Environment

Bill Nye Had the Perfect Response to a Climate Change Denier

April 19th 2016

By:
Lucy Tiven

America's most prominent "Science Guy" just put his money where his mouth is.

When bodybuilder and meteorologist Joe Bastardi challenged Bill Nye "the Science Guy" to “put up or shut up" about the cause of climate change, Nye called his bluff — and bet $10,000 that 2016 would be among the ten hottest years yet.

"He challenged me to show a connection between carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the world's temperature," and to "make a forecast," Nye explained in the video. The "Science Guy" did just that, and illustrated the impact of climate change according to data collected by five independent organizations.

Bill Nye Climate Change

Nye was responding to a challenge Bastardi posed in a 2015 opinion piece in the Patriot Post, which also asserted that Nye was "not a man of science" but simply "an actor."

The "Science Guy" proceeded to identify flaws in the graphs Bastardi chose to present and pointed out that the bodybuilder and weatherman used 2005 and 2006, a period that immediately followed an El Niño event, in his example. El Niño years cause temperatures to spike for a short period and decline afterwards, but this doesn't mean the climate isn't getting warmer overall, Nye explained. "Of course it's going to go down a little bit at first," he said.

Bill Nye Climate Change El Nino

He also questioned Bastardi's motives, and implied that he had been paid to speak at events hosted by coal and gas companies, which stand to benefit from the conclusion that their businesses aren't contributing to climate change.

Bill Nye Climate Change Denial

“I can’t help but think about Upton Sinclair, who said, ‘it’s hard to get a man to believe something when his salary depends on his not believing it,'" Nye remarked.

Nye doubled down on his offer, and bet Bastardi another $10,000 that the climate would be at its warmest over the next decade.

Bill Nye big check

"The Science Guy" has become a target for climate change deniers.

The feud between Nye and Bastardi dates back to the Science Guy's 2010 appearance on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor." But Bastardi is not the only one who has slammed "the Science Guy's" credentials in an attempt to discredit his points about climate change.

Recently, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin slammed Nye at a Congressional event where she appeared to promote the film "Climate Hustle," Gawker reported.

“Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am,” Palin said. “He’s a kids’ show actor. He’s not a scientist.”

Palin expanded that Nye was part of a political conspiracy that aimed to expand the federal government's control over people's day-to-day lives by spreading misleading data "to make us think that we can somehow change the weather."

This is also not the first time Nye has written a big check asking climate change deniers to test their stated beliefs. Recently, he made a similar offer to Marc Morano, who is affiliated with the "Climate Hustle" film, and the conservative think tank Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). Morano reportedly opted out of the bet.

Despite what his detractors' jabs might lead you to believe, Nye does not claim to be a scientist. As Gawker reporter Brendan O'Connor pointed out, he is, rather, "a mechanical engineer who does not call himself a scientist, but the 'Science Guy.'"

You can watch the full video featuring Nye's bets and fact-checking spree on the Huffington Post.

[H/T The Huffington Post]