Last week, Planet Experts’ resident rabble rouser (and generally unwashed contrarian) Django Reynard called out Sarah Palin for smearing the good name of Bill Nye. “Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am,” said Palin, who is decidedly not a scientist. “He is a kids’ show actor.”
Nye is also not technically a scientist, but is very much affiliated with science (and also built a sundial that sits on Mars, which counts for quite a lot in our book). In fact, next to Neil deGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist) and Stephen Hawking (Time Lord), Bill Nye may be the face most closely associated with science in popular Americana (except for all the string theorists out there that are writing BRIAN GREENE in the comments section). That’s why meteorologist Joe Bastardi targeted Nye in a screed against climate change written for The Patriot Post.
In his opinion piece, Bastardi balks at being lumped into the climate denial camp (which Nye referred to as “absolutely toxic” in an interview on the O’Reilly Factor) and singles out the Science Guy for being not so much a science guy as he is an actor. He then challenges Nye to explain “why there’s no linkage in the entire known CO2-temperature history of the planet” and why there is no global warming. He also challenges Nye to make his temperature forecast for the future.
“Put up or shut up,” writes Bastardi.
Yesterday, Bill Nye put up $20,000.
Before we get to that substantial sum of money, a brief discourse:
In the video, Nye points out the errors in the graphs Bastardi presents in his Patriot editorial, saying that temperature for the geologic history of the Earth must be made with computer models and depict eras when the continents were not in their current formation, when the atmosphere had a different chemical composition and when the sun’s brightness was dimmer. Contrasting that model with observable data from the last century, Nye shows that five independent and highly-respected agencies (NASA, NOAA, CRU, UAH, RSS) have recorded an unequivocal rise in global average temperature.
Furthermore, Nye questions whether Bastardi, who has spoken at various fossil fuel conferences, is being totally honest with his climate skepticism. “I can’t help but think about Upton Sinclair,” muses Nye, “who said, ‘It’s hard to get a man to believe something when his salary depends on his not believing it.’”
Fittingly, Nye then cuts to the money shot – literally. In calling Bastardi’s challenge to make a temperature forecast, Nye raised the meteorologist $10,000, betting that 2016 will be among the top ten hottest years ever recorded.
Then Nye took it up a notch. The Science Guy bet another $10,000 that the 2010-2020 period will be the hottest decade ever recorded.
Nye has now pointedly “put up.” Disappointingly, Bastardi will neither “put up” nor “shut up.”
On Twitter, Bastardi has rejected Nye’s bet, though he is still claiming some sort of vague victory:
— Joe Bastardi (@BigJoeBastardi) April 20, 2016