Bill Nye the Science-Is-Settled Guy vs. Facts

Bill Nye, most notably of children’s television fame, is now taking his personal insight to the millions populating the social media world.  Take this recent pearl of disciplined scientific speculation on Twitter:

“@BillNye: [Tropical storm] Bill floods Texas.  Alaska is on fire. Just a little global warming and climate change.  Nothing to worry about...”

Honestly, the anthropogenic global warming peddler’s ease in promoting his doctrine would make Egyptian priests, Native American shamans, and voodoo witch doctors sick with jealousy.  Nearly everything can easily be blamed on the “global warming” gods’ wrath, it seems -- and the devoted flock will buy the narrative, and assume a position of shame and guilt with little or no genuine thought.  The devoted just require blind faith that the smart guys comprising the supposed scientific “consensus” have done the heavy lifting of analysis for them, and are telling them what they ought to be doing to save themselves and the world.

The sad thing is, they never seem to consider the incongruity of the tales, or whether the rationales behind it all even make sense.  Just a few examples: 

Flooding in Texas?  Just a little global warming and climate change.  Droughts in California? That’s also just a little global warming and climate change.  Arctic icecaps eroding? Just a little global warming and climate change.  Antarctic ice increasing by massive quantities?  Also explained by just a little global warming and climate change.  Observances of broad temperatures rising, falling, staying the same for too long, tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, potential tsunamis, particularly snowy winters, peculiarly hot summers (or vice versa, in regard to the last two examples), polar bear displacement, the rhythm of moths emerging from a pupal stage, or hell, the organic garden near your rear easement producing a bad crop of string beans this year?  All can easily be attributed to “just a little global warming and climate change” if you have enough blind faith to believe in the fundamentals that global warming exists, and that it can be responsible for anything and everything nature-related that goes awry of humans’ expected outcomes.

There have been some global warming advocates who shook the bones and predicted outcomes that never came to pass, and even that our ecological doom would be pronounced by now.  Outed as false prophets, they.  The more enduring global warming prophets understood that specificity about the timeframe is less important than the underlying message about human-driven climate change being the culprit of all things detrimental to nature and humankind, and they keep this timeline for ecological Armageddon open to “scientific inquiry,” determined by the wise and distant council at the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

But even the wisdom of the IPCC (a forum seemingly determined to promote anthropogenic global warming theory) is challenged from time to time, as exemplified by such staunch defenders of “scientific principles” as Bill Nye.  For example, the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report in 2013 on climate change reveals findings which contradict Nye’s “scientific” analysis about Texas floods and Alaskan fires being a result of observable climate change.  From the IPCC report:

… Current datasets show no significant trend in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century… No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic Basin…

… There continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale…

… There is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale severe weather phenomena such as hail and thunderstorms…

… The current assessment concludes that there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than a low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century…

These examples were compiled by Roger A. Pielke, Jr., a political scientist and former professor in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  These quotes are all there in the IPCC report he cites, without the slightest hint that these excerpts indicate a contextual misunderstanding. 

But when the global body most often referenced as the scientific “consensus” of world scientists states plainly that the data shows little or no link between global warming and the occurrence of tropical storms like Bill which ravaged Texas, or the lightning-sparked wildfires like those in Alaska (the assumption that the latter is due to “climate change” should be silly by any estimation, Science Guy or not), can it be anything other than blind devotion to a preferred theory that causes Bill Nye to tweet with confidence that bad weather in Texas and the fires in Alaska must be due to “just a little global warming and climate change?”

I was about 12 or 13 when “Bill Nye the Science Guy” began its six-year run in 1993, and I never watched much of it.  I was always more of a Mr. Wizard guy.  And I was lucky enough that I had watched and understood his simple explanation of matter displacement long before the film Waterworld tried to convince me that the Arctic icecaps melting due to global warming would create a Mad Max world on an endless ocean.

As a teen, I knew enough to at least question an apparent political agenda wrapped in a scientific package.  Bill Nye got 2.6 million favorites on Twitter for his doing nothing more than promoting that same exact global warming agenda, twenty years hence.

Progress?  I don’t think so.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.