'Science Guy' Bill Nye debates lawmaker on climate change
By Michael O'Brien
Bill Nye The Science Guy pleaded for
action to address climate change in a debate Sunday with Tennessee
Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who called climate science "unproven."
is no debate in the scientific community. And I encourage the
congresswoman to look at the facts," Nye, the former children's
educational personality said in a debate on "Meet the Press" Sunday. "We
need you to change things, not to deny what's happening."
He clashed with
Blackburn, the vice chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee —
the panel in charge of producing and overseeing energy and climate
"Neither he nor I
are climate scientists. He's an engineer and actor; I'm a member of
Congress," she said. Of the scientific evidence of climate change, she
said: "There is not consensus there."
said that even if she were to concede Nye's assertions about the
validity of climate change, lawmakers and regulators should still look
to a cost-benefit analysis of new laws and rules before imposing them.
"What we need to be looking at is the way to achieve efficiencies," she said.
who debated a noted creationist over the science behind evolution in a
heavily-publicized event earlier this month, argued in favor of using
every available tool to address the threat of climate change
"It would be
everybody's interests to just get going," he said. "The more we mess
around with this denial, the less we're going to get done."
debate comes as the gulf between President Barack Obama and Republicans
in Congress on issues of climate change continues to grow. The GOP has
continued to pressure Obama to approve construction of the Keystone XL
oil pipeline, for instance, and relax regulations of producing energy
Protection Agency (EPA), by contrast, is working to create rules that
would unilaterally impose limits on carbon pollution. The executive
action comes after climate change legislation — a priority of the
president's upon taking office in 2009 — was passed by Democrats in the
House that year, but has stalled since the GOP won control of the lower
chamber in 2010.
State John Kerry also kicked off a series of speeches on climate change
this weekend, beginning with remarks in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sunday
blasting deniers of climate science.
and foremost we should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists
and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific fact nor
should we allow any room that the costs associated with doing the right
thing outweigh the benefits there are people who say it is too expensive
we can't do this," said Kerry, who as senator had spearheaded efforts
for environmental legislation.