The Independents

What Happens When You Try to Have a Rational Climate-Change Conversation With Bill Nye the Science Guy


As I mentioned over the weekend, The Independents' interview with Bill Nye the Science Guy about climate change was an odd and telling exchange. Now you can see it for yourself:

Contrast that with our discussion in the same theme episode with Bjorn Lomborg:

New live show later tonight; details in the 8 o'clock hour.

NEXT: French Xenophobic Nationalists Make Gains in Local Elections

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Cultism has a way of doing that to you. When you go all in on something irrational, you have to give up reason.

    1. Didn’t Nye break into TV in Seattle?

      1. Yeah, he was on a late-nigh sketch comedy show called “Almost Live”, I believe. Also where Joel McHale got his start.

        1. Well, then, this is all Episiarch’s fault.

          My daughter likes the old Bill Nye series, which is fine, but I’ll have to make sure she knows he’s losing his mind now.

        2. Almost live was freaking awesome! It was canceled so that the network could devote their time slot to covering the OJ Simpson trial. Which was incredibly short sighted; the trial was temporary, the loss of that innovative show was permanent.

            1. OK, all of you do realize that none of those engineer cliches have anything to do with civil engineers, don’t you? 🙂

              1. That’s because civil engineers are about as ‘engineer’ as train engineers.

                1. I resent that.

              2. Q: How do you tell that an engineer is an extrovert?
                A: When they talk to you, they stare at YOUR feet.

              3. Isn’t a civil engineer code for bureaucrat who wants to stop all land development?

        3. Yeah, he was on a late-nigh sketch comedy show called “Almost Live”

          Comedy Central used to show it back in the early 90s. Hilarious show. I’ve always found it strange that a comedic entertainer is now looked to as a “scientific expert.”

          Also, “The Lame List” FTW!

          1. What’s Weak This Week.

          2. It’s the bow tie.

        4. yes, he played the incredibly lame superhero called Speed Walker.

  2. Over at Climate Audit, Steven McIntyre is detailing more of the bizarre behavior by the cultists.

    Under UWA policies, if they receive an allegation of research misconduct, the “Designated Person” (DVCR Owens) is supposed to “conduct a preliminary assessment of the allegation” to determine whether “the substance of the allegation, if proven, would amount to research misconduct; and whether a prima facie case of research misconduct exists”. The Designated Person is required to maintain records of their investigation.
    UWA documents show that no such investigation took place in response to complaints by me and others about Lewandowsky’s failure to properly inform the University about the scope of changes to the Understanding Statistical Trends protocol. …
    Most remarkably, the widely-cited key conclusions of the “investigation” ? “We have considered the issues raised by Mr McIntyre in his letter … and found them to be baseless. The research reported in the above paper was conducted in compliance with all applicable ethical guidelines” ? were not written by an investigator or university official but ghostwritten by Lewandowsky himself and signed by DVCR Owens within minutes of receipt from Lewandowsky.

  3. I thought Bill Nye came off really poorly in the interview. It’s too bad, I loved BNTSG and now I think less of him as a result of the interview. The best days in science class in grade school were when our teacher got lazy and threw on BNTSG.

    1. If you have to go about slandering and threatening anyone who disagrees with your conclusion, demanding censorship and kangaroo courts, distorting and hiding data and methodology, slinging misinformation and suing your “opponents,” your position must not be all that secure.

      1. He’s lost the eye of the tiger. Carl Weathers should visit him and take him to his old gym in Watts.

        1. In fairness to Nye, I wasn’t referring to him, but the Apocalyptic community in general.

          And he should do it for the duck. Not the tiger.

      2. Bill Bye is a professional alarmist.

    2. I thought Bill Nye came off really poorly in the interview.

      Yep. Petty, hyper defensive, and smugly pretentious. His whole schtick towards the end of “I have failed…” came off more as an “I have failed to make you ignorant rubes understand…”

      I’ve always considered him a joke. His most noteworthy contribution to science is “host of kid’s TV show.”

      1. He actually does have some rather impressive accomplishments as a mechanical engineer prior to going into show business:…..lum-vitae/

        1. Sorry, I don’t see anything on that list that just about anyone with a BS (engineering) could not accomplish if he wanted too and had the right gift of the gab.

    3. Beakman’s World was infinitely better.

      1. Concur. I always liked his little female assistants.

      2. That’s the one I was thinking of.

  4. Is Mr. Wizard still around? Someone should get his opinion on AGW.

    1. IIRC, he died a few years back. 🙁 He was awesome.

      1. See the damage Global Warming is causing?

    2. Hey, who was that guy who came after Nye and aired a somewhat similar program on Saturday mornings?

      1. Wasn’t he the guy that claimed Bill Nye ripped him off? There was some controversy back in the late 90s if my gin-soaked memory serves me correctly.

        1. Professor Proton.

          “Haven’t you stolen enough from me, bow tie!”

          *Apologies for the Big Bang Theory link. Consider this your trigger warning, for those who hate that show.

  5. This, among other reasons, is why Bill Nye was never fit to carry Mr. Wizard’s bunsen burner.

  6. I preferred Louis Nye the Science Guy. “Hi-ho, Steverneutrino!’

  7. There was a series of science shows from the 80’s, very low budget, featuring a scientist of Italian descent, but I can’t for the life of me remember his name. It was where I first learned of the Bernoulli Effect. His show was most awesome and his explanations made complete sense to the lay kid.

    I wish that I could recall his name.

    1. And by “very low budget,” it was him and an assistant, on a sound stage, with a table and lab set.

    2. Professor Proton

      1. That would be my porn name.

      2. You’re no help.

  8. BTW, was Bill Nye paid for his appearance? If he thought there’s no sense talking to anyone on Fox, it’s kinda weird for him to agree to appear on a Fox show to begin with. I’m trying to figure out if he’s a hack (willing to sell out his principles for money) or a troll (just enjoys wasting other people’s time).

    1. it’s kinda weird for him to agree to appear on a Fox show to begin with

      I’m guessing that Nye likes to take on contentious subjects, like his recent famous debates with the creationists.

      I do agree, though, his opening here is… strange.

    2. I think just plaing old stupid should be one of the options.

      1. lol. plain.

    3. I’m going with “both”.

    4. Ok, who the fuck does Bill Nye think he’s helping with this obsession of his.

      Creation Museum: Bill Nye Debate Sparked Funding ‘Miracle’

      Frankly I’m not sure he’s not on Ken Ham’s payroll.

  9. Judging by a few of his comments, it seems he came on the show expecting a fight, and when he didn’t get one, didn’t know how to react appropriately. Sorry Bill, I love ya, but you made an ass of yourself.

    For the most part, I’m on the same page as Bill concerning anthropogenic climate change and it’s disheartening when a denier like Mark Marino can come on the show and ostensibly be the “level-headed” one.

    Here is my humble suggestion, Bill: tune down the rhetoric and propose 3-4 economically viable measures to tackle the situation.

    TLDR: Bill needs to be more like Bjorn.



    He’s not quite as bad in the rewatch as I remember on first viewing. But still pretty bad. He says a bunch of shit that is pretty uncontroversial, but then throws in things that have little basis in fact as “certainties”, as in the ‘weird weather patterns’ which are entirely anecdotal and have no definite connection to AGW even if there are anomolies.

    He goes off the reservation when matt asks him a very specific question, declares everyone on The Independents as being ‘The Other Side’, and attacks a straw man.

    He’s not exactly Bill Nye, the Macroeconomist.

    1. This is the problem I always see whenever Global Warming is discussed, people shouting over each other to argue with points that neither side is necessarily making.

      Bill somewhat gets it in that the scientific community can share a bit of the blame for the way in which the message and information behind this issue has been presented.

      I’ve always maintained that had environmentalists and scientists argued that Global POLLUTION is a problem and it makes life more dangerous then everyone would agree that yes, we should be proactive about taking steps to minimize the pollution. One need look no further than Beijing to be reminded how important clean air is.

      But instead the movement went with Global Warming, which was then changed to Climate Change, which does not have the same immediate effect in triggering a reaction amongst the population that global POLLUTION does.

    2. He says “The ocean will expand because things get bigger when they get warmer.” Maybe early-onset alzheimer’s?

      1. I’ve heard this theory as well, but I only recall our backyard birdbaths cracking during the winter, when the water in it froze and expanded.

      2. The takeaway I got was that Bill Nye thinks global emvironmental policy should be governed by whether it protects lower Manhattan.

        You have 50 years to deal with that – get started now. I’m more worried about draining of acuifers in the Midwest and irrigation caused salinity in soil caused by the mandate to grow corn to make ethanol.

  11. Kmele and Matt both come off as much more objective and rational than the Science Guy.

  12. Bill Nye interrupts, bullies, creates straw men, slanders and ignores questions in favor of memorized talking points. His interview wasn’t very good, either.

    1. Global warming has past that point, like abortion, where rational and calm discussion with opposing viewpoints can be had. It’s all screaming and spitting now.

      Thanks partisan politics!

      1. Global warming has past that point, like abortion pizza thickness, where rational and calm discussion with opposing viewpoints can be had. It’s all screaming and spitting now.

        I’ve actually heard rational discussion about abortion.

        1. The existence of thick crust pizza disproves the Big bang theory.

  13. Bring Bill Bye back to the show!

    1. I meant bring Bill Nye back to the show!

  14. How did I know the douchebag with the beanie, beginning hipster beard and sunglasses would make that kind of argument?

  15. Now I understand why Lower Manhattan real estate prices are crashing. Or something. And I can’t wait to hit Malibu this weekend and tell all the losers that their beach homes are going to be under water soon. Loooosssseeerrrsss. Ha Ha. They think they got it made with their fancy cars and hot womens, but the Science Guy and I know better.

    1. Keep in mind that all that property in Malibu belongs in Hollywood Liberals who think that the government is going to bail them out (either by magically preventing the ocean from rising or paying out on the Federal Flood Insurance policy). Either way people in the interior will end up poorer.

      Likewise for poperty owners from Palm Beach to Miami-Dade counties in Florida.

  16. Invent a very big battery

    Pump water uphill put a hydroelectric generator below the water. When you need electricity release water down through it.


    1. Duke Energy has been doing this in South Carolina since 1973. I’m sure they aren’t the only ones. Nuclear plants (which Duke intended to build a lot of) run at a steady state creating a base load with no incremental fuel cost (unlike coal or gas). When your installed base load exceeds demand, you use the excess electricity to push the water back up the hill.

  17. How about a big horizontal flywheel? Now hear me out!
    A rotating disk beneath each home and about the diameter of the house.
    Solar panels run motors to add angular velocity, bleed some energy off as needed with a generator.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.