Bill Nye Offers Climate Change Skeptic $20,000 Bet

Celebrity scientist Bill Nye offered climate change skeptic Marc Morano a $20,000 global warming bet that the planet will keep getting hotter, but Nye’s challenge was not accepted.

Nye offered one bet that 2016 will be one of the 10 hottest years on record, and he also offered a second bet that this decade will turn out to be the hottest ever. Each bet would have been for $10,000, but Morano dismissed both of them out of hand.

Morano is currently engaged in the promotion of the upcoming Climate Hustle film, which is also backed by Sarah Palin. Although Palin and Nye were originally scheduled to appear together at a panel to debate anthropogenic climate change, which is designed to supplement the May 2 debut of Climate Hustle, Nye ultimately wasn’t invited.

Instead of inviting Bill Nye to the panel, Morano requested an interview. Clips of the interview will be aired at the panel, but a small selection of the conversation between Bill Nye and Morano is already available from the Bill Nye Film YouTube channel.

While the full interview is not yet available, the clip provided by the Bill Nye Film YouTube channel appears to have been spliced together from footage taken by Nye’s people.

This interview with Nye, which will take the place of the celebrity scientist actually appearing at the climate change debate panel, is where the set of two $10,000 bets came from.

“Would you take the bet?” Nye asked, during the interview. “2016 will be the hottest, among the hottest, rather, of the last ten years. And 2010-2020 will be the hottest decade on record.”

Morano didn’t even wait for Nye to finish issuing the two bets, saying, “No. I would agree with both of those, but I would say it’s a meaningless stat, because first of all, you’re dealing with hundredths of a degree, now tenths of a degree.”

Bill Nye goes on to suggest that hundredths or tenths of a degree may be meaningful to Morano’s children, and that they may one day be embarrassed by his stance on climate change.

Nye later suggested via Facebook that the “climate denier (extreme doubter)” wouldn’t take his bet because Morano “knows what’s up re: global temperatures.”

Morano painted a different picture of his refusal to take Nye’s bet in a statement made to DeSmog.

“I did turn down Nye’s temperature bets,” Morano told DeSmog. “I told him that according to the official surface temperature records of course 2016, with strong El Nino, would be one of the ‘hottest’ or near ‘hottest’ on ‘record.’ I explained to Nye the official surface data always seems to be claiming ‘hottest’ year. So a bet on the obvious was silly. The same goes for ‘hottest’ decade bet.”

While Morano clearly admits that he does believe 2016 will be the hottest on record, he doesn’t seem to believe that actually means anything, or that the record itself is relevant or meaningful in any way.

Bill Nye also told DeSmog that he used the interview as an opportunity to accuse Morano of enabling harassment by publishing the emails of climate change scientists.

Nye refers to Morano’s practice of publishing the email addresses of scientists, professors, activists, and others on his blog when writing about things that they have said or done.

“When a professor or activist is being particularly ridiculous or insulting, I think I am doing them a favor by posting their publicly available email addresses,” Morano told Scientific American in 2014. “I am not worried one bit about someone getting nasty emails, as it is part of the process.”

Do you think that Bill Nye won a victory against climate change deniers by offering a $20,000 bet, or do you side with Morano in thinking that it doesn’t actually mean anything if 2016 is one of the hottest years on record?

[Screenshot via YouTube]