Bill Nye and the Gore Effect

Far more predictable than the weather is the irony of another global warming alarmist speaking out during a record-breaking cold snap. Remember in 2009 when “the biggest global warming protest in history” set to take place in Washington, DC was shut down due to a snowstorm? This phenomenon was dubbed the “Gore Effect.”

This week Bill Nye, “The Science Guy” was the latest casualty of the Gore Effect. He gave an interview to MSNBC discussing global warming while much of the country was in a deep freeze. But he strategically chose to use the term “climate change” rather than “global warming” in light of record breaking cold temperatures this week.

The climate indeed changed this week, from cold to freezing. “Millions will shiver from Chicago to New York City as record lows are challenged during this bitter blast” according to Accuweather. Going further they predicted, “In the mid-Atlantic, some daily record lows set during the late-1800s will be challenged.” Where is that global warming when you really need it?

It’s challenging to discuss “global warming” during record low temperatures, so why not just call it “climate change” as Mr. Nye did. He went further to ask the media to go along with this new terminology. A very unnecessary request as most of the mainstream media is already riding climate change bandwagon. “So what I would hope for, my dream, joy,” requested Mr. Nye of MSNBC, “is that you all, you and the news business would just say the word climate change.”

How convenient to change the goalposts by redefining the problem. Or as Mr. Nye said, “Let’s not confuse climate change with global warming.” I suppose that means we shouldn’t confuse climate change with global cooling either. Remember back in the 70s when the big problem was global cooling? The term “climate change” covers it all. Like placing a bet that my team will win or lose. That would be a guaranteed winner for me, but no bookie would take that bet.

The climate is always in flux as evidenced by the changing seasons. If the planet is really warming, where is the data? Instead it turns out that 2014 was among the 3 percent coldest years in the past 10,000 years. Don’t let an inconvenient truth like this get in the way of orthodoxy. There is always the 97 percent argument that Mr. Nye mentions.

Supposedly 97 percent of scientists agree about global warming. Slam-dunk. Who can argue with the entire scientific community? Climate scientist Roy Spencer can. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, “The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research.”

Instead Mr. Nye should cited the Petition Project. 31,487 scientists, including 9,029 with PhDs believe, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

Lastly there is the carbon dioxide argument, as Mr. Nye explains. “There’s more carbon dioxide holding in more heat.” Maybe so, but is this a bad thing? His fellow scientists feel otherwise. Again from the Petition Project, “There is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

The reality is that our climate is complicated. The science guys and gals haven’t figured it out. Which is OK. Much in science is still beyond the realm of human understanding.

Mother Nature doesn’t suffer fools as evidenced by the Gore Effect. Whenever someone jumps up and claims to have figured out climate, Mother Nature throws cold and snow on their global warming doomsday prophesies. As the saying goes, “Don’t mess with Mother Nature.”


Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician, is an advocate of smaller, more efficient government. Twitter @retinaldoctor.

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