Bill Nye, science guy on climate change and science denialism (video)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

Share This Post

91 Responses to “Bill Nye, science guy on climate change and science denialism (video)”

  1. Jim Steele says:

    Obviously you avoid every issue with personal attacks. You dismiss every contradiction as cherry picking even though there is a boatload of cherries. The “problem trying to have an intelligent discussion” usually starts with looking at the man in the mirror.

  2. okojo says:

    As Bob Wallace told you last month…

    “This is the problem trying to have an intelligent discussion with a denier. They start with a believe then cherry-pick and misrepresent stuff in order to maintain their beliefs.

    Don’t waste your time posting your stuff here, Jim. Stay in the Up zone of reality. You won’t get challenged there.”

    You are more than an advocate, you are a kook. You have been repeating the same tired bonehead arguments about solar winds and oscillation for years. You have been simply told from sites like Real Climate to that your rants are just that: rants.

    You are not worth the time, Dr. Steele. I actually feel sorry for you. Now run on back to Anthony Watts, boneheaded AGW denier website and write more articles about Polar Bears and the Antarctica. Good bye.

  3. Jim Steele says:

    Okjo do you mean to suggest that in a debate no one should advocate their position? I can not comprehend your question.

  4. Jim Steele says:

    Samizdat, I would never call Alec a liar. He seems convinced. He is just unaware of all the evidence. Besides name-calling others only prevents respectable debate and prevents is from moving forward in our understanding.

  5. samizdat says:

    Just call him a liar and a fool and be done with it.

  6. Jim Steele says:

    Alec, You make many assumptions without knowing me at all. YOu are using the “old tactic” of trying to denigrate the person instead of arguing the science. Your belief that CO2 controlls 80% of the climate change is not supported by evidence nor most peer reviewed papers.

  7. Jim Steele says:

    Alec calling climate skeptics deniers and implying skepticism is an ignorant product of greed in contrast to your righteous beliefs exemplifies how far from the actual science the climate change debate has wandered. You reference to Lacis (2010) that CO2 controls 80% but that is an incorrect interpretation and indeed based on belief. Lacis wrote “Non-condensing greenhouse gases, which account for 25% of the total terrestrial greenhouse
    effect” and that is the high end estimate. No skeptic argues against the fact that CO2 has risen or that it contributes to the greenhouse effect. However Lacis argues the remaining 75% of the greenhouse effect from water vapor and clouds is driven by CO2 and that is total speculation. The dynamics and causes of the climate feedback and climate sensitivity are fiercely debated in the literature. Where I worked in the Sierra Nevada for 30 years monitoring wildlife and restoring habitat,ghe maximum temperatures are a few degrees lower now than the were in the 30s. Obviously there are other powerful factors.

    The tropics receive more heat than is radiated back to space. That extra heat is exported via ocean currents and the atmosphere towards the poles. Redistribution of tropical heat is the crucial determinant of climate outside the tropics. For instance during the 1997 El Nino global average temperature warmed more than 1 degree, an increase greater than a century’s worth of global warming. And according to the IPCC’s own science, added water vapor or CO2 have very little impact on warming the tropics.

    From the IPCC’s working group one “The Physical Basis” the IPCC consensus writes, “In
    the humid equatorial regions, where there is so much water vapour in the air that the greenhouse effect is very large, adding a small additional amount of CO2 or water vapour
    has only a small direct impact on downward infrared radiation. However, in the cold, dry polar regions, the effect of a small increase in CO2 or water vapour is much greater.”

    But the impact in the polar regions is likely trivial as well. They point to the warming in the Arctic but the rise in Arctic temperatures are confounded by changing winds of the Aarctic Oscillation that either remove ice or trap it and the resulting changes in heat ventilated from the ocean. In contrast at the south pole there are no landscape changes to affect surface heating and it is so cold virtually all the water vapor is squeezed out so only CO2 remains to control the greenhouse effect. During the winter when changes in solar insolation is absent and the ozone hole has yet to develop, the southpole temperatures have actually decreased despite the rising concentrations of CO2. In accord with declining south pole winter temperatures, the sea ice in Antarctic has expanded to new extents. And that suggests CO2’s contribution is trivial at the poles as well. See the graph of Southpole winter temperatures (derived from the British Antarctic survey) in the essay “Why Antarctic Sea Ice Is the Better Climate Change Indicator”.–climate-change-indicator.html

  8. Alec Sevins says:

    What do you think is causing smog all around the world where people exist in large numbers with machines? Why is it such an impossible stretch to admit that a less visible form of man-made effluent can cause gradually worsening problems over decades?

    Other effects of Man on nature are widespread. Look at satellite photos of deforestation and the millions of acres converted to cropland. Man is not an incidental force upon nature, rather a driving force in many aspects of change. Think of “climate change” in the same context as changes in vegetative cover. To acknowledge one type of change but not the other makes no sense.

  9. Alec Sevins says:

    How is understanding that CO2 controls 80% of radiative forcing a “belief?” I am tired of seeing the word “belief” applied to basic matters of evidence. Ozone depletion via CFCs wasn’t a “belief” either. Science only becomes a “belief” when someone has economic or religious reasons for not wanting to accept it at face value.

    You are using the old tactic of trying to create doubt by giving equal weight to ideology and evidence. Science just happens to be “wrong” when it questions someone’s economic or religious agenda. Global warming denial is part of a longstanding pathological reaction to any talk of regulation. Thanks, Reagan, for your 3-decade legacy of industry apologetics under the banner of the American flag.

  10. Alec Sevins says:

    Here’s a critical point that few deniers understand: CO2 controls about 80% of radiative forcing, per NASA (A. Lacis) and other sources. Water vapor and other powerful but transient GHGs lack CO2’s staying power in the atmosphere. CO2 modulates the effects of water vapor over time, making it the “thermostat” of the climate system. CO2 is a “trace gas” in the same way Sarin is a “trace gas,” metaphorically speaking.

    Armchair “scientists” are stuck on the notion that something comprising a relatively small percentage of the atmosphere can’t be that big a deal. But without CO2, most of the Earth would be freezing most of the time. To deny that adding more CO2 traps more heat is to deny the fundamentals of the greenhouse effect.

    Deniers have no logical basis and are clearly political. They don’t just happen to be right-wingers. Them being right wingers is what perpetuates willful ignorance. The same mentality prevailed on ozone depletion, acid rain and a number of other industry-related environmental problems. Fracking hazard denial is cut from the same cloth. Anything that makes people money “must be OK, so let’s ignore all evidence that it causes any problems.”

  11. JimmySD says:

    Unfortunately, you are 100% correct.

    There’s a lot of parallels when it comes to the anti-vaxxers and the global warming deniers. They both dismiss the science. They both justify their outrageous claims by screaming about some conspiracy that doesn’t exist. And in both cases their ignorance threatens other people’s well being.

  12. Jim Steele says:

    Your persistent avoidance of real discussion and rehashing the claim that popularity of an idea proves the science, is not science or education. When you retreat to personal attacks then it is clear you lack the scientific evidence to support your argument. We can make a more resilient environment by protecting natural habitat and restoring wetlands. Putting aside just how catastrophic a less than a one degree rise in global temperatures is, and the fact that most regions act very differently than the average, fifteen years without global warming suggest we can still have time for a respectful debate.

  13. okojo says:

    If you want empirical evidence to disprove the case that you have presented, might I suggest going back to the real climate website, in which you were told the same thing over and over again that you have been told on this forum. You denied the vast amount of evidence tying the rise of Co2 in the atmosphere to AGW, and stick to studies about ice in the Bering Sea and the Greenland Ice shelf.

    A debate can be about education, not constantly re hashing the same old talking points that you have pontificating for years. If you want to be “skeptical”, all the power to you, but that is not what you are doing. You refused to what pretty much all major scientific organizations in the world have concluded. I doubt that the NAS is going to back track from their 2004 statement about immediate action on AGW because, “oh wait, we wait for more info at Pacific Decadal Oscilliation, before stating immediate drastic action to stem AGW”…

    You are not fooling anyone..

  14. Jim Steele says:

    I could put hundreds of contrary stories if space allowed. Try addressing the evidence just once. For example glaciologists write

    Dr. J. Graham Cogley wrote “The claim that Himalayan glaciers may disappear by 2035 requires a 25-fold greater loss rate from 1999 to 2035 than that estimated for 1960 to 1999. It conflicts with knowledge of glacier climate relationships, and is wrong.” Read Cogley, J. et al. (2010) Tracking the Source of Glacier Misinformation. Science, vol. 327, pp. 522-522.

    or Dr. Georg Kaser, Tropical Glaciology Group, University of Innsbruck writes “The near extinction of the plateau ice in modern times is controlled by the absence of sustained regional wet periods rather than changes in local air temperature on the peak of Kilimanjaro.” Read Kaser, G., et al. (2012) Is the decline of ice on Kilimanjaro unprecedented in the Holocene?. The Holocene, OnlineFirst, published on July 19, 2010 as doi:10.1177/0959683610369498

    There is also the paradox of growing glaciers in the western Himalaya and shrinking glaciers in the eastern Himalaya, which is difficult to explain by a uniform blanket of CO2 or a global temperature increase. However the path by which moisture is delivered to each region readily explains the difference. The Karakoram receives most of its moisture from westerly winds, while the eastern Himalaya accumulates snow during the summer monsoons. Most climate scientists agree that any future changes in monsoon intensity will have an important effect on Himalayan glaciers, and the strength of the monsoons correlates with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Asian droughts were more frequent during the warm phase of the PDO that persisted from 1976 to the early 2000s

  15. Jim Steele says:

    Okjo you take a very interesting tact. You refuse to debate any of the peer reviewed evidence and then argue it is I who is not debating because I present a skeptical point of view. Orwell would be proud of your double speak. And then you clinch your wily argument by trying to denigrate me as a denier.

    I do not try to come across as neutral. I am openly skeptical and base that opinion on decades of examining climate effects on wildlife. I argue that landscape changes and natural cycles affect the global average tremendously. With the sun’s activity declining and ocean oscillations entering cooling phases I argue if the rising trend in global average does resume CO2’s contribution is trivial. I await the natural experiment that’s coming in the next 2 decades. Based on natural ocean oscillations I predict the Arctic sea ice will recover within the next decade. Nature will prove me wrong, not your attempts at denigration. Do you ever wonder what will happen to all those politicians and scientists who use the declining Arctic sea ice to support their authority? If the Arctic sea ice does recover the political fall out will be unprecedented, and we will all see in the next 10 years.

  16. Jim Steele says:

    Okjo you have yet to reply respectfully or with any evidence. You have provided absolutely no evidence to refute anything I say, but simply denigrate my skepticism. You illustrate the depths to which scientific discussions have descended and your comments are more appropriate for a Jerry Springer show, not factual based science.

  17. Jim says:

    You are right. GMO requires much more testing and approval to bring to market.
    Now if you shot some seeds with radiation or drench them in a chemical mix in order to create mutations no testing needed. Heck you can even sell them as certified organic seeds.

  18. Jim says:

    If you are talking about the wheat that got lose in Oregon its still under investigation on how it was released at this point of time no one knows. And the truth of the matter is the wheat was on its way to approval before wheat farmers told the seed producers they would not be buying since the EU and Japan would not buy it. In the last couple of years this has changed and the farmers are dying to have GMO wheat in order to reduce chemical inputs.
    Where is the marketing material that every said that about bt cotton.
    Its a political issues with the EU and Japan not a science issue. There scientist agree with the rest of the major scientist and science bodies in the world that their is no harm with GMOs. And the EU needs to shut the fuck up on this issue. They import more food then Africa does despite about half the population and more and better farm land in use. They are protectionist especially against US companies and products but label it consumer protection. France more specifically is the country that banned potatoes for years because it came from the new world.
    Where are these studies that have held up? Where is all this harm in the US population? What vectors are going to create this harm? What would be the harm if GMO where not used?
    Good god the “Monsanto protection act” only protects farmers. You plant the new Bt sweetcorn and some judge in the 9th district decides to place a preliminary injunction on its sales and you just lost you whole crop for the year. Hard to pay for your tractors, labor, and land when you have no income. This act allows farmers to sell what was approved at the time of planting.
    Famers are not idiots which is what much of the anti monsonto rants suggest. Now days they nearly all have degrees from major research universities and masters are fairly common. They are not going to buy seeds that cost more money up front if it cost them more money in the back end and makes a shitty product. The whole goal is to use the least amount of inputs not even to be nice to the environment though that is a major reason why since they want to farm next year too but because its cheaper for them.

  19. Jim says:

    If the science that is coming out showing harm from GMO came from the oil industry you would rightfully call it the bullshit that it is. Not even the tobacco industry tried to pass off science this bad.
    There is no such study that shows that farmers use more chemical inputs for GMO corn or crops. That would defeat the whole purpose of using GMO in the first place seeing as they are most expensive in general over traditional hybrids.
    Umm no one every claimed that insects would never develop resistance to Bt. The people working at these companies do know about evolution.
    Do you know what it takes to be approved for market? Its a 15 year process and 150 million dollars to bring a GMO to the commercial process. It requires approval from the EPA and USDA and if it going to be used for food the FDA. The last is “voluntary” in theory but mandatory in practice as none of these companies are going to waste 100 million plus dollars to have their product pulled from the shelves. Which means farmers wont buy their seeds.
    What ham handed and inhuman tactics has Monsanto used? They have filled 9 lawsuits that went to trial in the United States and won 9 cases. You actually read the cases and it is clear the farmer was illegally using the seeds. They never have sued anyone for accidental use and they cant even if they wanted to as they are now bound by their memo stating they wont sue for accidental use.
    What harm has GMO salmon done? I cant wait to here this one seeing its still in the testing phase and not in commercial use.
    Save you the time I know I am a monstono shill.

  20. Jim says:

    All farming requires pesticide, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides and that includes Organic farming. Round Up ready crops reduce the amount of herbicides needed to grow crops by allowing 1 or 2 applications of the fairly low toxic Glyphosate (round up) instead of a mix of several different herbicides and more applications.
    Bt crops mean they don’t need to apply pesticides and insecticides or apply less and less often. BT is used in Organic farming with much higher dosages then produced in Bt crops.
    Super Weed is bs anti science GMO crap. Its the history of farming. You find one thing that works against bugs or weeds and then the weeds and bugs evolve a defense against it. The method of growing does not matter its just evolution in action. Round up ready has the nice huge advantage of allowing no till which is the king when it comes to top soil health. Organic farming yeah they have to till a lot.
    There are now counties in the US that have over 10 percent of kindergarteners un vaccinated meaning no herd immunity for measles and other vaccinated diseases.

  21. Jim says:

    Yes if you believe in A (global warming) then you must believe in B (GMO) and C (Vax) because the only reason you believe A is the scientific method which supports B and C.

  22. okojo says:

    You will be called names, because your agenda is not debate but advocacy. The last thing you want to do is to debate. You have been doing your dog and pony show for years about the need to “debate” AGW when you just go from one forum to another stating the same tired arguments about sea ice in Antarctica and the Bering Sea, you have been disproven for years.

  23. okojo says:

    Dr. Steele,

    You are pretty renown. Renown as an AGW denialist. You seemed to have some grudge with Dr. Parmesan. You want to take a couple studies on sea ice in the Bering Sea, etc., while blatantly ignoring everything else on how climate change is apparent all around the planet.

    You are just repeating your talking points about sea ice that you have stating for years and years. This isn’t about a debate for you, this is about advocacy.

    Go back to Sierra habitat restoration. It is sad that your life work now repeating yourself as an advocate, not as a biologist.

    You want to come across as “neutral”, with no bone to pick with either side, when it is very apparent that you are an AGW denier, not a skeptic, but a denier. Give it up. I have seen enough of your kookiness. It is really sad..

  24. Jim Steele says:

    Both skeptics and CO2 advocates are blinded by their own beliefs. Only respectable debate and critical analyses of the evidence can free us from our own illusions. Please keep the debate focused on the evidence. Calling each other names does nothing to improve our scientific understanding. Science is not a popularity contest. The book “100 Against Einstein” failed to discredit him. It is the inconsistencies of a theory that guide science to a better understanding.

  25. Jim Steele says:

    Okjo says “the main proponents of AGW denial are think tanks tied to major energy industries. Much like your diversion that climate science requires evidence of 2 natural cycles of Pacific Decadal Oscillation. I guess the IPCC publish reports are now nullified because they have to have the right findings of 2 cycles of Pacific Decadal Oscilliation. Likewise ice core samples and tree rings findings are to be ignored“

    Okjo you need to read the literature more, instead of simply believing and spewing that all contrary evidence is due to the Heartland group . The literature is full of evidence that questions the CO2 paradigm. Both advocates and skeptics will be blinded by their beliefs and only respectable debate can save us from our own illusions. Let’s try actually discussing evidence?

    Who is denying tree ring evidence? Instrumental temperatures measure the effect of human urbanization as most instruments have been relocated to airports. In more natural habitat the trees speak differently. A 2007 paper by 10 leading tree-ring scientists reported, “No current tree ring based reconstruction of extratropical Northern Hemisphere temperatures that extends into the 1990s captures the full range of late 20th century warming observed in the instrumental record.”

    Read Wilson R., et al., (2007) Matter of divergence: tracking recent warming at hemispheric scales using tree-ring data. Journal of Geophysical Research–A, 112,

    And Scandinavian treerings show the warmest period recently was the 1940s but still not warmer than the Medieval Warm Period or Roman Warm period. Read

    Esper, J. et al. (2012) Variability and extremes of northern Scandinavian summer temperatures over the past two millennia. Global and Planetary Change 88–89 (2012) 1–9.

    The Pacific Decadal Oscillation is now being used to explain why rising CO2 and flat global temperatures do not correlate/Leading CO2 advocate,Dr. Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research, recently said, “The IPCC has not paid enough attention to natural variability, on several time scales, especially El Niños and La Niñas, the Pacific Ocean phenomena that are not yet captured by climate models, and the longer term Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) which have cycle lengths of about 60 years.”

    Appell, D. (2013) Whither Global Warming? Has It
    Slowed Dpwn? The Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media.

    Or read how Argo data shows the upper 300 meters of the ocean have not warmed but slightly cooled since 2003. 1. Xue,Y., et al., (2012) A ComparativeAnalysis of Upper-Ocean Heat Content Variability from an Ensemble of Operational Ocean Reanalyses. Journal of Climate, vol 25, 6905-6929.

  26. AZVern says:

    “If GM crops have contributed significantly to the development of herbicide resistant weeds, we would expect the number of unique instances of these superweeds to increase following adoption of GM crops. The figure below illustrates all unique cases of herbicide resistant weeds between 1986 and 2012. I have fit a linear regression to the data from 1986 to 1996 (time period before widespread GM crop adoption) and another regression to the time period 1997 to 2012.”

    You really don’t have a clue what you’re talking about; a primary focus of genetic modification is to make crops resistant to pests, which in turn eliminates the need for pesticides.

    samizdat is not “correct”, that person asserted something with no evidence.

    Yeah, you’re a fucking moron.

  27. AZVern says:

    They are not dissimilar; anti-science is anti-science. There exists no credible scientific justification in opposing either vaccines, or GMOs.

  28. okojo says:

    I am defending the scientific process. You are defending sophistry. Now go ahead and cry on the shoulders of the Heartland Institute, and re read your talking points about how the Greenland sea ice is growing..

    The debate about about what is changing the climate has been over for years. The answer: Anthropogenic Global Warming. Much like the debate of who won or lost the second world war has been over since 1945.

    The debate is now what is the OECD countries can do about cutting their C02 emissions while continuing a massive global infrastructure.

    All your crap about the need of 2 natural cycles of Pacific Decadal Oscillation, is just pure and utter diversion and denial. The amount of evidence that scientists have published about global warming that is tied to the rise of Co2 levels has been going on for decades. The theories of AGW has been around since the 1890s, the knowledge that Co2 is a greenhouse gas is from the 1840s. The earth is the part of the experiment…

    The “debate” about the science has long been over about AGW. The only people demanding there is no solid proof of AGW are not scientists, but PR hacks, the main proponents of AGW denial are think tanks tied to major energy industries. Much like your diversion that climate science requires evidence of 2 natural cycles of Pacific Decadal Oscillation. I guess the IPCC publish reports are now nullified because they have to have the right findings of 2 cycles of Pacific Decadal Oscilliation. Likewise ice core samples and tree rings findings are to be ignored, ditto with Co2 levels for hundred of thousands to million of years…

  29. Jim Steele says:

    Your right. The key is indeed replication which is why climate science requires evidence over 2 natural cycles of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Most extreme droughts and heat waves happened in the 1930s and 40s as would be expected by the ocean oscillations and extreme solar activity. The oscillation theories suggested the current warming hiatus but the CO2 theory did not. I tried to replicate Parmesan’s iconic paper Climate and Species Range but she refused to publish the data that allows replication. However they did admit that many colonies that they had once reported as extinct in the 1990s were now re-colonized. Here suggestion of global warming extinction earned her a place on the IPCC and a visit to the White House. In contrast the good news of recolonization never got reported. Contradictory evidence is simply not published. That is the real “pure and utter crap” that you defend okjo.

  30. okojo says:

    Bullshit. Let me guess, Exxon Mobil, every coal mining company that mines lignite coal are just sitting on the sideline about OECD companies limiting their Co2 emissions?

    Tell me what is wrong with the Stern Report?

  31. okojo says:

    “I have now submitted a formal request for a retraction of one of those paper as they fabricated climate doom Enron style by keeping half the data out of sight”..

    That is just pure and utter crap. The key is the replication of experiments and conclusions in peer review studies. Right now, the earth is the experiment with AGW. Demanding that scientist have to produce all their data they used in a published peer review scientific study is just sophistry, and ignoring the findings of the study. If there is a problem with a peer review study, it would be shown with different results and problems with the conclusion of a future study.

    “” is a pretty renown denialist website, and as duplicitous and disingenuous as other anti global warming advocates.

  32. okojo says:

    You put up two studies to deny the findings of what the IPCC have published, besides denying what climatologists and glaciologists have published for years.

    The debate has been long over about AGW. Just read some of the public statements by the NAS and AAAS since 2003-2004 about AGW.

  33. Jim Steele says:

    Never said it was an evil conspiracy. We humans are simply blinded by our beliefs and only respectable debate can save us from our illusions. I am deeply disturbed by the attempts to suppress public debate and brand all skeptical thought as denial. There are numerous examples of misinterpreting the effects of landscape changes and natural cycles that are blamed on CO2. But once people believe in one interpretation they are slow to examine contrary evidence. Furthermore it feeds on itself as to get funding the joke in most biology departments is how do I connect my research to global warming. To prove that less than 1 degree change in a century is catastrophic, people have uncritically linked every negative result to rising CO2 merely by association. They have published bad science cited by thousands simply because it supports that belief. I have perused most biological claims of CO2 catastrophe and have been horrified about how bad the science has been. I have now submitted a formal request for a retraction of one of those paper as they fabricated climate doom Enron style by keeping half the data out of sight. They focused on a extirpated population caused by logging and ignored the thriving adjacent colonies.–parmesan-s-butterfly-effect.html

  34. okojo says:

    The “opposing science” isn’t science but public relations talking points. Peer review studies on climate science doesn’t get debased by garbage published by political think tanks that are funded by the largest corporations in the world, who have a direct impact if Co2 emissions are cut by OECD nations.

  35. Rick_K says:

    Absolutely right. Belief in Grand Conspiracies is equally prevalent on all sides of the social and political spectrum. There are just some people who must explain their own apparent powerlessness by concocting a giant, nefarious “They” who really control the world and want to do us harm through vaccines, GM products, electromagnetic radiation and chemtrails.

    If the conspiracies aren’t true, then these people are not the heroic, clear-seeing saviors that they think they are. They are not “in the know” and no longer able to bask in the smug satisfaction of their superiority over all the “sheeple” who refuse to see the Grand Conspiracy. So they vigorously defend their beliefs with religious fervor in part to preserve the illusion upon which their self-worth is based.

    Meanwhile – we dump vastly more chemicals onto crops because of fear of GM products, we deny life-saving vitamins to the Earth’s poorest because of fear of GM products, and we watch a town in Texas battle with an outbreak of measles because of the obscene and absurd fear of vaccines.

    When you throw that kind of thinking into the climate debate, one can only despair.

  36. Rick_K says:

    Jim, how do you explain the IPCC conclusions? A profit-motivated conspiracy of money-grubbing climatologists? Which weighs more heavily in your assessment of the true risk of the warming – the IPCC published studies and data, or the “Climategate” emails?

    Even a massive skeptic like Matt Ridley (“Rational Optimist”) says “well, yes, it’s warming fast – but it won’t be THAT bad.”

    How do you explain all those highly motivated skeptics changing their opinions and admitting that the warming is unusual? Are they all just sheep, unable to see the real truth? Are you bringing light to a world darkened by an evil conspiracy?

  37. Cassandra says:

    You HAVE hit the nail on the head. Without a real understanding of basic chemistry, the public is handicapped when it comes to understanding so many issues. It doesn’t mean they’re stupid or wrong-headed, necessarily, but they simply don’t have the necessary understanding to evaluate what they read, so they end up believing the groups they agree with based on philosophy. Non-scientists who love the environment find it really easy to believe what GreenPeace publishes and naturally they find it impossible to believe Monsanto’s website, GMOanswers. I can see the problem, but I have no idea what to do about this.

  38. rebeccagavin says:

    You talk as though you haven’t seen the fringe ass crazy shit and lies found in, maybe, 8/10 flaky, authorless “articles” and memes that are circulated through the anti-gmo “movement”. You seem to be trying to conflate sane, honest, disagreement, with the hysterical claims found through out the anti-gmo landscape. They are as nutty as the anti-vaxxers. In the first place, evidence still shows that GMOs have allowed for the use of fewer insecticides, for a net reduction in over all pesticide use. Secondly, management of super weeds requires that farmers are dilligent about rotating crops and respecting “refuge”. As with any new technology, there are going to be problems, foreseen and unforeseen, that have to be dealt with. But, you are focusing on pesticides and not GMOs. They do not go hand in hand. So derp is as derp does.

  39. glenhop says:

    I continually analyze my position regarding GMOs. It would be hard not to with amount of quality knowledge that’s available.

  40. Jim Steele says:

    Gee Leslie. I present peer-revied evidence and you get abusive. Your critical thinking skills exceed ND’s. Doesn’t anyone know how to have a respectable debate?

  41. PeteWa says:

    yeah, I know you are.
    it was nowhere near as brilliant as your comment where you conflate climate denial based on absolutely nothing other than idiocy with those who have various problems with GMO products.
    you can choose to rah-rah mindlessly for a product that needlessly ‘allows’ for more pesticides all you want, and you can cheer and feel superior as much as you want for “oh my god, science sooooo goood, like every time, always!” and ignore the damage that so called ‘super-weeds’ are doing, weeds that would not exist without all of that roundup poison.
    that’s just scratching the surface of your GMO-heaven.

    and then you can continue to conflate what is a rather fringe apolitical anti-vax movement of people confused on basic science who are a) powerless and b) in the vast minority with climate deniers who continue to drive policy and are rather powerful all you want.
    aren’t you brilliant?
    just so incredibly smart, you and AZVern should get together and glad hand each other.
    all you have succeeded on doing is driving the topic off the road, congratulations, you should be especially pleased with the company you’re keeping if you bother to check out their posting histories.

  42. PeteWa says:

    no, by derp I mean conflating things that are dissimilar.

  43. Leslie Graham says:

    Science has got nothing to do with politics.
    The laws of physics don’t give a damn if you ‘believe’ in them or not.
    CO2 levels rise – global temperature rises.
    Always has – always will.
    Doesn’t matter to physics if you are a commie or a nazi.
    And please – don’t bother with the old “CO2 lags” BS. It’s been debunked already,

  44. Leslie Graham says:

    Stop trying to change the subject away from the stupidity of the flat-earthers.

  45. Leslie Graham says:

    Oooh look! There’s a squirrel!
    Good grief.
    Desperate and pathetic attempt to divert attention away from the flat-earthers lies.

  46. Leslie Graham says:

    Oh please. No the old “Antartica is gaining ice” myth!
    Can’t you do better than that.
    You know the worst thing about deniers is not so much the blatant lies it’s that you are all so booooooring.
    You must be the only person left alove who doesn’t know that Antarctica is losing mass on land while the maximum winter SEA ICE EXTENT has been expanding at 1% per decade for the last 30 years as a result of the warming induced acceleration in the hydrological cycle.
    Go and read some science papers – even Judith Curry has written a paper on this.
    You are just amking a fool of yourself here as every ill-educated denier always does.

  47. Leslie Graham says:

    That’s the porblem trying to argue with deniers – they simply make stuff up.

  48. Leslie Graham says:

    A climate change denier making claims about “bad science”.
    Honestly – you couldn’t make these bozos up.
    Go and play somewhere else Jim. The grown-ups are trying to discuss important matters.
    As ND suggests – When you have some evidence for your nonsense, even the merest scintilla – get it published and then maybe you won’t simply be mocked. In the meantime you and you’re ill-educated ilk will remain a laughing stock.

  49. conspiracygirl says:

    That is simply wrong. You don’t HAVE to believe anything. But be prepared to be described as an anti-science loon if you advocate conspiracy theories instead of the scientific consensus on vaccines and GMO’s.

  50. Jim Steele says:

    There are billions feeding global warming advocates. I spent my career promoting environmental stewardship and habitat restoration. My skepticism of catastrophic CO2 claims is driven critiquing the bad science that has promoted undue fears.

  51. Jim Steele says:

    The Antarctic pole is not melting and Antarctic sea ice has been at all time highs. See satellite data here.

    Unlike Antarctica, the Arctic goes through cycles of constraining thick ice that resists melting and flushing ice that ice and replacing it with thin ice that more readily melts each summer. The Arctic also goes through cycles of pumping warm water into the Arctic. In the Arctic there is warm Atlantic and PAcific water lurking below the surface that help melt the ice. However the cooling in Alaska and the Brring Sea as cited in the peer reviewed paper above, has led to record winter sea ice in the Bering Sea and foretells that the Arctic will soon follow as the natural oscillations have shifted and warm water no longer is being pumped into the Arctic Ocean like before. Read Why Antarctic Sea Ice Is the Better Climate Change Indicator–climate-change-indicator.html

  52. Jim Steele says:

    Great critical thinking skills Nathaniel. I gave you 2 peer reviewed comments that you choose to deny. Yet you call me names? Go figure

  53. pappyvet says:

    Upton Sinclair once said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand a thing when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” Or in this case,billions It is not the deners to prove that climate change does not exist. They want only to create confusion with bogus numbers. That is ll they have to do to keep the feedbag opn

  54. BillFromDover says:

    So more and more pesticide on your food is completely safe?….0…1c.1.26.hp..0.26.1659.YIvrOxpKm8M

    samizdat is correct.

  55. Nathaniel Donaghy says:

    140 years.. lol, god where to start with this one. Best not to even bother.

  56. Nathaniel Donaghy says:

    Publish it in a peer reviewed journal, not on this comments section, then I’ll read what you have to say. Til then, gonna assume you’re a denier slinging BS around.

  57. BillFromDover says:

    So… your argument that because I believe in A, I must also (or not) believe in B and C which are in no way related to A?

    How does this even start to make sense?

    the difference among the three is that if ya are a good conservative (or even worse, a bagger), it is a requirement that you must be an AWC denier.

    The other two are up for grabs from all the uneducated and/or ill informed.

  58. BillFromDover says:

    “There is much published evidence showing the earth is not overheating.”

    Oh, really, then why are the poles melting and what is your definition of overheating?

  59. rebeccagavin says:

    There is much that is false in your response, but the part about the so called “Monsanto Protection Act is laughable. If you actually read that provision, it in no way protects any company from being sued for harm done by their products.

  60. Nathaniel Donaghy says:

    I think you’ve hit this on the head here. To most reactionaries the actual chemistry matters less than the fact that there are these nebulous “CHEMICALS” involved. In fact the chemistry is the source of their fear, as they don’t understand it and thus must fear it. That fact depresses me.
    Few possess the internal strength to change their reaction to the unknown, and it seems increasingly that people react in this manner by default. Curiosity is on the decline.

  61. Naja pallida says:

    Not really. Selective breeding and hybridization is manipulation of the DNA. It just takes a lot longer, and is a lot less specific. Not always resulting in exactly what you want. With genetic modification, they can get exactly what they want in a lab without having to grow 10-20 generations of a product to develop a particular trait. Or they can add traits that are simply not possible in nature.

  62. Naja pallida says:

    Besides illegally planting things that were not approved for commercial use? Creating resistant pest strains? Monsanto crops spreading into fields that they were never planted in, and shouldn’t be there? Or lying to farmers, telling them that pests won’t develop resistance to their products, like they did with cotton – which they then they turned around and blamed the farmers for. I won’t even get into the price gouging, which is a whole different problem.

    One would think that perhaps Japan, the EU and even China banning imports of US GMO crops would be a hint. Do you really suppose they’re doing it just because they’re all a bunch of anti-GMO tree-huggers, or do you think they are simply not convinced of Monsanto’s science (or lack thereof) and the potential impact on human health? Studies done in animals since the early 90s have shown high levels of toxicity in their products, but admittedly their is some ambiguity, because the science has not been done to actually prove these products are safe over the long term. Simply rolling the dice and using the entire population of the United States as a case study is not science.

    And the fact that Monsanto had to lobby, and get passed, a law which specifically exempts them from any liability from their own screw-ups… not to mention, the law to which specifically allows food producers to avoid telling their customers what they are buying. Why would they need those things if what they were doing was perfectly fine?

  63. conspiracygirl says:

    You are absolutely right. There are many people who like to portray climate change denialists as flat-earthers but then turn around and make anti-science rants against vaccines and GMO’s. This is profoundly irrational.

  64. Jim Steele says:

    I loved Bill Nye as a kid but he is a Natural Variation Denier and unaware of the peer reviewed literature. There is much published evidence showing the earth is not overheating. In most of the USA maximum temperatures have not exceeded the 30s as seen at the US HIstorical Climate Network.

    The greatest rate of warming in Greenland was in the 30s. From a 2006 paper from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Space and Remote Sensing Sciences climate scientists wrote “We find that the current Greenland warming is NOT unprecedented in recent Greenland history. Temperature increases in the two warming periods are of a similar magnitude, however, the rate of warming in 1920–1930 was about 50% higher than that in 1995 – 2005” Read article here–1930_and_1995–2005_Chylek.pdf

    Due to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation Alaska and the BEring Sea was the fastest warming region in the 80s and 90s. The oscillation has cycled to its cool phase and Alaska is now the fastest cooling region. Read The First Decade of the New Century- A Cooling Trend for Most of Alaska

  65. AZVern says:

    “There is significant scientific evidence regarding the harm they have done to our environment”

    No, there really isn’t. Every single bit of credible science demonstrates that GMOs are not only safe, but have never been linked to a single bit of harm to humans.

    “Every major scientific body and regulatory agency in the world has reviewed the research about GMOs and openly declared crop biotechnology and the foods currently available for sale to be safe. GM crops are as safe–and in the case of nutrtionally enhanced varieties, such as Golden Rice, healthier–than conventional and organic crops.”

    But you keep believing stupid shit, you are clearly a fucking idiot.

  66. AZVern says:

    You really need to reanalyze your ability to detect bullshit, because every single bit of opposition to genetic modification is exactly that; bullshit.

  67. AZVern says:

    By “derp” you mean acceptance of science over ignorant emotional stupidity, yes, you are correct.

  68. rebeccagavin says:

    And how is it that the makers of currently marketed GMO products are not responsible?

  69. rebeccagavin says:

    Now there’s a brilliant comment. I am crushed.

  70. rebeccagavin says:

    Based on?????

  71. rebeccagavin says:

    So you are a selective supporter of science who indulges in Argumentum ad Monsantum. GMOs do not equal Monsanto, but even if they did, it is obvious to me that you are completely unaware of the scientific consensus about GMOs and are misinformed about the reality of the suits Monsanto has brought against farmers who have knowingly and willfully violate the agreements they have signed before ever planting the seeds in the first place. In 5 or 10 years, your statements will sound as silly as thoseof Jenny McCarthy. And no, I do not work for Monsanto. Not even close.

  72. Monoceros Forth says:

    How so? Why is one form of genetic manipulation OK and another one pure evil? This is as irrational as the weird belief that sugar changes from good to evil once it’s been recrystallized.

  73. Monoceros Forth says:

    It’s absolutely bonkers when you think about it. Climate change is an unavoidably political issue–largely because batshit right-wingers insist on viewing everything concerning the climate as a political attack on them–yet, according to pogden297’s ostensibly “neutral” viewpoint, those who know most about climate are not allowed to have any opinion about it because that would be “political”.

  74. samizdat says:


  75. samizdat says:

    I think you may be mistaking hybridization and selective breeding with the efforts to manipulate DNA at the cellular level and below. There is a difference.

  76. karmanot says:

    And a ‘real’ troll is adapt at false equivalencies and denial.

  77. Thom Allen says:

    A real scientist argues forcefully for what s/he believes in based on the evidence that is available. Arguing with those who have “God” oh their side is pointless. As is arguing with those who deny science or manufacture their own evidence.

    Historically, didn’t Einstein and dozens of other scientists, try to stop the atomic bomb from being used? By letters, meetings and petitions to POLITICAL leaders in the US.

    Have you heard of the Union of Concerned Scientists? The scientists of the American Geophysical union? NASA, where scientists go to Congress to plead for funding? Scientists at the WHO who work to get governments to use health care treatments? The Royal Society, scientists who advocate for change? These are all organizations, primarily made up of scientists who are working for change through the political system.

    So you want a scientist, who is statistically sure that he has information that may cause or prevent a major disaster, epidemic, radiation leak, to just sit idly by and say, “I sure hope somebody does something before it’s too late”?

    BTW, with the sequester in place, more scientists are leaving/considering leaving the US to go elsewhere get some grant funding so that they can continue research. If things continue like this, there may be damned few scientists in the US to speak out or stay silent.

  78. Naja pallida says:

    Really, the problem isn’t genetically modifying things, we’ve been doing that since the advent of breeding species for specific, desirable properties… the problem is the corporate unaccountability, in playing with things they don’t really understand, and have no control over.

    I’m sure they never figured that pest insects wouldn’t eventually develop a resistance, it’s just that they’re counting on having the next billion-dollar product on the market before then.

    In the end, if we want to feed all the mouths that people keep popping out, we’re going to have to rely on some kind of serious science. But it needs to be responsible science, and the people who develop it need to be held accountable for all their actions.

  79. Monoceros Forth says:

    I’m with you there. It’s one of the most embarrassing things to see: every time some topic to do with medicine comes up, e.g. vaccination, it brings out all the loopy types who claim that all of “Western medicine” is just lies peddled by Big Pharma and all we need to do is swallow some herbs or whatever.

  80. Monoceros Forth says:

    Hahaha, oh, brother, all those scientists getting fat off government grants. You actually trotted out that one! You know how little money is at stake there? If you want to get rich making goofy statements about the climate you’ll get a lot richer off petroleum money than you’ll get from grubbing for the paltry leavings you’ll get from the DOE these days. I’ve actually seen it (my old boss at UW competed for a DOE grant once; didn’t get it, of course.) And we’re supposed to believe that not only every scientist in the U.S. who’s stated that they accept the anthropogenic model of climate change (i.e. most of them) but almost every other atmospheric scientist in the world is just in it for the money? God, you’re a joke.

    And of course my real name isn’t “Monoceros”, Mr. “Pogden”. Schmuck.

  81. pogden297 says:

    Of course “Monoceros” you missed the point completely. Science should not be politicized. A real scientist doesn’t demand that the debate stop. A real scientist welcomes challenges to his theories. A real scientist also doesn’t summarily dismiss opposing science because of who is funding it. If that were the case, why not disregard the pro-anthropogenic global warming scientists who are funded by government grants they would never receive if they didn’t sign on to the global warming agenda? I guess those climatologists, meteorologists and other scientists who don’t accept that the computer modeling predicting deadly future global warming (using a tiny snippet of human history, i.e.140 years) as being an accurate of long term global warming are just idiots. I won’t even get into the ridiculousness of the complete assumption that today’s temperatures are somehow the ideal and that any warming must therefore be bad for mankind. Stop the debate!!!

  82. Thom Allen says:

    Exceptional in their propensity to be unable to differentiate between science fact and politicized right-wing “science.” HPV vaccine causes mental retardation. CO2 is good for you, it’s natural. Women have a mechanism to shut down reproduction when they’re raped. The theory of evolution vs. creationsm. Big Bang vs. God.

  83. PeteWa says:

    the derp is especially strong in you.

  84. Monoceros Forth says:

    Yeah, all those climate scientists, what do they know about climate change? Thank heaven that a brave and daring coalition of AM radio talk show hosts, Bible Belt congressmen and Exxon-funded experts–with no political agenda whatever, of course, not like those partisan Commie scientists–know what’s really going on.

    P.S. Only people with a zealous political agenda whine about how all the people he doesn’t like are so hyperbolically political. Only evil people have agendas, not so?

  85. noGOP says:

    you really need to re-analyze your GMO position, rebecca

  86. samizdat says:

    Agree on the Jenny McCarthy looniness. Completely disagree with regards to GMOs, and their affects on Nature and agriculture. There is significant scientific evidence regarding the harm they have done to our environment. There is not a single strain of commercially grown corn which has not been tainted by the manufactured genome. That includes so-called organic corn varieties. Studies have shown that farmers have found it necessary to apply more–not less, contrary to Monsanto’s marketing claims–pesticide to crops, due to the very nature of adaptation. Monsanto’s (and Bayer’s, for that matter) entire GMO product line is predicated on the erroneous and unscientific premise that pests will never develop resistance to the Bt genome (and others) which have been inserted into the various products manufactured to allegedly increase yields and prevent organisms from harming crops. It’s basically a MarketingPRopaganda scheme, not science. Oh, to be sure, technology was used to develop these products to market, but they bear almost no resemblance to true scientific method results. The ham-handed and often inhuman tactics used by Monsanto to guard its patents is an outgrowth of this specious sci-babble.

    Then there are the GMO’d salmon, and the harm they have done, but that’s another kettle of fish…

  87. samizdat says:

    Bill Nye and the show Beekman’s World were two of the most original, entertaining and informative shows to ever be broadcast on TV. These shows were what the promise of television was all about. And this was back when reality TV was Nova on PBS. It’s amazing to see the levels to which banality masquerading as entertainment have grown over the last twenty years.

  88. rebeccagavin says:

    No reflection on science denialism is complete without mentioning the denialism that is exhibited by my side, the left. The rabidity of the anti-gmo crowd, and even worse, the anti-vaxxers, is an embarrassment.

  89. pogden297 says:

    It’s a shame that someone like Nye supports the politicization of science. Nye should be demanding that scientists remain politically neutral and demand that science rests on an objective review of information with a skeptical mindset. Yet he has latched on to the “man is causing dangerous global warming theory” while ignoring all the red flags with that theory. Make no mistake…the claiming of dangerous anthropogenic global warming is not the same thing as evolution. The latter theory has proven to be, the former not even close. (That’s why surveys show that people who have more science background actually are more skeptical of global warming than those with less science background.) Bill Nye ought to be recast as “Bill Nye the Political Guy.” That he most surely is.

  90. DrDignity says:

    Bravo, Professor, for bringing some scientific light to the world. It’s not easy here, though, with a nation of exceptional cretins.

© 2020 AMERICAblog Media, LLC. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS