Neil deGrasse Tyson Slams ‘Absurd’ Media for Making Climate Change Deniers Seem Credible

Image credit: AP/Richard Shotwell

Image credit: AP/Richard Shotwell

One of the biggest mistakes we make when discussing climate change is calling it a “debate,” because there is no debate – it’s real and human activity on the planet is the leading cause of it. When the overwhelming majority of the world’s scientists – anywhere between 97-99 percent – all agree that human activity is causing climate change, the opinions of those who choose to deny that evidence really don’t matter.

Unfortunately, the main reasons why there are so many people who deny that humans are causing climate change are:

  • The issue has become political, meaning that many people shut off their brains and simply regurgitate talking points based on whatever their political party is telling them to believe, regardless of facts.
  • Religion.

In this country, the Republican party is heavily backed by big oil and other various energy companies. It’s an industry that stands to lose untold billions if humans were to ever embrace green energy, moving away from fossil fuels. Naturally, this has sparked a huge push by many within these industries to spend billions on fake information hoping to build doubt on scientific data pertaining to climate change much in the same way big tobacco did decades ago over the health risks of smoking.

Religion is another issue that many use as a reason to deny climate change. I’ve met quite a few people who deny climate change is real because they believe God controls the weather. There’s really no reasoning with these people or changing their minds – no matter what sort of factual evidence you provide, they’re going to believe what they believe.

Well, famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson had some rather choice words for the media concerning why he thinks there are so many who doubt the very real existence of climate change.

“There’s this journalistic ethos saying if I get one opinion then I need to get another opinion that countervails that,” Tyson said. “So if I say the world is round, are you obligated to say the world is flat, lest someone think you are being biased in your reporting? Well, that’s absurd.”

“If you allocated column inches in proportion to the scientific consensus of experiments, there would be one sentence talking about people who deny climate change and the rest of the ten columns talking about research that supports it,” he said. “But that’s not what we see in the public.”

And he’s absolutely right. Anytime you see climate change “debated,” it’s almost always an equal number of people on both sides debating the issue. This, of course, projects the idea that both sides are equally represented.

They’re not. 

To accurately “debate” this issue based on the actual representation of scientists who believe in climate change vs. those who don’t, we would need to gather 100 scientists together, with 97-99 supporting human-caused climate change and 1-3 scientists on the other side arguing against it. And I can promise you, if that’s how these “debates” were being framed, those denying climate change would come off like quacks (as they should) as opposed to seeming like people with legitimate opinions, which is how they’re often presented by our media.

Thankfully we have people like Tyson and Bill Nye using their fame to help raise awareness of this very real problem, because if we don’t do something to try to reverse the damage we’re doing to our planet soon, it’s gong to be too late.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Jim Bean

    I worry. The left wing environmental militants destroyed the logging industry in Oregon to save the Spotted Owl. When it was learned logging had nothing to do with it and it was the Bard Owl that was to blame they said, “Hey! Look over there! Lets go to California and tell them how to regulate the water’. Now California is running out of the stuff and they are saying, “Hey! Lets go help manage the global warming thing.’ And it – the global warming thing – has all the ingredients to become their most colossal misadventure yet.

    • Creeayshun Sighuntist

      99% of peer reviewed scientists around the world agree, but we should listen to you because…?

      • Pipercat

        The bard owl knows!

      • Jim Bean

        They don’t agree that what you want to do is going to solve the problem.

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        So you admit there is a problem…..

      • Jeffery LeMieux

        Now it’s 99%? Just a few years ago the snake oil salesmen were quoting it at 97%. Has a new bogus survey been taken to replace the old one?

      • Creeayshun Sighuntist

        so, 97 out of 100 isn’t good enough for you then either? obviously, no mountain of evidence will convince you….typical bagger

    • BobJThompson

      Any source on the lefties making California dry?

      The state is in the midst of a mega drought. Their snow pack levels are the lowest that people have seen in our history. People stupidly built cities in deserts (LA) and definitely didn’t plan for how much water that type of city needed.

      Yet California grows a ton of agriculture. If you go down the produce asile, it’s likely you’ll be surrounded by their crops. And all of those farms are thirsty. Something like 3 gallons of water go into one almond. Of course you can guess where the majority of our almonds are grown.

      It’s a story as old as human civilization. We move. We find a place we like. We improve it to better suit us. More people come. We overshoot the carrying capacity for the land. The civilization gets forced out, because they ignored the warning signs and didn’t adapt in time. Humans are predictable in their stupid behavior at times.

  • Macdoodle

    The climate has always changed.Glaciers melted and gave way to tropical forests.Then they formed again.And the cycle continued.And all this before a single human ever walked the earth.

    • Creeayshun Sighuntist

      is this what Glenn Beck is telling you?

  • Clintoris

    Remember Al Gore saying all the polar ice would be gone by 2013…….Well, 2013 is almost over, and contrary to the alarmist “predictions” by Gore and what critics refer to as his “doomsday cult,” the latest satellite data show that Arctic ice cover has actually expanded 50 percent over 2012 levels. In fact, during October, sea-ice levels grew at the fastest pace
    since records began in 1979. Experts predict the expansion to continue
    in the years to come, leaving global-warming alarmists scrambling
    fiendishly for explanations to save face — and to revive the rapidly
    melting climate hysteria.