The folks behind the climate change-denying doc Climate Hustle want their film to be a phenomenon, something like An Inconvenient Truth but presumably a lot more convenient for the industry. Their big idea to generate publicity? Manufacture a conflict with Bill Nye the Science Guy in order to imply that hard science is debatable. There’s only one problem: Bill Nye steadfastly and pretty hilariously declines to take the bait.
“I have always been amazed that anyone would pay attention to Bill Nye, a pretend scientist in a bow tie,” John Coleman, a meteorologist and noted climate change denier, says in an article published to Marc Morano’s Climate Depot. Morano is the man behind the documentary — and in it. Coleman founded The Weather Channel.
Here’s the thing: While Morano is urging the public to ignore Nye, he’s also urging the public to pay attention to Nye, who recently made “a special video appearance” at an event hosted by CFACT, the organization funding the film. Oh, and also this: Bill Nye didn’t make an appearance. Morano just screened some clips he shot while making his movie.
“I agreed to do this interview because I think it will expose your point of view as very much in the minority and very much not in our national interest and not in the world’s interest,” Nye says in one of the clips, while looking torn. He’s striking a bit of a devil’s bargain by lending legitimacy to a film in order to undermine it.
Rather hilariously, Nye attempted to scramble out of that moral briar patch by offering Morano a $20,000 bet that 2016 would be among the 10 hottest years on record, and that this decade would be the hottest on record. Morano turned down the bet, calling it a “bet on the obvious,” despite the fact that he has recently published articles on Climate Depot predicting global cooling before the end of this year.
Now that Morano is getting a fair amount of press because of a bit Jimmy Kimmel did making fun of Climate Hustle and the lunacy it represents, one wonders if he’ll let Bill Nye be for a while. Picking a fight is a good way to get headlines, but getting your ass kicked is not a sustainable strategy.