Bill Nye: Global Warming Debate With Blackburn Argues Scientists' Beliefs

Bill Nye's global warming debate with GOP congresswoman Marsha Blackburn took an interesting twist when she tried to claim there is disagreement among climate change scientists.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, Bill Nye debated creationist Ken Ham but many were disappointed the argument focused on the age of the Earth instead of evolution. Oh, and no, a Bible-thumper did not kill the science guy in retribution as one death hoax claims.

While on Meet The Press, Blackburn insisted that the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) position did not have have a consensus in the scientific community and that it was an "unproven" hypothesis. In response, Nye showed a picture of the arctic ice sheet in comparison to the 1970s and claimed the debate was over:

"Once again, the congresswoman is trying to introduce doubt in the whole idea of climate change. What I would just encourage everybody to do is, let's back up and look at the facts. There is no debate in the scientific community. And I encourage the congresswoman to look at the facts. You are a leader. We need you to change things, not to deny what's happening."
While some might say an argument from authority is a common logical fallacy, Nye's point has also been made before and is considered well-founded. A study in 2013 concluded that "the fundamental science of AGW is no longer controversial among the publishing science community and the remaining debate in the field has moved on to other topics." They found that 97.1 percent of papers written on the topic recently agree with anthropogenic global warming.

There has actually been quite a big change over the years. Back in 1997, 44 percent of America's state climatologists considered global warming to be a natural cyclical process. Only 17 percent considered global warming to be a man-made problem. In the responses, 89 percent agreed that "current science is unable to isolate and measure variations in global temperatures caused ONLY by man-made factors," and 61 percent claimed the historical data did not allow blaming the burning of fossil fuels.

Regardless of the scientific community's evolving opinion, Americans are increasingly convinced that global warming is a hoax, rising seven percentage points over the last year to 23 percent. But 63 percent of Americans still support AGW, and 53 percent are "very" or "somewhat" concerned about the long term ramifications. But the polling data also suggests belief in global warming remained the same, but the numbers of the minority rose because of people who previously "didn't know" now made up their mind.

So is Bill Nye right about global warming in the end? Unfortunately, this is where politicians muddy the picture. Critics contend the Climategate scandal proves scientists are "concealing" data, focused on politics instead of science, and are readily admitting internally that climate change "science is weak and dependent on deliberate manipulation of facts and data." Some even claim it's all become a hoax because any scientists who dare stand up to the AGW position are "vilified, marginalized and starved of funding, despite their impeccable scientific credentials." As another example, NASA climatologists are among the biggest anthropogenic global warming supporters. When President Obama shut down NASA's space program it was supposedly to save money but NASA's overall budget actually increased because the money was shifted to global warming research, which costs billions of dollars each year.

Do you agree with Bill Nye about the scientific consensus over global warming? Or do you think politics is the only reason opinions shifted so dramatically over the years?