Now he takes on the topic of global warming.
This Sunday, “Meet the Press,” the renowned televised political news forum, will host a discussion of climate change — perhaps the single most pressing issue of our time — featuring a professional children’s entertainer and a Republican member of Congress. Yes, David Gregory will be refereeing a “debate” — their word — between “Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’ and Tennessee Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.” Nye will be arguing the pro (climate change is real and bad) and Blackburn will be arguing the anti (climate change is made up and not bad). By the end, America will be just a little bit more stupid and doomed.
The Salon writer is not a fan of this spectacle to come. Once again, as with the Creationism debate, we have a ridiculous denialist idea given space on the stage with a well-supported, scientifically sound explanation of what is actually happening. Once again, a scientific position must go against and ideological position. But I don’t agree that Mr. Nye is such a bad choice. He’s riding a high on the pummeling of Bible thumping Ken Ham and people like him. To choose a climate scientist to debate gets things exactly wrong. They are busy doing data collection and statistical analysis and writing papers. Nye does the science communication stuff. He gets it better than they might. So, while I think these science vs anti-science spectacles are wacky, we sort of knew this was coming. Next, abortion?
UPDATE (16-Feb-2014) See how it went.
The key gotcha moment in the debate came when Nye called out Blackburn for failing to lead on the climate issue. “You are our leader,” he said to Blackburn. “We need you to change things, not deny what’s happening.”
“Neither he nor I are a climate scientist,” Blackburn noted during the debate. But as Nye observed, only one of them is a politician, whose job is to use the best information that we have at our disposal to make the world work better.