I live with the Children of the Damned…since all these crazies are getting fed the same garbage from the pulpit. The world truly will go to heck if they continue to hold sway over public opinion.