Words are everything, even in the global warming debate. TV personality Bill Nye the “Science Guy” told MSNBC’s Joy Reid to use the phrase climate change, not global warming, when it’s so cold out.
“Let’s not confuse or interchange climate change with global warming,” Nye told Reid on Monday. “Global warming – The world is getting warmer. There is more carbon [dioxide] holding in more heat.”
“So when the climate changes, some places get colder,” Nye added. “And the thing that’s really consistent with climate change models is this variance where it’s cold, it’s warm, it’s cold, it’s warm… So what I would hope for, my dream, Joy, is that you all, you and the news business would just say the word climate change.”
Nye’s remarks come as the U.S. is hit by another “arctic blast” that is sweeping through the Midwest and East Coast this week with temperatures plunging across the country. Tuesday’s highs are supposed to hit 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit across the eastern half of the country.
But Nye says such extreme snow storms are totally because of climate change, not global warming — despite real scientists arguing that warmer temperatures are driving more intense winter storms.
A recent study from the Massachusetts Institute for Technology found that warming could drive more major blizzards in places like New England.
“In some regions, fairly cold regions, you could have a decrease in the average snowfall in a year, but actually an intensification of the snowfall extremes,” Paul O’Gorman, a climate scientist at MIT, told the Boston Globe.
Last winter, White House science czar John Holdren said that global warming was decreasing the temperature difference between the north pole and the mid-latitudes, making the polar vortex more erratic and driving harsher winter storms.
“If you’ve been hearing that extreme cold spells like the one we’re having in the United States now disprove global warming, don’t believe it,” Holdren said in a White House video. “The fact is that no single weather episode can either prove or disprove global climate change.”
MSNBC’s Reid was all too eager to join Nye in labelling winter weather as climate change.
“But when you see extremes of cold, when you’re breaking, I’m counting one, two, three, four, five records from Little Rock to Flint, Michigan, to Redding, Pennsylvania, New Jersey,” Reid said.
“We’re breaking 100-year-old records in cold. Is there not enough attention that people are paying to what we are doing to the planet and how it’s impacting our daily lives?” Reid added.
“No, there isn’t enough attention being paid,” Nye said. “But I’ll go on to say if the ocean, this mythic thing, the noreaster, if the oceans just ever so slightly warmer, it snows more. There’s more moisture in the atmosphere.”
Nye also said that the fight against global warming, or, err climate change, needs conservatives and not just “liberal bleeding hearts.”
“The other thing I would say, MSNBC is, in many ways, regarded as a progressive station, as opposed to a conservative – I say station — news organization,” Nye said. “I will say to the conservatives, we need you. This is to say, we can’t have everybody be a progressive, liberal bleeding heart and so on and so on. We need people on both sides. But if the conservative side are going to continue to deny what 97 percent of the scientists in the world are saying, we’re not going to reach a consensus. We are not going to make progress.”
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