Bill Nye seals up the semantics of ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’
by Ben Bullard
Bill Nye, who is literally a “science guy” with a mechanical engineering degree and not a research scientist with any postgraduate study under his belt, has devised a way to pretty much be right all the time when speaking about weather phenomena that deviate from historical norms: just say whatever’s applicable to help you bolster your case.
Nye was amazingly transparent about the importance of framing the global warming (or climate change, or whatever it’s called at this moment) agenda with context-appropriate language in a recent interview on MSNBC.
Nye admonished Joy Reid, his sympathetic interlocutor, on the semantic difference between “global warming” and “climate change” with a simple, easy-to-remember tip: only say “global warming” if you’re talking about a weather incident that involves, y’know, warmth. If you’re just talking about crazy weather in general, say “climate change.” In either case, the integrity of your agenda won’t be compromised, he explained.
“No, no; let’s not confuse or interchange ‘climate change’ with ‘global warming,'” he instructed. “Global [warming means] the world is getting warmer; there is more carbon holding in more heat.
“When the climate changes, some places get colder. 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.
“And, 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.'”
That’s pretty bulletproof, really. Following that rule would create a linguistic closed system so perfect that no amount of objection over the semantics of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) could thwart it. After all, everybody agrees that the climate changes, even if they don’t agree on which way it’s actually trending, whether “weather” is a component of “climate” or why any of the changes are occurring.
When you speak on behalf of taking action to halt “climate change,” using the science guy’s logic, you’re free to take your argument in whichever direction suits your emotional purpose, because you’re asking everyone who’s listening to simply follow a moving target.
The cherry on top is that you, the AGW evangelist, get to move the target as you see fit.