Frozen water fell from the sky today, therefore thousands of scientists the world over are liars. Just go with it.
That’s the narrative coming from Fox News in their coverage of the heavy snow blanketing the eastern coast of the United States this winter. Thankfully, there’s Bill Nye the Science Guy, ready to explain the complexities of climate science in terms easy enough for even a child to digest.
Nye, however, jacked his assessment of meteorology into the realm of partisanship, scoffing on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show on Wednesday night that climate change deniers are “unpatriotic” in parroting simple minded, anti-science propaganda.
“[We] remind you that global warming was the first term for this phenomenon that we now call can climate change,” he said. “So it‘s very reasonable that a snowstorm in Washington that‘s this severe is a result of climate change.”
“There‘s more energy in the atmosphere, and this is stirring things up,” Nye continued. “If you want to get serious about it, these guys claiming that the snow in Washington disproves climate change are almost unpatriotic. It’s really, they’re denying science.”
Nye, who once hosted a popular children’s show, explained that as an educator he’s noticed a sharp divide between older and younger people when it comes to accepting the science of climate change.
“This is anecdotal for me,” Nye said. “Older people just have a much harder time grasping the idea that you have many billions of people on the planet with a very, very thin atmosphere, you‘re able to affect its climate. It’s younger people are able to sort of embrace it, understand the evidence and move forward.”
Weather, he noted, is day-to-day. The average global climate on a year-to-year basis, however, is something else entirely.
NASA scientists announced toward the end of January that the last 10 years were the hottest decade in over 2,000 years, with 2009 being the second warmest on record.
“This thing of denying science, you know, science has done so much to make this country what it is: A technological leader,” Nye said. “It’s improved the quality of life for so many people, here and around the world. To deny what scientists or scientific evidence is showing, is inappropriate. And as I said earlier … It’s unpatriotic.”
His words did not sit easily with conservative blog Hot Air, which retaliated in a Thursday post.
“Maybe Nye is an expert on patriotism?” writer Ed Morrissey rhetorically asked. “Er, no.”
“Demanding unquestioning acceptance of recent scientific claims as gospel amounts to a forced belief system, and our Constitution actually has an explicit prohibition against religious tests for office,” he continued. “Is the Constitution unpatriotic as well? Maybe Nye should stick to classroom demonstrations of basic science and leave AGW and the measurement of patriotism to those more intellectually capable of discernment.”
This video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Feb. 11, 2010.