Bernie Sanders And Bill Nye: Climate Change Deniers Suffering From Cognitive Dissonance

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Senator Bernie Sanders and science promoter Bill Nye hold a conversation about Donald Trump, climate change, energy, space, asteroids, and more.

About President Trump, Nye asked Sanders: "Is it true he contracticts himself? So it is reasonable to me that if we can show an economic benefit to turn things around, then we can turn things around. The example I always point to is the Solutions Project. The Solutions Project is a group of civil engineers who have done an analysis that shows we could power the entire U.S. renewably right now if we just decided to do it. With wind turbines, solar panels, a little bit of geothermal and tidal energy. If we exploited all of these things aggressively, we could own it."

"These would be U.S. jobs. Even if the wind turbine blades are design in Finland...or Denmark, you have to erect them here. And these are going to be U.S. jobs. So if we can get people on that side of the issue in just even in the medium term, there is a huge opportunity," Nye said.

"The science is settled everybody, sorry," Nye said. "That is the one thing that really is hard for me about Fox News, is the denial of climate change. Many of the other things they say are troubling but that just crosses the line for me. I'm pretty sure the anchors there know better and they're just going along."

"The fossil fuel industry is incredbily powerful," Sanders said. "They have ads on television every five minutes, they make a lot of campaign contributions, they have a lot of political influence. What does that influence have over the debate on climate change?"

"That's what I say all the time," Nye said. "Climate change deniers, who apparently know longer want to be called deniers, and instead, want to be called extreme skeptics, they have been able to introduce the idea that +or- two percent... is the same as +or- 100%. And that is wrong. In other words when people try to predict the temperature 100 or 50 years hence, they might be off by a tenth of a degree celsius. But that doesn't mean they are wrong, that means there is a little bit of scientific uncertainty."

"It is ironic or amazing that they've hired the same people who were in denial about cigarettes and cancer," Nye quipped. "Are we seeing a run of the denial of cigarettes and cancer?" Sanders said.

"The facts," Nye said. "The scientific facts are overwhelming."

"To the deniers out there, or to the extreme skeptics. I want you to think about what is called cognitive dissonance," Nye said. "Do you remember cognitive dissonance? The liberal arts education thing. This is a psychological theory that you can run tests and show that it is true."

"I submit to you, climate deniers. Wat you're doing is instead of accepting that climate is changing, you are denying the evidence."

"That's where you come in," he said to Sanders.

"Instead of accepting that the climate is changing, deniers are denying the evidence and dismissing the authorities” because they don't want to face a harsh reality, Nye said.

"I know it may not be very popular thing to say, but the long-term implications of doing nothing about climate change are catastrophic," Nye said.

The event was originally broadcast on Facebook Live (the reactions on screen).

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