Electing a climate-friendly president is key, Nye says, because it could inject new life into Congress’ long-stagnant climate debate. “There are…many very reasonable people in Congress who are playing the hand they are dealt with these gerrymandered congressional districts,” he adds. “They have to please an extraordinary minority.” With the right leadership and timing, he says, the politicians just might take action.
A candidate rational about science and climate change is likely to be rational on other issues, too.
No, I didn’t watch Bill Nye dissect Ken Ham in the science vs. creationism debate. I share with many other science-loving people a conviction that “debating” creationists is wholly irrelevant, and tends only to build the glory of the creationists who cannot manage to set up a single scientific observation or experiment to provide evidence for creationism, but can stand on a stage and crack bad jokes and lie, against a mumbling scientist.
But I have looked at some of the commentary, and some of Nye’s remarks and rebuttals. Nye did very well.
Nye tended to develop clear, non-scientific explanations for the issues. Ham and creationists aren’t ready for that.
In that vein, J. Rehling tweeted this astonishingly clear explanation for why it’s just impossible to “believe” that the fabled ark of Noah could carry even most of the species alive, in one boat (and, mind you, the San Diego Zoo is neither the world’s largest collection of species on display in a zoo, nor displaying a significant percentage of all species):
Cover of Newsweek Magazine, from March 4, 1957; notice this concern about U.S. science competency came seven months before Sputnik was launched by the Soviet Union. Science deniers then delayed action until after the Soviets demonstrated clearly that the U.S. was behind. (Image from Computer History.org)
Spread the word; friends don't allow friends to repeat history.
Why not a Symphony of Science now? This is entertaining, and important — overlook the Autotune issue; it’s better to make Billy Nye sing with Autotune than to change the entire song and orchestration for Rex Harrison, especially if you have a small budget.
Here’s one guaranteed to make climate changedenialists sputter — the music and quick image montages sneak through skeptical barriers. Truth wins in a fair fight, Franklin said. This is fair, entertaining, and you might draw a little inspiration.
A musical investigation into the causes and effects of global climate change and our opportunities to use science to offset it. Featuring Bill Nye, David Attenborough, Richard Alley and Isaac Asimov. “Our Biggest Challenge” is the 16th episode of the Symphony of Science series by melodysheep.
The following materials were used in the creation of this video:
– Are We Changing Planet Earth?
– Bill Nye – Climate
– Eyes of Nye – Climate Change
– Earth: The Operator’s Manual
– An Inconvenient Truth
– Hot Planet
– How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth
– Human Planet
Caption from the Royal Society: A cast of the face of Sir Isaac Newton was made at his death in 1727. The original, now owned by the Royal Society, was probably sculpted by J.M.Rysbrack (1693?-1770). This plaster copy, which is numbered “44”, is a Victorian relic and was donated to the Observatory by the Misses Wallace. Newton was born at Woolsthorpe in Lincolnshire, England on 25 Dec 1642. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge from 1661 – 1665/6 when the university closed due to the plague. His most famous work is the The Principia [the Crawford Library holds a first edition (1687) and a third edition (1726)] where he discusses universal gravitation. In 1696 he was appointed Warden then later Master of the Mint and in 1703, he became President of the Royal Society.
Wallace believes the Dems’ “filibuster proof majority in the Senate” lasted 24 months. In reality, he’s off by 20 months, undermining the entire thesis pushed so aggressively by Republicans.
Ron Paul sometimes appears, to me, as a guy from another century. I don’t mean “in the future.” Looky here! Here’s a Paul-supporting site, a group that tends to glom on to almost every conspiracy theory coming down the pike, touting Paul’s great success in getting a “full audit” of the books of the Federal Reserve — you know, that bank Alexander Hamilton told us we needed, and that in its post-Depression form modeled the way central banks the world over should behave, creating a post-WWII era of American-modeled economic freedom that led to astonishing leaps in income and quality of life for people and peoples all around the world. Well, we are told breathlessly, Paul insisted on an audit, got a law passed — and here’s the audit and the results are shocking! Wait — don’t those “findings” sound familiar? Oh, the report is more than a year old . . . to just took the Paul people that long to find it . Sen. Bernie Sanders told us all about it a year ago.
Glenn Beck is a bully, and frequently wrong on factual issues. He’s the chief supporter of history-distorter David Barton. Beck has moved to Dallas (our air quality has been awfully bad here lately), where he can fly American Airlines all he wants. But alas for him, American Airlines employs honest people. I’ll wager Beck’s prevaricating about what happened. I’ll wager the flight attendant treated him exactly the same as everyone else, but Beck has a congenital chip on his shoulder and sour pickle in his mouth. He certainly he got accurate feedback, despite the flight attendant’s courtesy. Maybe it was God opening Beck’s eyes, eh?
Bill Nye said creationism is inappropriate for children. He’s been saying that for years, but when he said it off the cuff, for Big Think, a bunch of people sat up and took notice. “The Science Guy, standing up for science! How dare he!” Who knew?
Bedbug stupid: Over at the Constitution Club (to get what they mean, think of “Baby Seal Club”), they’re yucking it up over a Washington Times manufactured story that says some Charlotte, North Carolina hotels might have bedbugs — ho! ho! ho! — and maybe some Democrats will get bitten. Con Clubbers aren’t good on science, law or history — they blame the U.S. ban on DDT for the problem, and say it’s a case of over-regulation since a lesser restriction, like banning agricultural use, would have worked. They were unaware that bedbugs developed immunity to DDT in the 1950s; that that bedbugs were eliminated from the U.S., mostly, without DDT later; that the “ban” on DDT was only on agricultural uses, etc., etc. It’s almost like watching somebody laugh at Euclid for claiming a triangle in a plane has angles that total 180°. “Everyone knows water boils at 212°, so a triangle would be too hot to handle!” the ConClubbers would complain.
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Retired teacher of law, economics, history, AP government, psychology and science. Former speechwriter, press guy and legislative aide in U.S. Senate. Former Department of Education. Former airline real estate, telecom towers, Big 6 (that old!) consultant. Lab and field research in air pollution control.
My blog, Millard Fillmore's Bathtub, is a continuing experiment to test how to use blogs to improve and speed up learning processes for students, perhaps by making some of the courses actually interesting. It is a blog for teachers, to see if we can use blogs. It is for people interested in social studies and social studies education, to see if we can learn to get it right. It's a blog for science fans, to promote good science and good science policy. It's a blog for people interested in good government and how to achieve it.
BS in Mass Communication, University of Utah
Graduate study in Rhetoric and Speech Communication, University of Arizona
JD from the National Law Center, George Washington University