Bill Nye Raises the Stakes on Climate Change

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By Joe Messina

This morning, Star Talk Radio posted this video of frequent guest host Bill Nye responding to a challenge from meteorologist and climate change denier Joe Bastardi. Bastardi challenged Nye to show a connection between carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the temperature of the earth. Bastardi made the challenge in an article he wrote for The Patriot Post, a right wing news site that ends the first paragraph of its “About” section with “traditional American values,” so keep that in mind as we move forward.

First, Nye dismantled the arguments Bastardi made in his article, mockingly using a meteorologist green screen to show the flaws in Bastardi’s graphs. He then pointed out Bastardi’s financial interest in perpetuating the idea that climate change is not real. Bastardi, Nye said, has been paid to speak at the Coal Trading Conference, the Nebraska Propane Gas Association, and the North American Gas Forum, all of whom have a stake in preventing a widespread shift to renewable energy sources.

“Your business [is] telling your audiences what they want to hear.”

Now hold on, Devil’s advocate. I know you can easily argue that Nye’s livelihood also at least partially depends on telling his audiences what they want to hear. Star Talk would undoubtedly lose listenership if Nye got on the mic and started spittin’ Young Earth Theory.

Fine, but here’s the difference: Bill Nye’s audience is fuckers like me. What financial stake do I have in climate science or renewable energy? I’ll answer that for you – I have none, because I have no financial stake in anything. I could barely pay my rent before I started writing this shit every day. Believe me, I’m not investing in any solar panel manufacturers with the extra $50 I make each month telling jokes to drunk people.

In his most badass moment to date, Nye presented a check for $10,000 and bet Bastardi that the next year will be the hottest on record.

Watch the whole clip here.

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