Bill Nye’s Scientism

WUWT May 24, 2016


There is a saying in the world of science that if scientific facts do not support your arguments then stop shouting. It is thus a waste of time to appeal to “scientism” or to rely on popular spokespersons like Al Gore or Bill Nye to make it look otherwise.

It will do more harm to your own self-esteem than the pretension of winning an argument by appealing to authority or popularity. Increasingly, we are seeing more and more outrageous and aggressive anti-scientific claims that anyone who is not willing to embrace the dangerous global warming bandwagon and to condemn its culprit, CO2, is actually the equivalent of a Holocaust Denier.

This sort of name-calling, loud self-promotion and fact twisting actions, closer to political rodeo than to healthy scientific debates, are simply telling us that our opponents have already lost their fallacious arguments and are getting short on any real scientific facts.

Professor Albert Einstein had it perfectly right. When he was told about the publication of the pamphlet “100 authors against Einstein” in 1931, he replied: “Why 100? If I were wrong, one would be enough.”

It is fitting to hear the comment of Professor Hubert Goenner about the three main editors/contributors of “100 authors against Einstein”:

Obviously, these three men were united not only by their common interest in philosophy and opposition to relativity theory but also by their incompetence in the fields of mathematics and physics.

In his recent article “Why I Choose to Challenge Climate Change Deniers,” Mr. Bill Nye is found to issue a firm challenge to all those who do not accept his CO2-based religion by claiming that “The science of global warming is long settled, and one may wonder why the United States, nominally the most technologically advanced country in the world, is not the world leader in addressing the threats.”

This is so true that when the Australian government recently decided to shift their funding from studying climate change to preparing to address the threats assumed to originate from it, the very scientists who claimed that the science of global warming is settled started howling that this was not so and that their words have been misunderstood. They argued that climate is a very complex phenomenon (true) and that much work is needed to understand it in order to be able to provide any future global temperature evolution scenarios. This incidence can best be remembered as the return of the boomerang.

Maybe Mr. Nye should discuss things with these Australian scientists. He may have yet other revelations: That climate science is young and everything except settled, that we understand little of it, and that the predictions made by the climate models are akin to computer-assisted divinations. Call them, Mr. Nye! You’ll be amazed!

As for the claim: “Carbon dioxide has an enormous effect on planetary temperatures. Climate change was discovered in recent times by comparing the Earth to the planet Venus,” this is a truly strange, rather incorrect, and scientifically empty claim.

First of all, we know that the relatively rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 over the last thirty years has not produced any large and significant global warming, just a meager ~0.2°C. This compares favorably with the ~1°C increase in the temperature anomaly registered since the past 150 years, indicating an absence of acceleration in temperature rise. In fact, in nearly 19 years, a plateau has been observed, which has been acknowledged even by the IPCC (the so-called hiatus). Therefore, one is left to wonder what the words “enormous effect” mean in this particular case.

By now, the proper scientific conclusion regarding the greenhouse effect role of the rising atmospheric CO2 is clear: It plays a very minor role on the measurable “planetary” temperature, if any. For readers — and Mr. Nye — who may not be familiar with this latest experimental result, we suggest reading a recent article, “What we know about CO2 and global atmospheric temperatures?” on Breitbart News.

For all objective readers, and even Mr. Nye himself, we wish to remind everyone of the independent investigation led by Mr. Anthony Watts and many serious scientists who reached the conclusion that the greenhouse effect produced by CO2 molecules is, of course, real but that the “science-is-easy” type of experiment produced by Mr. Nye in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project has been found to be a product of “video fakery.” That experiment “could never work” as advertised.

So much for Bill, the science guy, who simply confuses “scientism” — i.e. a belief — with experimental sciences. The only question left for everyone is when will Bill Nye or Al Gore stop pedaling their brand of Hollywood special effects?

And finally: