FEAR FEST: Bill Nye and MSNBC Scare Viewers About Recent Extreme Weather

Political News

On Friday’s The Beat show on MSNBC, host Ari Melber had liberal celebrity and climate activist Bill Nye, on the show to help sow seeds of fear in the audience over recent extreme weather events. Nye blamed the extreme events on manmade climate change, and urged viewers to vote in the midterm elections to keep the political status quo — that is, Democrats in control of Congress.

As Melber set up the segment, Melber vaguely referred to “scientists” who claim that climate change is an “existential threat,” and played up President Joe Biden’s plans on the issue:

President Biden says a priority is addressing climate change. Senate Democrats now planning what should be a party-line vote on the $3.5 trillion package that includes a push to get the U.S. on100 percent clean energy by 2035. Scientists say this is clearly becoming an existential threat. We’re living through it this summer with evidence piling up every day.

He then showed several clips from news shows hyping the recent disasters — including wildfires and flooding — ending with a clip of late night CBS comedian Stephen Colbert suggesting that “we’re all gonna die.” Here’s Colbert: “The sun is glowing red in New York. (editing jump) You know what they say, ‘Red skies at night, sailors delight. Red sun in the sky, we’re all gonna die.'”

Smiling, Melber quoted Colbert’s “We’re all gonna die,” and then brought aboard Nye as a guest, asking him if these weather events have been caused by climate change. Nye firmly answered in the affirmative:

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Well, of course. Yes, we would all say that. Now, it is very difficult to connect a single event like the heat dome — as it was called in the Pacific Northwest — with a climate model. This would be a computer model full of numbers with vorticity and fluid mechanical equations is quite complex, but with super computers — people running the models — it’s becoming clear that these events certainly are consistent with predictions.

After the two spent a while fretting over the hesitancy by many to receive the vaccine for COVID-19, Nye hinted that viewers should vote Democratic next year:

I know we’re on MSNBC, and my concern always — it’s great to see you, thank you for having me on — my concern always is that we’re preaching to the choir. I know the other side watches this show, but, everybody, you’ve got to vote in the midterms. This has to be a different kind of midterm where the status quo is maintained instead of reversed or pushed back against. We’ve got to be on that. And you — I know people on the other side don’t agree with me on all sorts of things, but, look, you guys, this COVID thing is very serious — climate change is very serious.

This episode of The Beat was sponsored in part by Power Swabs. Click on the link to let them know what you think. 

Transcript follows:

MSNBC’s The Beat

July 23, 2021

6:22 p.m. Eastern

ARI MELBER: President Biden says a priority is addressing climate change. Senate Democrats now planning what should be a party-line vote on the $3.5 trillion package that includes a push to get the U.S. on100 percent clean energy by 2035. Scientists say this is clearly becoming an existential threat. We’re living through it this summer with evidence piling up every day.

CLIP OF UNIDENTIFIED SKY NEWS REPORTER IN RUSSIA: Deep in science, the Arctic Circle, where outside at the moment it was hot enough to sunbathe.

LONNIE QUINN, WCBS-TV CHIEF WEATHER FORECASTER (from CBS This Morning): This is dramatic, right? This is going back to last week in Germany. They’re referring to that as a one in a thousand year flood.

MIGUEL ALMAGUER, NBC NEWS REPORTER (from NBC Nightly News): — burning hotter, faster and more explosive than ever before.

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC HOST: — haze from the western wildfires now sweeping across the U.S., sparking the worst air quality alerts in 20 years.

STEPHEN COLBERT, CBS’s THE LATE SHOW: The sun is glowing red in New York. (editing jump) You know what they say, “Red skies at night, sailors delight. Red sun in the sky, we’re all gonna die.”

MELBER: “We’re all gonna die.” Happy Friday, I’m joined by Bill Nye, the Science Guy, involved in so many projects, including, check it out, author of The Great Big World of Science. Thanks for being here. … People are feeling the extreme weather. Is it primarily caused by climate change?

BILL NYE, BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY: Well, of course. Yes, we would all say that. Now, it is very difficult to connect a single event like the heat dome — as it was called in the Pacific Northwest — with a climate model. This would be a computer model full of numbers with vorticity and fluid mechanical equations is quite complex, but with super computers — people running the models — it’s becoming clear that these events certainly are consistent with predictions.

MELBER: Yeah, and the things that are happening can be experienced, you know, in person, and so that’s what we call in the media — we call that a local news story, right? And then you have the larger — go ahead, Bill.

NYE: Yes, the old saying, “All politics is local” — pretty soon, it’ll be, “All climate is local.” And everybody, this is a very serious problem. We’ve been talking about this a long time. And I think part of it — which is for me connected to the problems we’re having right now with people getting vaccinated — is people are scared. People are frightened, and I understand it’s a scary thing. As I like to say, if you like to worry about things, you’re living in a great time.

(…)

NYE: I know we’re on MSNBC, and my concern always — it’s great to see you, thank you for having me on — my concern always is that we’re preaching to the choir. I know the other side watches this show, but, everybody, you’ve got to vote in the midterms. This has to be a different kind of midterm where the status quo is maintained instead of reversed or pushed back against. We’ve got to be on that. And you — I know people on the other side don’t agree with me on all sorts of things, but, look, you guys, this COVID thing is very serious — climate change is very serious.

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