Bill Nye on the Climate Debate

November 2, 2014

6 Responses to “Bill Nye on the Climate Debate”

  1. tildeb Says:

    This video goes to the heart of my complaint about not enough people are learning to respect the methodology of science more than the respect for proffered contrary faith-based claims – whether those claims are religious or not. The areas informed by faith-based belief – a broken methodology for claims about the reality we share – run the gamut from alternative ‘medicine’ and naturopathic remedies to the kind of hostility we find against the known benefits of vaccinations, fluoridation, and wi-fi to name but three and the kind of rampant denialism accepted as equivalent opinions to science-based evidence-adduced explanations about evolution and climate science.

    I don’t think we should promote any faith-based belief as equivalently respectable as those from evidence adduced explanations even when they may be in agreement. The faith-based belief is always disreputable because its method doesn’t work to produce knowledge… ever. At the very best, it arrives for all the wrong reasons at the right conclusion and we do a tremendous disservice to the pursuit of knowledge by pretending the faith-based claim has any knowledge value whatsoever. It doesn’t.

    And if that hurts people’s feelings, then so be it. There’s too much at stake concerning the cause of real harm to real people in real life by acting on such faith-based thinking to allow the feelings of those choosing an unreliable method such an exalted and privileged status. We as educated people should hold a much greater value for finding out what’s probably true and respecting the non-feeling reasons for arriving at higher degrees of confidence in claims about reality (and how it seems to operate reliably and consistently well for everyone everywhere all the time).

    The alternative is, as Bill says, to misrepresent 97 scientists as if their evidence-adduced opinions combined were equivalent in knowledge value to three dissenting voices who didn’t feel good about it. That’s a recipe for inaction… inaction that serves only the interests of alt-realty pseudo-skeptics. And that accommodationism makes us as culpable as the tin foil hat crowd in our failure to deal meaningfully and effectively with significant and even an extinction problems that face us all collectively. We have a responsibility to others that exceeds our willingness to tolerate and accommodate and satisfy the demand for faux-respect placed on us. We’re better and smarter than that.


    • The skeptical brain and the “faith” part are two separate things where one kills the other. Faith is often very convenient as it allows you to draw borders and simplify a complex world. It also allows you to reduce your responsibilities due to the convenience of ignorance.

      It might be that faith for many is also a safe haven from their own fears of punishment from some deity. Hence a lot of faiths on earth give more credential to the afterlife than what you do when you are a physical being among us. This often results in lack of human compassion and respect for any living thing – as its not deemed an important part of the faith (the fun part comes after your dead right?). Perhaps its again the fear of making the wrong choices, of being punished in afterlife, or whatever that keeps so many people so locked up in their faith based worlds – afraid to open their eyes to the living worlds wonders and how it is all connected.

      People need to train their skeptical reasoning brains to avoid faith based guessing about how the world ticks. Only then can we get anywhere with this problem. Although admittedly many faiths still have high respect for life and doing the best thing – so if you need your faith, then use it for good and know that ignoring climate science will make life miserable for anyone you love and everybody else on this planet.

  2. lesliegraham1 Says:

    I agree with you in general but objections to the addition of fluoride to drinking water are perfectly legitimate. Not only on the grounds of it being a toxin but more importantly on the point of principle.
    If I want fluoride, or any other know poison for that matter, in my water I am perfectly capable of adding it myself thanks.

  3. Kiwiiano Says:

    Chlorine is a pretty ghastly poison, used during WW1. Are you planning to exclude that entirely from your diet too?


  4. Don’t need a physics degree to know its bad to jump out the window of the 10th floor. At some points you have to learn the physical laws that govern everything around us – you don’t get to pick and choose what to “believe” based on the immediate consequences you might experience from ignoring them.

    As I often say with regards to bad habits, if you smoke, you basically try to kill yourself – if you ignore climate science, you are really trying to kill all living things on this planet.


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