Media uses popularity of Bill Nye to push questionable science, climate change agenda

October 4, 2022

By Tim Worstall

As of course was going to happen Hurricane Ian is being used to support the idea that we must do something, and right now, about climate change. CNN wheeled out Bill Nye, the Science Guy, as reported by HuffPost. Nearly everybody thinks he knows what he’s talking about, which is why they used him. 

It’s even true that some of what Nye said is entirely correct. The reason that damages from natural disasters are going up in cost is that there are more people living in a richer society. Therefore, the same damage, from the same events, costs more – we’re all richer and everything around us costs more. Nye also said that all the climate models say that hurricanes should become stronger – not something proven as yet. But then those same models also say they should become more frequent. This is odd, because despite Ian, the remarkable thing about this year is the low number of Atlantic hurricanes. We might expect 5 a year, all the reporting a month back was about where were they – there were none for the first two months of this year’s season.

But our point here is not really about these intricacies of climate science – nor is it to try and relitigate the entire subject. Instead, there’s a very dangerous idea out there as exemplified by Bill Nye himself:

“And so I just want to ask conservative lawmakers to cut it out. I understand that you want to get reelected. I understand that you have this primary system which motivates you to get these hardcore conservative voters engaged. But look, you’ve just, just cut it out.”

The insistence there is that democracy must be overturned. Voters shouldn’t be listened to, politicians should not address voter concerns, here is the revealed truth and so action must be imposed upon those who disagree. Now that’s a truly dangerous idea – and also entirely contrary to the very founding ideals not just of America but of a free society. 

The core of this is a belief in a technocratic society. There are those who have had the truth revealed to them. Therefore they get to impose, as they wish, upon everyone else. They’re the guardians of truth, right? This is an idea entirely inimical to democracy – in fact, it destroys it. And that is the dangerous idea here. Not the details of hurricanes or their damage, but this idea that they will be used as an excuse to shout at us that we must shut up and do as we’re told.

Neither Jim Acosta speaking with Nye nor HuffPost reporting on the interview provided any context, pushback, or research to confirm Nye’s assertions.

As we say, we’re not trying to re-argue the entirety of climate change. We are though pointing to the terrible danger of reactions to it. As here, even from Bill Nye, the argument is that we’ve all got to just take whatever our masters tell us to do about it. And that’s just not democracy, not in the slightest. And yet we’ve got supposedly liberal, progressive, media trying to tell us that that’s exactly what should happen. 

As Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) said last year: “What I’ve found is, people when they start talking about things like global warming, they typically use that as a pretext to do a bunch of left-wing things that they would want to do anyway.”

And now we’re being told to shut up about it as well?


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