DeGrasse Tyson: Climate Deniers ‘Unraveling’ ‘Informed Democracy’

During a wild segment of MSNBC Live on Wednesday morning, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson railed against climate change skeptics. He questioned their education, intelligence, and claimed they were participating in “the unraveling of an informed democracy.” And it was all said to the glee of MSNBC co-hosts Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle.

These are shots across our bow,” Tyson claimed about the recent hurricanes. And to have people still saying I choose not to follow what the consensus of observations and experiments give us,” he huffed in complete disbelief.

He then chastised the skeptics, claiming they were irresponsible and willfully putting people’s lives at risk. “Well, so, first, anyone who wants to base policy on what might be research papers that are not in the consensus of what other observations have shown, that is risky. That is -- no, it's irresponsible,” he angrily proclaimed.

To say here is one research paper, that's the truth because it fulfills my political, cultural, religious, economic philosophies,” he spat. “people cherry-picking science in the fringes of what is otherwise the emerging consensus of observation and experiment. So, that’s disturbing to me.

What’s really disturbing was that a scientist (Tyson) would cherry-pick the scientific explanations he would listen to, because their conclusions didn’t fulfill his political, cultural, religious, economic philosophies.

 

 

In fact, there were plenty of climate scientists that believed either that it’s too soon to tell if climate change was the cause or that climate change didn’t play a role at all. According to environment analyst Nicolas Loris:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in its most recent scientific assessment that "(n)o robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes ... have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin," and that there are "no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency."

Loris also noted that the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) believed “it is premature to conclude that human activities” played a role in causing the hurricanes this season. NBC’s own Al Roker once explained that since 2017 was a non-El Nino year there was less wind shear at higher altitudes, thus allowing the storms to get stronger.

All of that was science Tyson denied was real. Which was ultimately par for the course for Tyson considering he’s known for making vastly inaccurate statements and using false quotes. He recently appeared on CNN where he claimed Abraham Lincoln was alive in 1963. The 16th U.S. president was assassinated in 1865.

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Tyson’s conclusion apparently triggered Ruhel because she immediately began to slam those who disagree with her guest. “It goes beyond denying science, it’s about good long-term decision making. But people aren’t making good long-term decisions whether you’re talking about business or science,” she exclaimed. “But people aren’t necessarily adding thoughtfulness to their calculation. Because isn’t what shareholders are looking for and it’s not what voters look for.

That is the unraveling of an informed democracy,” Tyson declared, to Ruhel’s excitement.

Clearly, that “analysis” by Tyson was just political opportunism. He was exploiting a tragedy to push climate change when other believers in the theory say they aren’t sure yet.

Transcript below:

MSNBC Live
September 20, 2017
11:38:46 AM Eastern

(…)

NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON: This could be just an unlucky year to have so many intense storms. By the way, how many people are reminded that tropical depressions are named alphabetically? Right?

[Crosstalk]

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We’re up to “M” and often they don’t make it up to hurricane status. So, you see hurricanes in sequence, they’re not necessarily consecutive in the alphabet.

(…)

TYSON: That could just be unlucky. However, consider that when you warm the planet the capacity of the air to retain moisture goes up.

STEPHANIE RUHLE: You’re referencing climate change.

TYSON: Yes. Generally, when we think of weather, we don't think of clear blue skies. We think of what water is doing in the atmosphere. Is it snow, sleet, hail, rain, wind driven. When we think of weather, that's what we think of.

(…)

And so these are shots across our bow. And to have people still saying I choose not to follow what the consensus of observations and experiments give us.

(…)

TYSON: Well, so, first, anyone who wants to base policy on what might be research papers that are not in the consensus of what other observations have shown, that is risky. That is -- no, it's irresponsible. To say here is one research paper, that's the truth because it fulfills my political, cultural, religious, economic philosophies.

ALI VELSHI: How do you reconcile this? Why are we having this debate? It is not a global phenomenon, by the way. It’s a uniquely American—some people in the U.K.—were we got the strength of argument that suggests that science should not be trusted.

RUHLE: And I cannot imagine that someone who’s studying astrophysics would have considered religion or philosophy would be a roadblock to research.

TYSON: Or economics or whatever it is to people cherry-picking science in the fringes of what is otherwise the emerging consensus of observation and experiment. So, that’s disturbing to me.

(…)

RUHLE: But to both of you. It goes beyond denying science, it’s about good long-term decision making.

[Crosstalk]

But people aren’t making good long-term decisions whether you’re talking about business or science.

(…)

RUHLE: But people aren’t necessarily adding thoughtfulness to their calculation. Because isn’t what shareholders are looking for and it’s not what voters look for.

TYSON: That is the unraveling of an informed democracy.

RUHLE: Say that one more time!

(…)


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CyberAlerts Environment Global Warming Hurricanes Events Hurricanes Harvey and Irma MSNBC MSNBC Live Video Neil deGrasse Tyson Stephanie Ruhle Ali Velshi