A “Scientist,” A Climate Skeptic, and The SOTU

When comedy, science and, politics collide.

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Beware the company you keep especially when 45.6 million people are watching.

After Bill Nye went on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show to “debate” climate change in February 2017, the show resulted in the spread of misinformation to Fox viewers and raised funds for anti-climate initiatives. Aaron Bandler reacted by writing an article.

The article was titled “9 Reasons You Shouldn’t Listen To Bill Nye About Science.” It was posted on The Daily Wire.

The Daily Wire is described as a politically conservative American news and opinion website. It was founded in 2015 by conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro.

Following are Bandler’s 9 reasons. Read his justification for each reason here. 

  1. “Nye’s background has more to do with comedy than science.”
  2. “Nye gets a lot of facts wrong about the climate change wrong.”
  3. “Nye doesn’t understand the basic science surrounding the abortion debate.”
  4. “Nye also doesn’t understand quantum entanglement.
  5. “Nye thinks that anti-Semitism can be solved by simply “getting to know your neighbors.”
  6. “Nye has called for NASCAR to immediately switch to electric cars, even though it would severely limit the sport.”
  7. “Nye seems to be more pre-occupied with palling around with celebrities than studying the field of science.”
  8. “Nye seems to be ok with jailing those who don’t agree with him on climate change.”
  9. “The founder of the Weather Channel is rightfully angry that Nye has any sort of credibility on the issue of science.”

Nye angered scientist then but the hope was that he had learned his lesson. His latest stunt may prove otherwise.

Last Wednesday, President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union (SOTU) address to a joint session of Congress. There were unexpected misspellings and the usual lies but what caught the  attention of the scientists was an odd “coupling.”

William Sanford Nye popularly known as Bill Nye “The Science Guy” attended the SOTU as the guest of Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Trump’s nominee for NASA Administrator.

At first, the “coupling” may not appear that odd. NASA is, after all, a scientific organization. However when you recall that the Trump administration is at war with Science and Bridenstine, who is not a scientist, is heading a scientific organization whose efforts he has vehemently protested his entire political career, a problem arises.

You may recall Bridenstine, a hard-right Oklahoma congressman since 2013, for the time that he demanded that then-president Barack Obama apologize for funding research into how humans alter the climate as humans have no impact on the climate despite copious amounts of facts to the contrary. Facts that have been collected by the very organization he has been nominated to lead.

500 Women Scientists.org, have chosen to distance themselves from Nye. They view his action as an endorsement of Bridenstine’s policies and since Nye is viewed as the “face of science,” that endorsement is troubling to say the least.

They said. “As scientists, we cannot stand by while Nye lends our community’s credibility to a man who would undermine the United States’ most prominent science agency. And we cannot stand by while Nye uses his public persona as a science entertainer to support an administration that is expressly xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic, racist, ableist, and anti-science.”

500 Women Scientists is a grassroots organization started by four women whose mission is to be the foremost organization for the transformation of leadership, diversity and public engagement in science.

In defense of his odd dance card partner, Nye has said that he was accompanying the Congressman to help promote space exploration, since, he asserts, “NASA is the best brand the United States has.” and that his attendance ”

He also states that his attendance “should not be … seen as an acceptance of the recent attacks on science and the scientific community.”