Challenging someone's patriotism is a pretty hefty charge to level in the political arena, based on the response when Barack Obama's patriotism was challenged during the 2008 election cycle.
However, there seems to be a different set of rules when it comes to questioning the authenticity of the manmade global warming argument in the wake of record-setting snowfall in the Mid-Atlantic. And this different standard applied to Bill Nye "The Science Guy," who appeared on MSNBC's Feb. 10 "Rachel Maddow Show" and aired his disapproval of manmade climate change skeptics and labeled them "unpatriotic."
"[T]here's more energy in the atmosphere and this is stirring things up," Nye said. "If you want to get serious about it, these guys claiming that the snow in Washington disproves climate change are almost unpatriotic. It's really, they're denying science. So they're very happy to have the weather forecast be accurate within a few hours, but they're displeased or un-enchanted by predictions of the world getting warmer. It's really, it shakes me up."
According to Nye, it's easier to sell the theory of anthropogenic global warming to younger generations since "older people" have a harder time with the concept. He agreed with the show's host Rachel Maddow, who likened the snowfall in Washington, D.C. to a full-court one-handed buzzer-beating basketball shot earlier in her program.
"Well, my thinking is, I thought about this a lot as an educator, spent a lot of time with a lot of people," Nye said. "It's mostly generational, it seems to be. This is anecdotal for me. Older people just have a much harder time grasping the idea that you have many billions of people on the planet with a very, very thin atmosphere - you're able to affect its climate. Younger people are able to sort of embrace it, understand the evidence and move forward. Just as you say, making a full-court one-armed shot happens now and then. There are snowstorms in Washington, D.C., now and then."
Nye explained that he subscribed to the idea that it was warmer ocean temperatures causing this weather by "putting more energy in the atmosphere."
"Well, the world, overall -- the world's getting warmer," Nye said. "If you like - these phenomenon, by the way, this week, are just generally a result of El Niño, where the Pacific Ocean surface gets a little warmer and this affects the weather in North America like crazy and this is very well-documented, and you can go to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Web sites and you can look at this data. The sea surface is warmer, putting more energy in the atmosphere, and making things more turbulent."
But Nye, without a single mention of the ClimateGate scandal, which showed that Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists manipulated data and conspired to destroy information to further the cause of global warming alarmism, cited the IPCC's Nobel Prize as a reason to believe that theory.
"The main thing is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change got a Nobel Prize," Nye said. "They got a scientific prize for making a discovery. They didn't get a minor award. This is a big deal. They discovered climate change, through all kinds of evidence, and it's something we should all be very, very concerned about."
And Nye then returned to his earlier point, questioning the patriotism of global warming skeptics, calling their questioning of the theory inappropriate and suggested it was bad for what made the United States "a technological leader."
"This thing, of denying science - you know, science has done so much to make this country what it is, a technological leader," Nye said. "It's improved the quality of life for so many people, here and around the world. To deny what scientists or scientific evidence is showing, is inappropriate. And as I said earlier, to me, when I get wound up, it's unpatriotic."