Comedian Bill Nye accused CNN of doing a “disservice” to its viewers for inviting a well-respected physicist on Earth Day to argue about the legitimacy of man-made global warming.
Nye, who is well known for hosting a children’s TV show in the 1990s, scolded CNN’s “New Day Saturday” panel Saturday for pitting his environmentalist pedigree against the climate skepticism of physicist William Happer.
He also suggested the 24-news channel should instead drown out people like Happer with 98 scientists who believe in man-made global warming.
“And I will say, much as I love the CNN, you’re doing a disservice by having one climate change skeptic and not 97 or 98 scientists or engineers concerned about climate change,” Nye said after the Princeton University academic suggested that it is a “myth” to believe that carbon dioxide is a pollutant causing widespread ecological destruction.
“Carbon dioxide is a perfectly natural gas, it’s just like water vapor, it’s something that plants love. They grow better with more carbon dioxide, and you can see the greening of the earth already from the additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he added.
He went on to say that Nye’s views on science are backward. Science is based on observation, Happer said, “[a]nd if you observe what’s happening to, for example, the temperature, the temperature is not rising nearly as fast as the alarmist computer models predicted. It’s much, much less — factors of two or three less.”
Happer, a science adviser to President Donald Trump, made public his skeptical views on climate change in January. He told reporters that climate change is “tremendously exaggerated,” adding that climate research is important, “but I think it’s become sort of a cult movement in the last five years.”
Nye, who has a degree in engineering but no professional science background, called Happer’s position “completely wrong,” and suggested the physicist was “cherry picking a certain model.”
Some scientists maintain people like Nye are the ones cherry-picking data.
Climate models predicted Antarctic sea ice would shrink, and that climate change would boost snowfall in the southern hemisphere, yet neither of those predictions have panned out. In fact, scientists now say “natural variability” is overwhelming their models.
Scientists with Columbia University’s Earth Institute, for instance, found there’s been almost no change in Antarctica’s snowfall. They blamed strong “natural variability” for the models’ failures.
Scientists have also warned that Antarctica has been losing 147 gigatons of ice per year for years, mostly from melting on the northern Antarctic Peninsula. A NASA conducted in 2015, meanwhile, found Antarctica’s ice sheet increased in mass from 1992 to 2008, which essentially offset ice melting in the western part of the Antarctic.